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Sacramento Vice Mayor calls to amend ordinance, ban homeless camps 500-feet from schools

The request comes after several incidents where students were harassed by homeless individuals.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento Vice Mayor Angelique Ashby is calling on Sacramento's city manager and city attorney to add schools and daycare facilities to the list of buildings that require a 500 foot buffer from homeless camps.

"We need to protect our kids. We need to keep the schools as safe as we possibly can. Dealing with homelessness is a multifaceted approach," said Ashby.

The request comes after several incidents where students were harassed by homeless individuals. Sacramento police say they arrested 22-year-old Jehu Kwahshean Dorsey-Oliver after he was tampering with cars and yelling sexually explicit remarks at children who were walking to Sutter Middle School last week. During Tuesday's press conference, Stephanie Crowe, a mother of three, shared some of her own experiences walking her kids and other students to Sutter Middle School. 

"We have been chased," she said. "One of the girls that I walk with, she's 13 years old, she almost got dragged into a car, she's been ran after."

While Crowe believes 500 feet is not enough, she says it's a start. Ken Stephens has lived in the McKinley Park neighborhood for 41 years and told ABC10 he hasn't had any problems with homeless individuals in the area. While he supports the idea of buffers around schools, he also questions if it will be sufficient.

"What if kids are coming from six or seven blocks and they walk and they still have to walk through them," said Stephens. "I think parents accompanying and chaperoning them when they walk is probably a better idea."

Childcare centers, universities and hospitals are already on the list of facilities that ban unsanctioned homeless camps within 500 feet in Sacramento's Critical Infrastructure Ordinance. Sacramento Mayor Darryl Steinberg said he's in favor of schools and daycares being added but says it must come with humane enforcement.

"I am for adding schools to our critical infrastructure. I think that makes sense, so I look forward to that coming forward," said Steinberg.

The  ordinance can be brought forward any time at the request of the city manager, and it can modified and implemented immediately by a vote of the City Council. It's expected to be discussed at the next meeting on Oct. 11.


Sutter Middle School student incident with homeless community sparks outrage

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