ARPPS Press Release

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release April 22, 2014 Sacramento, California

Open Letter to Sacramento City Council

A plan to expand an existing homeless gathering place by more than 100%–from approximately .75 acre to 1.78 acres—as reported by the April 21, 2014 story in the Sacramento Bee, would compound the 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 area totally unsafe for the adjacent communities—which are among the poorest in the region—from enjoying the Parkway.

The Bee story notes:

“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.”

Retrieved April 21, 2014 from http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/21/6339373/plan-to-relocate-loaves-fishes.html

The argument made in the article that it will not attract even more homeless to the already over-burdened area does not stand up to common-sense.

Any homeless gathering place that provides this level of all-in-one service in a relatively welcoming climate close to free camping along a beckoning river will continue to attract the homeless from across the country.

The American River Parkway is highly desirable to the homeless for illegal camping for four reasons:

• It is close to a concentration of homeless services
• It is close to downtown panhandling opportunities
• It is overgrown and easy to hide illegal campsites within
• It is close to a fresh water river

With the already recorded devastation that has resulted from illegal camping in the downtown area of the Parkway, our organization stands firmly against any expansion of homeless services in the River District, which will only add to the devastation of the Parkway.

We also continue to stand completely in support of providing service to the homeless and applaud the Sacramento community for its many years of compassionate help to those needing a hand-up, but strongly feel the type of all-in-one service asking for expansion approval for a homeless gathering place needs to be denied.

Organizational Leadership
American River Parkway Preservation Society
Sacramento, California
April 22, 2014

Contact Information

David H. Lukenbill, Senior Policy Director
American River Parkway Preservation Society
2267 University Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95825
P: 916-225-9087 E: Dlukenbill@man.com
W: http://www.arpps.org B: http://www.riverparkwayblog.wordpress.com

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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