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Local panhandling arrests are the tip of the iceberg

Anyone with a set of eyeballs can easily confirm that the homeless panhandling situation is an ordinary fact of life in Arden Arcade. The County has placed fences along some median strips and prohibits aggressive panhandling. The Sacramento Bee article today discussed the local panhandling situation. According to the article, the Sheriff's Deputies try to help panhandlers before citing them. The Deputies work with county social workers and nonprofit entities to direct the homeless to needed resources, including treatment for substance abuse. The article said the County cites about 5 homeless panhandlers a month, but did not say how many homeless panhandlers are counseled per month. The article represents the overall low levels of citations for panhandling as indicative of a focus on referral to services. Are the referrals effective? Data showing a large concentration of citations in Arden Arcade -- largely devoid of services for the homeless -- seem to suggest otherwise. The article says the Fulton Avenue Association has seen some improvements since 2015--not as many regular offenders and reduced panhandling in medians--yet problems have continued.

"When you come onto Watt Avenue, you see panhandlers – it’s the norm. It doesn’t make for an inviting area."
Greg Logoteta, Executive Director of the Watt Avenue Partnership, in Brad Brannon's, "‘You can’t arrest your way out of homelessness.’ County cites less than 5 panhandlers a month", Sacramento Bee, 9/3/2017

OK, let's try to follow the logic: Homeless people panhandle to survive--they need housing and services. Responding to complaints about homeless panhandling, the County implemented  restrictions and built median fences. Panhandling kept going anyway.  Now the Sheriff's people cite offenders only “when outreach and education fails.” In Arden Arcade, housing and services for homeless people are pretty much non-existent. Arden Arcade has a higher level of citations, i.e. outreach and education fail more here than elsewhere.  Something is dreadfully wrong with this picture.   

May contain: gps and electronics
The Bee's graphic of Panhandling Citations shows activity concentrated in Arden Arcade
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