Southern California authorities took steps Tuesday toward shutting down a large homeless encampment and relocating hundreds of tent-dwellers to motel rooms under a court-supervised deal with lawyers who sued to protect their rights.
A federal judge walked briskly Wednesday with an entourage of government officials and lawyers along a bike trail by the Santa Ana River in Southern California, passing dozens of homeless tent-dwellers who must now look for a new place to live.
Working at the demand of a federal judge in a case that could have broad influence, public officials and homeless advocates have reached an agreement providing motel rooms and other shelter for homeless people who are being kicked out of an encampment in a Southern California riverbed.
Two deaths last month in the Russian River homeless community underscore the population’s vulnerability and the difficulty of finding solutions amid a prolonged standoff over a proposed year-round shelter.
Santa Rosa’s Catholic Charities and Petaluma-based Committee on the Shelterless are spearheading efforts to provide beds in shelters, housing support and a range of case management services for people who find themselves homeless.