Santa Cruz Indymedia :
Santa Cruz Indymedia

News :: Poverty & Urban Development

Homeless Being Forced To Find Help (SL Streets)

Homeless in Contra Costa being forced to leave camps.
Written by Scott Sowle Oct. 26 2005

On Tuesday in Contra Costa County California a task force of local and state law enforcement officers launched a sweep of homeless camps giving them 48 hours to vacate or be arrested.

This recent action is an attempt to bring the homeless in from camps to shelters in their areas, along with trying to clean up the so called pollution. They also have been quoted that "authorities want to break the cycle that keeps homeless people moving from one city to another as they are ordered out of one area."

Some of the encampments were contacted by service providers earlier in the month providing them information on shelters and the services offered, but most choose to still remain in camps. Even if all of the homeless campers would choose to stay at a shelter, Contra Costa County would not have enough available beds.

This show of force by Contra Costa County officials may actually have a reverse effect for the homeless and perpetuate more distrust with service providers and law enforcement. The homeless may move on to another location and continue their evasive actions when being encouraged to seek out help.

SL Streets has attempted to contact Cynthia Belon, who is Director of the Contra Costa Homeless program concerning this method of trying to force the homeless to move into shelters and awaits a reply.

(C) SL Streets 2005

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