Commentary by T.J. Johnston
The Oprah Winfrey Show threw a spotlight on Sacramento’s tent cities in March 2009. Now, more than 100 homeless people will move from encampments to apartments and other temporary housing as part of a compromise between the city, its homeless residents, and area nonprofits.
The homeless folk will be allowed to bring their stuff along this time—and given safe storage for it.
A year and a half prior to this settlement, a class action suit was filed against Sacramento for civil rights violations incurred when police and sheriff’s deputies confiscated homeless people’s belongings during sweeps. Usually, homeless people are issued citations for “abandoning property” and sometimes their belongings are destroyed. Often, this is standard procedure in most cities nationwide.