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Miller Park's Transition To Homeless Campsite Continues To Draw Concerns In Sacramento

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento's scenic Miller Park has turned into a temporary homeless campsite.

Starting Monday, Sacramento officials say the park will serve as a transitional site for unhoused people, but the unveil follows growing tension between city and county leaders.

Behind a fenced-in area, there are 60 tents – enough for about 120 people. Supporters say it's needed to address homelessness in Sacramento.

Drone13 captured a log line of identical tents. The site includes electricity and water for restrooms and showers.

Nearby park goers shared their impression of the city's plan.

"I guess it's a good idea for the homeless," one city resident said.

Some support the move but say it could come at a cost after boaters say they're concerned about crime and safety.

"With a bunch of people who are low on money, there can be some danger," said Julie Reynolds who lives in nearby Elk Grove.

City officials say the site will have 24/7 security with only one main entry and exit.

Some of the people living there will come from the encampment near the W-X freeway. The city is expected to disband those tents near Highway 50.

The Department of Community Response revealed 42 percent of the people living there found affordable housing. It envisions the same will also happen at Miller Park.

"Is to be able to use this location as a triage to get people into the continuum of care – into the suite of services – and get them to the locations that are going to help them – to be able to continue them to address their barriers to housing," said Nick Golling, the program manager for the Department of Community.

While the city shares its game plan, businesses and residents near Fair Oaks Boulevard and Howe Avenue are concerned about the nearby encampment.

Twin Peaks restaurant said it's been dealing with littering and theft. It even added additional lighting for security.

At the Original Mel's Diner, it says unhoused people will sometimes ask customers for money or dine-and-dash.

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Office passed out surveys to people in the area regarding the homeless.

the agency wouldn't say what's in the questionare, but defered to a statement issued by the sacramento county district attorney.

In a released statement, the district attorney said she received numerous complaints from the surrounding neighborhood.

"We are currently investigating whether those conditions are injurious to health, indecent or offensive to the senses, or an obstruction to the free use of property so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property."

The city says neighborhood concerns are real and legitimate. City officials say they met with county officials multiple times and are working on a solution.

Back at Miller Park, it's unclear how long this temporary campsite will be here.

As part of the 24/7 security, we're learning park rangers and police will monitor the area. Also, no drugs or alcohol are permitted on site.

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