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Authorities Clean-Up After Clearing Homeless Camp Along Stockton Blvd

CBS 13 (Sacramento) — Cleanup crews will return Thursday morning to help clear out a tent city on a vacant lot along Stockton Boulevard.

This comes after a contentious standoff Wednesday morning. All homeless campers are now gone, but Environmental Health officials will be coming out to assess the soil on the lot because there were hand-dug latrines on site. The grounds will be disked and trees removed. At the end of the day, authorities locked the gates locked and a security detail set up for the night.

More than a dozen protesters and homeless advocates squared off with Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputies Wednesday morning. They were trying to stop what they called the eviction of dozens of homeless people who set up a tent city in the last four months in the empty lot there.

"The system is just failing us. We are falling through the cracks I guess," said a homeless woman who just found out she was pregnant.

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department said they offered social services through homeless outreach several times, even bringing buses to take them where they can find help.

"We are not pushing them off the property now but we are encouraging them to leave and they are filtering out," said Lt. Shaun Hampton.

The camp has grown in size and became has become a public health concern due to human waste, used needles, and filth.

A homeless man named Steve said, "it's hectic because when you are out here you are not protected. We are all vultures and wait for the next person to leave his stuff unattended and then we have at it."

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Those living there say they are struggling to get back on their own two feet.

"I stay there because I have no place to go. I have been put in low-income housing, I am doing what I need to do to get outta here," said Tyrese Stewart.

But business owners nearby have had enough.

"Unfortunately some of the bad people criminals element are making their way up and down the boulevard and breaking into cars and stealing and robbing," said Ron Bozeman, who owns a nearby business.

Police will be at the site throughout the cleanup and there will be padlocks on the gate. The plan is to build low-income housing here but there is no start date for construction.

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