Homeless Encampment Takes On Sacramento And Wins Land

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Holly Porter, a quadriplegic homeless woman living in a tent in Sacramento, was the inspiration and co-founder of Camp Resolution, a self-government encampment run by the unhoused people who live there. A group of homeless women rallied behind Holly to push the city of Sacramento to get her into housing.

Around 60 unhoused people call Camp Resolution home. The city supplied 34 trailers; however, the living conditions within these trailers are constrained, as inhabitants are prohibited from using essential appliances like microwaves, stoves, and air conditioning. This limitation forces residents to primarily utilize the trailers for shelter, although the Sacramento heat renders them excessively hot.

At the forefront of the battle for unhoused individuals’ rights stands Crystal Sanchez, president of the Sacramento Homeless Union—an advocacy organization committed to securing housing for those in need. Drawing from her own experience of homelessness, Crystal’s dedication has positioned her as a driving force in aiding Sacramento’s unhoused population.

The City of Sacramento aggressively tried to intimidate Camp Resultion’s residents to leave, but after a series of actions and passionate testimonies at the City Council, the city reversed its threats to raid the camp. Instead, it has agreed to lease the property to Camp Resolution for no money.

In addition, the new lease binds city officials to an agreement: The people in Camp Resolution cannot be moved from the parking lot until every resident has been placed into permanent, stable housing.

Camp Resolution stands as a testament to the proactive strides unhoused individuals are taking to improve their own lives amidst governmental shortcomings. In stark contrast to the sanctioned encampments emerging in cities throughout the United States—a direct consequence of these cities’ ineffective homelessness policies—Camp Resolution distinguishes itself by its origin and administration. It is conceived and operated by the very unhoused individuals who call it home. Remarkably, this initiative manages to achieve its objectives at a mere fraction of the cost that cities expend on erecting tents on parking lots or tiny shack villages, politically referred to as tiny homes, which they are not!

Since our visit to Camp Resolution, Holly Porter has been placed into housing. The City of Sacramento continues to criminalize homelessness, often up to four sweeps a day.

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