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County discusses homeless problem

The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday discussed homeless issues, with supervisors and others pointing out that camps, veterans and services for the homeless all need the attention of local leaders.

The meeting came just weeks after the City of Sonora passed an ordinance that made it a misdemeanor to establish homeless camps on private property. Proponents of that law said such camps in the city have led to increased fire risks, environmental hazards and criminal activity. Opponents criticized it as a move to criminalize homelessness.


The Sonora City Council added a sunset period for the end of the year to the law to encourage local agencies to spearhead an effort to find solutions for homelessness.

Last year, the city and the county faced complaints about groups of homeless people and others loitering in Courthouse Square on Washington Street. The park is in the city limits but owned by the county, and local business owners complained at the time about increased crime and other impacts on downtown tourism.

In October, the Board of Supervisors agreed to spend $20,000 on security cameras for the park with the city police handling surveillance.


For the complete story, see the Aug. 6, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.    

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