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Hours after launch, Sacramento's homeless reporting tool being called failure

Did Sacramento's new online homeless tool fail?
Did Sacramento's new online homeless tool fail? 02:33

SACRAMENTO — Critics are calling the City of Sacramento's brand new online homeless enforcement tool "a dud" on day one. 

The city sent messages to people using it on this launch day saying it doesn't have to respond to any of the complaints submitted on it. 

John Morales jumped on the new online unlawful camping complaint form as soon as it went live. 

"To complete the form, you just click on service request," Morales said. "And so I put down there are drug needles on the floor and in front of the park where children play."

Morales' complaint generated an auto-reply response that read: "The city has met its obligations for this fiscal year and is not required to fund additional services…"

"The city is not going to help," Morales said. 

"It's shocking and offensive," Political strategist Josh Wood said. 

Wood fought to create the online form through Measure O, which was passed by voters in November. It also created a city-county partnership and money for emergency shelters.

"People could say, 'Hey, in front of our business or in front of this place in our house, there's a homeless encampment. It doesn't meet the rules. We need you to come,' and it would create a process," Wood said. 

The complaint website was required to be up on June 21. The city met the deadline, only to deny people using it their requests.

Assistant City Manager Mario Lara said the City of Sacramento doesn't have the money to carry out the online complaint program.

"It's a matter of having finite resources," Lara said. 

"What about the surprise factor of this online form going live for the very first time today and the first message that someone gets when they fill it out is that the city isn't required to respond to it?" CBS13's Steve Large asked. 

"You know, we had published FAQs ahead of time," Lara said. 

Wood is calling out City Manager Howard Chan for failing the voters. 

"Because the reality is the voters superseded the city council," Wood said. "This isn't a city council ordinance. This is a voter direction to the city manager to do his job."

Now complaint filers are calling the new online form a "flub."

Lara said he believes the city is standing on solid legal ground with its decision

Measure O supporters are preparing for a political fight.

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