A Democrat district attorney has sued the city of Sacramento, alleging city authorities were not doing enough to remove the homeless from the streets, causing "Third World" squalor for homeless people and a hazardous environment for city residents.
District Attorney Thien Ho of Sacramento County filed the lawsuit against California's capital two months after he threatened city officials with the action if changes weren't made, the Sacramento Bee reported.
The 36-page lawsuit bemoans the city's "descent into decay and this utter chaos."
“The unhoused deserve to feel and be safe,” the court filing said. “Among the chronically homeless, those who have been unhoused for over a year, 9 out of 10 women have been victims of sexual assault. ... During the recent heat wave in the summer of 2023, unhoused people were seen walking on the sizzling sidewalk barefoot. During the cold winter months of 2022, unhoused people were seen wrapped in blankets standing in the pouring rain."
Sacramento County had nearly 9,300 homeless people in 2022, based on data from the annual Point in Time count. That was up 67% from 2019, the AP reported. Roughly three-quarters of the county’s homeless population is unsheltered, and the majority of that group are living on Sacramento streets.
The lawsuit focuses equally on the squalid conditions endured by the homeless and the problems wrought on housed residents, The Washington Examiner noted.
“It’s not compassionate to let someone die in the sweltering summer sun or freeze to death in the cold winter night. It’s not compassionate when someone in a wheelchair cannot use a sidewalk blocked by tents or a small business is forced to close forever due to repeated broken windows and vandalism.”
Democrat Mayor Darrell Steinberg responded: “The frustration that members of our community feel is absolutely justified. The council has endorsed and is pressing for strong enforcement of our codes and the law. But the D.A.’s lawsuit will not clear a single sidewalk nor get a single person off the streets."
The issue of homelessness is grave across California. About 171,000 people living in the state are homeless, and make up nearly one-third of all the homeless people in the United States, The New York Times reported.
There are 40,000 more homeless people in the state now than there were six years ago.
Extreme poverty and high housing costs in California cause homelessness in the state, according to Dr. Margot Kushel, the director of the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative at UCSF.
“We’re a state, like every state in this country, that has a lot of very poor people, and we just don’t have the housing for them."
Peter Malbin ✉
Peter Malbin, a Newsmax writer, covers news and politics. He has 30 years of news experience, including for the New York Times, New York Post and Newsweek.com.
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