Santa Rosa clears out homeless encampments near Rodota trail

- It was moving day for about 100 homeless people at a Santa Rosa encampment. Again.

For at least one woman it's the second move in just over a month.

"I just don't see why as a city we are not allowing camping," said Nicholle Bauer.

Bauer used to live about 50-feet away in tent camp in a parking lot.

When authorities cleared it out in April, many homeless went to shelters.

But Bauer and many others, simply moved here along the Joe Rodota Trail, popular with bicyclists and pedestrians. 

"We're not asking for a lot. We're just asking for a piece of dirt where we are allowed to be," said Bauer.

For employees at the nearby Catllemen's Restaurant headquarters, the camp posed some problems.

"There was some human waste, unpleasant things like that. We found some needles, so there is drug use. It is really a sad situation for these folks," said employee Mark Beyak.

There has been violence too. A homeless man was stabbed there,, a bicyclist punched in the face.

Outreach workers from Catholic Charities and Sonoma County were out offering beds and services.

"There is also a movement of people into shelters and into permanent housing. It is our agency's job to keep engaging with people to keep letting them know what their resources are," said Felicity Gasser of the Sonoma County Community Development Commission.  

Homeless advocates say today's sweep is the fifth in less than a year.

Police say the move has gone without problems. But the problem of homeless in Sonoma County is far from solved.

"I foresee another encampment. I hope it is not this size. Each time we get some people into services," said Sgt. Jonathan Wolf of the Santa Rosa Police Department.

We asked one homeless woman where she was planning to go.

Her reply?

"Probably down the road," she said. 

The clean up is expected to last through Thursday..

The county says of the 100 people at the camp, about 10 homeless people so far have accepted services.
    
 

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