SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento city leaders are unveiling a new site for homeless campers, and it’s going in one of the city’s most popular parks.
Miller Park is known for its scenic sunsets and waterfront views. Now, it has a new look as Sacramento’s newest homeless camping site.READ MORE: Stagg High Stabbing Suspect Anthony Gray Ordered To Undergo Mental Evaluation
“People can come in here, they’re safe, they’re secure, they have access to restrooms and water and food,” a city official said.
This city-sanctioned “safe ground” can accommodate more than one-hundred tent campers and is replacing a location under Highway 50 that is being disbanded.
But why was one of Sacramento’s most popular parks chosen?
“It is under city control already, so we own the property,” a city official said. “We can make it happen here, we can get this set up fairly quickly.”
John Schwartzler and his wife, Sandy, oppose allowing homeless tents right on the waterfront.
“That’s an area that’s had a lot of use during the summer,” John said. “People bring in families for birthday parties and picnics.”
“All those people that go to that park with their families and they have BBQ’s, they can no longer go there,” Sandy said.
They keep their boat docked at the Miller Park marina and are concerned about more crime.READ MORE: Boosted Californians Getting COVID At Twice The Rate Of Those Vaccinated But Not Boosted
“The vandalism here is growing, it’s really getting out of control,” John said.
“I won’t be able to take my dog for a walk because of all the needles,” Sandy said.
But the city says the site will have 24-hour security.
“This here is going to be a better situation because there’s going to be people here all the time,” a city official said.
Andrew Barlow is homeless and says he would consider moving in.
“I hope it turns into opportunity village,” he said.
And the city says offering services to the hundreds of campers already in the area will help prevent problems.
“Having at least some of them in a better situation here is going to improve things,” a city official said.MORE NEWS: Applications Now Open For $10K Grants For Sacramento Artists
The site is expected to be up and running by next Monday and is expected to remain active for at least six months.