Government Giveth And Government Taketh Away

Posted: May 8, 2009 in Bureauacracy, Government, Homeless Shelters, Homelessness, Housing, Money, Politics, Stupidity

The city of Sacramento, California contains three distinct governmental bodies.

One of these is the state’s legislature. The second, is the city’s local government. Then, of course, since the city is the county seat of Sacramento County, the County Board of Supervisors (or whatever they call themselves) is also headquartered there.  

Considering all of the embarrassing media coverage the city has been getting over the dismantling of its now infamous tent-city, you would think that the County’s Board would be diligent to try and avoid ending up with egg on their face.

Then again, since we are talking about politicians and bureaucrats, it didn’t surprise me to read an article in the Sacramento Bee announcing that the county’s Department of Human Assistance has come up with a few budget cuts to try and save money.

And guess who those budget cuts will affect straightaway?

Yep. You guessed it – the homeless.

According to the article, Proposed Sacramento County cuts would close 3 homeless shelters, if the county’s Board of Supervisors approves the budget cuts, three homeless shelters will be forced to shut down. That would mean a loss of 350 shelter beds.

And would you believe it? One of the shelters which would be affected is the winter shelter at Cal Expo.

That’s the one which Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and the City Council rushed to find funding for and add additional beds to. And all in an effect to provide some form of shelter to the "tent city" residents who were displaced by its dismantlement.

If the budget cuts are indeed approved, then there will be former tent city residents who will be further displaced. Then what?

It’s a pretty safe bet to say that the city doesn’t want another tent city popping up – especially so soon after having made public statements to the effect that those folks would be provided shelter.

The saga of Sacramento’s tent city is far from over. Which means that I will definitely be keeping tabs on things as they progress – or as it may be in this case: as they seemingly digress.

I’m not sure who it was over at the county’s Dept of Human Assistance who thought up the idea of cutting funding to those shelters as a way of "saving money." However, whoever it was – they’ve just earned themselves a SLO Homeless Stuck On Stupid Award.

The only thing I can think of which would be more idiotic than someone proposing these particular cuts would be if the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors actually approved them.

That would be worse than stupid…


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