SOUTH SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Several families are fed up with the homeless disturbing the dignity of their dead loved ones.

“It’s sacred ground, it’s our family,” said Sarah Clement.

Homeless campers are being accused of disturbing the dead and desecrating the peaceful environment of the Sacramento Memorial Lawn Cemetery.

“Walking on them and urinating on them, it’s so disrespectful,” said Dorene Perez, who has a sister and grandfather buried there.

She can’t believe homeless, who’ve set up camp in a vacant field adjacent to the cemetery property, are now disrespecting their loved ones.

“There’s a lot of family, a lot of history there,” said Sarah Clement, who has generations of family and her nephew who passed away before his first birthday buried at the cemetery. “I get to go visit him in the ground and I want them to stay off that ground and leave my baby alone.”

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The sheriff’s department estimates there are up to 35 tents set up near the cemetery. The property is surrounded by a barbed wire fence, but people have cut a hole in it to make access easier and the problem is getting worse.

CBS13 has learned the camp has grown since the sheriff’s department’s raid on a large scale camp just blocks away two weeks ago.

So far, the cemetery says no headstones have been vandalized nor graves dug up, but the homeless have caused thousands of dollars in damages. It certainly has taken its toll on families whose loved ones should rest in peace here for eternity.

“I wouldn’t do that to their family and they shouldn’t do that to ours,” Clement said.

The sheriff’s department says these people are trespassing on private property, and are working with the property owner and the cemetery to keep homeless out.

Jennifer McGraw

Comments (2)
  1. Eileen Kephart says:

    CBS is demonizing the homeless for the second time in two weeks, this time regarding homeless folks who are disrespecting the dead at a local cemetery. Walking on the gravesites and urinating on them is disrespectful and should not be done, but the cemetery says no headstones have been vandalized nor graves dug up, which would justify the uproar. Last week’s “Let’s demonize the homeless” article dealt with displaced people whose camps are lowering levee levels and, apparently more importantly, endangering levee properties. This week’s gripe is also about property; the “crime” this time is about (yikes!) trespassing on private property. Journalism is supposed to be impartial, but CBS’s recent articles show a shameful level of anti-homeless bias. The unsheltered Sacramentans are already being booted from their levee camps, and now they’re being kicked out of their encampment next to the cemetery. Our woefully inadequate homeless shelters are filled to capacity. WHERE ARE THE HOMELESS SUPPOSED TO GO?!! In both the levee and the cemetery cases, powerful, moneyed private property owners were able not only to displace the homeless campers; they were also influential enough to effectively demonize an already disenfranchised group of people. Regarding the displaced and unsheltered, Sacramento is but a microcosm of American society. If a society is judged by “how it treats the least (advantaged) among us”, as is often said, then American society is a dismal failure on a most fundamental level.

  2. Eileen Kephart says:

    Correction: …Property owners were also influential enough to effectively demonize the homeless through highly placed articles in the press. They have no shame and no conscience.

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