By Jennifer McGraw

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — County leaders are considering spending millions more to solve problems caused by homeless campers along the American River Parkway

“Pornography, spent needles, human feces by the ton,” said Bob Slobe who’s family has owned property along the American River Parkway for more than 100 years.

He said it’s now too dangerous to go there.

“If I took you on a walk, which I don’t recommend, there’s literally hundreds of camps, and it’s not safe, and so you can’t recreate, and you should be able to,” Slobe said.

Growing complaints led the county to launch new enforcement efforts in January targeting the area between Cal Expo and Discovery Park.

In the first 17 weeks, rangers found 373 camps, made 156 arrests, and issued 590 illegal camping citations.

They also hauled away 120 tons of debris.

New statistics show the numbers of homeless living outdoors in Sacramento is now more than 2000, an 85 percent increase just two years.

“Now I’m just trying to save money to get there,” said Earl Cropper of Sacramento.

He is one of those campers and said he just has nowhere to go.

“You still got a watch out for the Rangers, but you know they’re just doing their job, if you got to move, you got to move,” he said.

Now the county is considering spending between 3 to 5 million more on increased parkway enforcement.

But critics say that still won’t solve the problem.

“If you talk about moving or citing 150 campers, of course, they’re back in the next day, and again it’s just a tiny percentage of the number of people camping there,” Slobe said.

Still, the county is taking steps to hopefully help some get off the streets.

“It’s our job here in the community to do what we can for our community and hopefully for the people in need,” he said.

The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors will meet on Tuesday.

Jennifer McGraw


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