SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The California Highway Patrol and Caltrans crews are clearing homeless encampments across Sacramento.
They’re the communities in the shadows of our freeways—mobile communities of homeless people now on the move again.
“I’m just making it you know day by day wherever I find a spot,” said Mark Orneles, who spoke to us from the side of Highway 99 and 47th Avenue.
Mark Orneles may find a new spot. But his buddies will stick with the old.
“They tell me to move, I’ll just be right back here,” says Alex Mclarney, who spoke to us from a tent at W and 3rd streets.
“We come back and clean ’em and the following week you’re almost starting over,” said CHP Officer Michael Bradley.
It may be an endless job, but the CHP is just getting started. Officials issued warnings to dozens of homeless encampments in South Sacramento, giving them 72 hours to vacate, citing safety hazards from illegal campfires, to drug crimes.
Caltrans workers are tossing needles, mattresses, tents, and mountains of trash. And apparently, this isn’t the only baggage. CHP officers are partially blaming Sacramento city officials for pushing homeless out of downtown, and into hiding.
“They kind of push them into the outskirts,” said Bradley.
A city spokeswoman says, “We simply enforce keeping the right of way open for the public to safely access.”
Whether they’re in the city, county, or state jurisdiction, the homeless that are evicted aren’t resettled anywhere. They’re offered services. Whether those here take, it is another question.
The part that is certain is that these camps along the underpasses have run their course.
“They have all their garbage all alongside here, and it’s disgusting to me,” said a woman who lives near one of the encampments.