Sacramento’s District Attorney, Thien Ho, has once again criticized the city’s handling of the homelessness crisis, accusing it of allowing pollution of local waterways and endangering public health. Ho has filed an amended 48-page lawsuit, alleging that homeless encampments violate a state Fish and Game Code section that forbids the pollution of state waters.
Ho’s concerns stem from the fact that the area around Steelhead Creek, where many homeless camps are located, is a flood plain. When water levels rise, debris from the camps is swept into the water and carried downstream. Environmentalists warn that this debris disrupts the ecosystem, creates blockages for chinook salmon, and alters the flood plain. Over the past five years, volunteers have removed more than 400,000 pounds of trash from homeless camps near Steelhead Creek.
In response to the DA’s accusations, homeless advocates argue that the focus should be on finding solutions rather than assigning blame. They suggest immediate measures such as trash pickup and provision of portable toilets.
The city, meanwhile, has been granted a Safe Stay Sleeping Cabin community on Stockton Boulevard by the state, which it views as a significant step towards addressing homelessness. The city also plans to place an additional 175 sleeping cabins in a county Safe Stay community on Watt Avenue, in collaboration with Gov.Newsom’s office.
The attorney for Sacramento’s Homeless Union has stated that he will include the DA’s latest accusations in his complaint with the State Bar. If found guilty of wrongdoing, the DA could face private/public censure, suspension, or disbarment.
Read more at CBS News.