Chronic Homelessness & IIlegal Camping in the Parkway

An editorial in today’s Bee about chronic homelessness notes a new program to address it is soon going to be released by local officials.

What is chronic homelessness:

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defines chronic homelessness as a single adult with a disabling condition who has either been continuously homeless for a year or more or has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years. (A “disabling condition” can be a substance-use disorder, a mental illness, or a physical illness or disability.)

One of the most successful programs helping the chronic homeless has been Pathways to Housing in New York.

Pathways to Housing, since 1992, has had an 85% success rate.

Next week ARPPS will be releasing our Lower Reach Report, focusing on the Lower Reach Area of the Parkway and the illegal camping that has seriously degraded the area for safe public use.

In the report we will address chronic homelessness and profile two programs, including Pathways to Housing, that work.

The report will be available on our website, , on Monday, September 26, 2005.

Editorial: Chronic homelessness
A perpetual challenge for any community
Published 2:15 am PDT Friday, September 23, 2005

Are the homeless, like the poor, destined to be among us forever?

It certainly seems so.

In the last fiscal year, Sacramento County spent $5 million in local funds and another $30 million in state and federal funds on homeless programs. The city of Sacramento spends $2.7 million a year. Nonetheless, a recent count found that some 700 people camp out illegally all over the city every night. Some burrow deep in the underbrush that covers the American River Parkway, while others take cover on the stoops of downtown business, or stretch out on porches or on the sidewalks in front of churches.

Periodically the city cracks down, ticketing illegal campers, arresting some and, occasionally but not often, prosecuting them. The homeless complain they are being harassed. Business owners who clean urine and feces from their businesses every morning and the public, forced to avoid certain parks, insist that the law be enforced. Police gravitate between being hard, being reasonable and being compassionate. The result is an endless shuffle that satisfies no one.

For the rest of the editorial:

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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