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California cities are cracking down on homeless camps. Will the state get tougher, too?


Technically, the encampment of about a dozen tents at W Street and Alhambra Boulevard in Sacramento is illegal. 

The tents, tarps and associated debris — clothing, a discarded crib, boxes of rotting food — are blocking the sidewalk in violation of a new city ordinance. Located on a major thoroughfare and across the street from a neighborhood of houses, the camp is one of the most complained about in the city, said Hezekiah Allen with Sacramento’s Department of Community Response. 

But on a recent Tuesday morning, his team wasn’t out there threatening to arrest people, or even telling them to move. Instead, city outreach worker Jawid Sharifi was greeting encampment residents, whom he knew by name, with fist bumps. Gently, he inquired whether they’d given any more thought to moving into a city-run trailer park for unhoused residents.

“Whenever you’re ready,” Sharifi told a man in a black hoodie who emerged from a tent. “We’ll come back here in the afternoon also to talk to you guys.” 

California lawmakers want to know why billions in spending isn’t reducing homelessness


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