The Dept. of Public Health issued a public health order in response to COVID-19 last March. Provisions were put in place to protect the public and item 9 is specific to people experiencing unsheltered homelessness in Sacramento County. Item 9 has been changed and is attached to this email.
The following is a summary of changes:
"Should" was replaced with "are advised to" in the following sentence:
To maintain public health and safety, local governments are advised to allow people who are living unsheltered, in cars, RV’s, and trailers, or in encampments on public property to remain where they are, unless the people living in those locations are provided with a) real-time access to individual rooms or housing units for households, with appropriate accommodations including for disabilities, and b) a clear plan to safely transport those households. "Property" was replaced with "life necessities" and specific examples were added.
Do not remove life necessities from people experiencing homelessness, which includes, for example, their shelter (e.g., tents, vehicles, or other living structures), hygiene equipment, food supplies, water, medicines, mobility devices (such as walkers, wheelchairs, crutches, canes), and bicycles used for transportation. The language was removed from the following statement which I highlighted in red: Exceptions are encampments that pose an imminent and significant a public safety hazard or adversely impact critical infrastructure as designated by local, state, or federal law, regulations, or orders.
I am waiting to find out if a 48" sidewalk clearance was added to the order possibly in a different place. If it is added then practically everyone camping on a sidewalk will have to move. I will let you know when I find out. Opinion: This will allow for police/Sherriff/code enforcement to throw away people's stuff and is an attempt to weaken the legal standing of the current Homeless Union lawsuit against them. Action: We must do all we can to let community members know to guard their property and do all they can to remain camping on public property only - away from infrastructures such as levies, cell towers, fire access, power lines and towers, and transformed boxes. This is an incomplete list but you get the idea. --
Joseph Smith Sacramento Loaves & Fishes | Advocacy Director