Festering encampments are inhumane

Assemblywoman Marie Waldron

Surveys indicate that 70% of Californians see homelessness as a big problem. That’s under­standable since almost one half of all unsheltered homeless per­sons live in California, though we have only about 12% of the nation’s total population. Over the past three years, our home­less population increased by over 22,000 persons, to almost 174,000. In San Diego County, the homeless population in­creased by 10% in the last year alone. California spent $20 bil­lion on the problem in recent years, but homelessness has only gotten worse.

Immediate action must be tak­en. That’s why I joined Senator Brian Jones to co-author Senate Bill 1011 (SB 1011), which cre­ates a concrete and humane so­lution for homelessness. The bill will prohibit a person from sit­ting, lying, sleeping or storing personal property on a street or sidewalk, and within 500 feet of a public or private school, parks or major transit stops.

SB 1011 mirrors actions taken recently by several local governments. These include the City of Los Angeles, which banned homeless encampments near certain schools, parks and daycare centers, and the City of Sacramento, which banned encampments within 500 feet of schools, childcare centers, col­leges and hospitals SB 1011 will require enforce­ment officers to provide infor­mation about sleeping alter­natives, homeless and mental health services, and/or shelters in the area. The bill requires a 72-hour warning period before an encampment is cleared to give homeless persons a chance to find a shelter or other ser­vices. After the 72 hour warn­ing period, the camp can be de­clared a public nuisance, and in­dividuals may be charged with misdemeanors or infractions, at the prosecutor’s discretion.

Drug abuse and mental ill­ness are major root causes of our growing homelessness cri­sis. Allowing homeless encamp­ments to fester in our communi­ties without intervention or care for the homeless is inhumane. The negative impact on home­less persons themselves and on the safety and overall quality of life in surrounding communi­ties should not be allowed in a civilized society.

Assemblymember Marie Waldron represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legisla­ture, which includes most of rural eastern and northern San Diego County.


  1. No there not all mental and not all are druggie. Some are just down on hard times..losing your job and the domion effects happens. Nobody is above anything. So stop judging and help the homeless people. They are people who have hearts and feelings. Don’t want to be homeless and judging them. Like dogs get better treatment than our homeless people. Wake up and throwing them. In jail shame on you. They need a home of there own. To call home. And the property owners. Need to raise the rent some more. So there is going to be more and more homeless people. Due to greedy property owners. True.. so help not condem.. maybe if you really want to help with this issue of homeless people. Go talk to them yourself. Don’t just guess. Because you are wrong about the homeless people and the problem. Only got worse. So do talk. Actions are better than false promises you people are talking about. End of my comments..do something…


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