By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Sacramento opened its first city-sanctioned Project Safe Ground site for the unsheltered underneath the W-X freeway on 6th Street downtown.

Project Safe Ground creates a place where the homeless can camp or park their vehicles and not face the possibility of eviction from police.

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It is a new sign of the times. City signage in red letters can be seen proclamining the Safe Ground.

City leaders installed port-o-potties and handwashing stations over the weekend, giving the Safe Ground some necessary sanitation.

One 64-year-old man says he has been homeless for four years. He hopes to gain permanent housing through Project Safe Ground.

“I’m praying that everybody takes advantage of the program and gets them a place,” he said.

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Mayor Darrell Steinberg says the location will also include tiny houses placed on the Safe Ground footprint and include social workers and housing specialists to help people transition from homelessness.

“Helping people, and cleaning the city, cleaning up the city are not opposites. They go together,” Steinberg said.

 

It’s a new step in fighting Sacramento’s homeless crisis.

There were about a dozen people taking advantage of Project Safe Ground on the first full day of operation. The city expects more to arrive throughout the week.

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“This is a potentially great turning point for the city,” Steinberg said.