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Sacramento plans homeless tent city

Aug. 18, 2009 at 8:24 PM

SACRAMENTO, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Officials in Sacramento, Calif., plan to set up a safe campground for the homeless with running water and trash pickup.

The proposal comes from a task force set up by Mayor Kevin Johnson, the Sacramento Bee reported. If the "Stepping Stone" campground is approved by the city council, it would open in the spring, when winter-only shelters close down.

Johnson set up the task force this spring after about 100 illegal campers were evicted from property owned by the Sacramento Municipal Utility Authority.

John Kraintz, 55, one of the evictees, called the proposed campground a "necessity."

"It makes no sense to have people continuing to sleep on the street, creating all the problems that go with that," he said. "We need to bring substance to chaos."

The tent city would house up to 60 people at a time, with maximum stays of 18 months. The goal is to create a facility, run by a board of residents, that would be a transition to permanent housing.

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