This plan to expand, as reported by the Sacramento Bee, would add more disaster upon the already disastrous concentration of homeless services in the River District and their contribution to the illegal camping by the homeless in the downtown area of the Parkway, which has devastated habitat, polluted the river and Parkway, and rendered that part of the Parkway totally unsafe for the adjacent communities—which are among the poorest in the region—from enjoying the Parkway.
The disheveled guests at Friendship Park have finished their turkey sandwiches and potato chips. They’ve had their showers, made their free phone calls, finished their appointments with addiction counselors, chatted with acquaintances and taken naps under shade trees. It is late afternoon, time to make their pilgrimage from the park at the Loaves & Fishes homeless services complex in Sacramento to nearby riverbeds, bridges, churches and doorways, where they will lay down their bedrolls and spend the night.
For 30 years, the scenario has played out at Friendship Park, the central gathering place between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. for as many as 700 homeless men and women, many of whom suffer from physical and mental disabilities and drug and alcohol problems.
Loaves & Fishes, a nonprofit organization that accepts no public money, has drawn both praise and criticism over the years for offering what it describes as “basic survival services” to the homeless in an industrial zone north of downtown Sacramento. The area arguably has the region’s highest concentration of shelter beds, soup kitchens and other programs for the down and out.
Now a plan to upgrade and enlarge Friendship Park is stirring questions and controversy.
Retrieved April 21, 2014 from http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/21/6339373/plan-to-relocate-loaves-fishes.html