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Sacramento’s proposed Safe Ground lot at Sutter’s Landing Park brings renewed criticism

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A popular Sacramento park could become a place for people living in RVs and cars to stay, at least temporarily. 

It’s a new proposal floated by City Council Member Katie Valenzuela. The details are still being hashed out, and while some people say they do want to help, they also say there is a better solution. 

The “Safe Ground” parking lot would be at a portion of Sutter’s Landing Park. 

“They have to find someplace, I understand. But right here, no,” said nearby resident Ana-Maria Sanchez. 

For people living near the park, it’s a hard sell. 
City purchases 102 acres in South Sacramento for affordable housing, homeless services

But if the city proceeds, Valenzuela said the site would be monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It would also have a fence around it, and they would ensure access to restrooms, garbage collection, food, water, and case management services. 

Only RVs and cars will be allowed — no camping. 

I’m all for it, but it should be monitored properly,” said Andy, who lives in his car. 

Andy has been homeless for the past three years and currently lives out of his car. He said it has been difficult to find the resources he needs. 

The city’s first Safe Ground parking lot opened near a portion of Highway 50, which allows unhoused people and their families to park without risk of being towed. 

Andy said if the proposed lot is going to be like that one then no thanks. 

“If the mayor wants to do something open us space for us that is free and safe. Not a tweaker heaven like on Broadway,” Andy said. 

“Camps surrounding it looks disorganized. The way people are living it’s pretty inhumane,” said Nick Kufasimes, vice president of the East Sacramento Improvement Association. 

The ESIA is also concerned about the unwanted camps the parking lots can attract. 

“If it was working there then I would be completely for it. I see what is going on there and I would say maybe perfect that, then come back to us,” Kufasimes said. 

The goal is to offer parking to the unhoused population at the recently purchased Job Corps site in the Meadowview area, but Valenzuela said it could take several months before that location is ready. 

“Help up. Help us. I want a safe place to park,” Andy said.

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