SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A Sacramento city leader made an emotional plea for the homeless community after learning of a homeless man dying at Cesar Chavez Park.
On Sunday, Sacramento City Councilmember Katie Valenzuela said she’s heartbroken over the news that she found out about the night before.READ MORE: Elk Grove Unified Fires Employee Who Placed Confederate Flag In District Van
Sacramento police told CBS13 that an officer responded to the park at around 7:30 a.m. Sunday after fire crews found a man deceased. Police also say the coroner is taking over the investigation and the cause of death is still being looked into.
The overnight death came after several months of heated debate at city council over the homeless crisis in Sacramento. A deadly storm hit the homeless hard, while warming centers were left closed.
When overnight warming centers were opened, several COVID positive tests forced them to close again.
Valenzuela also took to Twitter to voice her concerns following this death.
She had posted a thread of tweets calling for greater attention saying, “We must move more quickly. We must get these people inside.”
I'm heartbroken that another unhoused neighbor died last night in Cesar Chavez park.
We must move more quickly. We must get people inside.
— Katie Valenzuela (@katie4council) February 28, 2021READ MORE: Arrest Made After Person Fatally Stabbed At Gathering In Modesto
CBS13 spoke with Valenzuela at Cesar Chavez Park about her call for action that was posted online.
She said that on Tuesday, city staff will propose to move money away from opening more warming centers toward the hotel housing program for the homeless.
She opposes this option and wants more to be done for the homeless.
“We can front that money with something else. It just seems like we keep shuffling the resources around. They’re never growing and they’re significant or substantial enough to deal with the crisis that we have,” Valenzuela said.
Police also said there are no signs of foul play in this investigation at this time.
CBS13 reached out to Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s office for comment regarding the councilmember’s comments and tweets.
The mayor’s office sent us the following statement attributed to Mayor Steinberg, “We will not accept the status quo on homelessness, untreated mental illness, and substance addiction, as just the way it is.MORE NEWS: Man Dies Following Amador County Sheriff Pursuit
“The City is close to opening multiple overnight shelters and leasing hundreds of new hotel rooms for our unsheltered residents. It is not either or. We will invest more federal, state, and local resources in expanding our capacity on all fronts.”