By Velena Jones

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A controversial move is being considered in Sacramento to address the city’s homeless crisis. City leaders are deliberating an emergency ordinance that allow tiny home communities and tent cities in several neighborhoods.

The city has already allocated $3.5 million that could buy up to 500 tiny homes. If the ordinance passes you could start seeing the tiny homes pop up in your neighborhood as early as this year.

In his four years living on the street, Mark Singh says his biggest battle to getting back on his feet is having a place to lay his head.

“It’s been a mixture of ups and downs,” he explained. “Just to have a roof over your head and running water, electricity; that’s half the battle right there.”

The city of Sacramento is looking to change that. Soon you could be seeing in temporary shelters like tiny homes, trailers, and tents popping up throughout the city.

“We cannot build permanent housing fast enough to address the very real, dangerous, unsafe, unhealthy out on our streets. We must have real interim solutions,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

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The city identifying a number of areas where these shelters could be located from south Sacramento to Natomas, including potential places like the Sleep Train Arena.

“I would be able to get cleaned up to go look for a job, I would be able to have the clothes to go look for a job and I would have enough self-esteem that people wouldn’t think that I was homeless,” said Christopher Lamb.

Shelters would be located at least 500 feet from areas like schools, daycares and parks.

“I think if there are regulations that people have to abide by, it would be a good idea,” said one Natomas resident.

While some Natomas neighbors agree there is a need, the potential moves come with concern.

“There are so many people that need shelter. If it brings drug use, crime or stuff like that we definitely don’t want to attract that,” said Natomas Resident, Kayie Bassett.

Steinberg says the homeless crisis is already here and this could be a step closer to solving it.

“You are already experiencing it in your neighborhood but you’re experiencing it in the most negative way. People are living outdoors in your neighborhood and that is not acceptable,” he said.

For this to work, the mayor says faith-based partners and non-profits will have to be willing to host or run some of these sites. The city council will vote on the ordinance next week. If passed, it would take effect immediately.

Velena Jones

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