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Funds for emergency shelters slashed

May 28, 2009 6:41:21 AM PDT
Sacramento officials are cutting nearly half of the funding for the county's emergency shelter beds.The move comes on the heels of the city closing down a so-called tent city, where over 200 people had set up places to stay.

Sister Libby Fernandez, director of a Sacramento homeless outreach program, says privately funded shelters in Sacramento County are turning away 300 men, women and children every night. She says of the 200 people who were promised help, a dozen have gotten housing.

"We need to establish some sort of safe place for people to go," said Fernandez. "Some place, either private property or public property, and say hey, you can sleep here tonight because there are no shelters, there's not enough options for housing."

Fernandez says that if something isn't done soon, homeless will return to sleeping in doorways, under bridges, and creating new tent cities along the American River.

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