Dear Friends of SHOC,
City of Sacramento officials have decided to move forward establishing a policy that Sacramento Police Department officers are not to confiscate the survival property of anyone living outside. This decision itself comes after years of advocacy from SHOC and others and tragically, two deaths on City Hall property in January. We are thankful the City wants to take steps forward. The root of these confiscations lies in Sacramento’s Anti-Camping Ordinance, as it is there where items such as sleeping bags, tarps, and bedrolls are defined as unlawful camping paraphernalia and their use or the use of a tent, defined as unlawful camping.
We know these items help our neighbors to survive the elements and that we’ve ever had these anti-homeless laws on the books is shameful. The city is building a policy through the City Manager’s office and using General Orders to the police to implement. This means they will not address the ordinance or the status it gives to these items as illegal. People will continue to receive citations ($230!), bench warrants and at times, arrest for the possession of these life saving items and existing in public space, even if their things are not taken.
Call City Manager Howard Chan today, 916-808-7488, and your district council member. Thank them for their intention, and remind them that continued criminalization is not the answer! Encourage them to make decisions that are rooted in the voice of people experiencing homelessness, who’ve been fighting for far too long for the right to survive, to exist, and have property. This policy shift will likely be on Tuesday’s City Council meeting agenda, so get those calls in!
For the Sacramento community, we know April 1st is the day that Winter Sanctuary ends, it’s also the day funding runs
out for the new warming centers at 11th St. and Wind Youth Services, which means it is the day that our neighbors are hitting the street again. Help us raise this awareness. This year’s event is being planned by SHOC and the Sacramento Youth Council, both groups comprised of homeless and formerly homeless leaders. We are excited to partner with young people as we push for a better future! We will have art, music, discussion panels and more! Please take the time to support our work!
In Solidarity, Niki Jones