Commentary: Plan needed for Sacramento's homeless

This editorial appeared in The Sacramento Bee.

As the recession deepens, the number of people who are homeless and destitute continues to rise. The most visible manifestation is the scattered tent city that has risen in Sacramento next to the Blue Diamond plant and the American River.

Even in better times, homeless people and transients camped in this area – perhaps 40 at any time. Now that number has risen to roughly 400, and it grows daily, according to Loaves & Fishes, a charity that serves the homeless.

To date, Sacramento city officials have let this encampment grow, and volunteers have pitched in to pick up trash and provide other services.

The response says much about this community's compassion. But it has also led to an ever-growing encampment that is unsafe and unsanitary, both for the campers and for people who use the American River Parkway.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Sacramento Bee.