|SACRAMENTO – Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones (R-San Diego), other Republican and Democrat Senators, local government officials and homeless advocates this morning announced the introduction of Senate Bill 1011, a measure to compassionately clear homeless encampments. A video recording of the press conference can be found here. Californians can sign a petition in support of the measure here.
“Californians should not have to tolerate the encampments that now fill our open spaces with trash, needles, and human waste,” said Leader Jones. “We know that clearing encampments is possible when there is the political will to do so—just look at San Francisco during the APEC conference. It’s dangerous, inhumane, and unhealthy for homeless individuals to live on sidewalks, near our schools and transit stops, and in our open spaces. It’s also not safe or fair to nearby neighbors and local businesses. Our bipartisan SB 1011 will help compassionately clear encampments, clean up California, and protect public safety and health.”
Modeled after the City of San Diego’s successful “Unsafe Camping Ordinance,” Jones’s Senate Bill 1011 would compassionately clear encampments by:
- Prohibiting encampments within 500 feet of sensitive community areas such as schools, open spaces, and transit stops. This will help protect our most vulnerable populations – children, seniors, and families.
- Prohibiting camping on sidewalks if a homeless shelter is available. This will help protect pedestrians’ need to utilize sidewalks for travel without unfairly inconveniencing homeless individuals.
- Requiring a 72-hour warning before an encampment sweep. This will give homeless individuals a chance to find alternatives and services before their encampment is cleared.
- Requiring enforcement officers to provide information about sleeping alternatives, homeless and mental health services, and/or homeless shelters in the area. This will help connect homeless individuals to desperately needed services as we compassionately clear encampments.
More information about the measure can be found here.
“Our SB 1011 strikes the appropriate balance between accountability and compassion in helping tackle the homelessness crisis while putting public health and public safety as the top priority,” continued Leader Jones. “Our measure will hopefully help end the public camping in sensitive community areas while also compassionately assisting the homeless to get treatment for their mental and health needs and find a more suitable place to stay. Simply buying more tents and saying ‘problem solved’ is not acceptable.”
The bipartisan SB 1011 is principal coauthored by Senator Catherine Blakespear (D-Encinitas), coauthored by Senators Marie Alvarado-Gil (D-Jackson), Bill Dodd (D-Napa), Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield), Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), Roger Niello (R-Fair Oaks), Janet Nguyen (R-Huntington Beach), Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa), Kelly Seyarto (R-Murrieta), Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita), and Assemblymembers James Gallagher (R-Nicolaus), Heath Flora (R-Lodi), Juan Alanis (R-Modesto), Megan Dahle (R-Bieber), Joe Patterson (R-Fresno), Bill Essayli (R-Corona), Kate Sanchez (R-Rancho Santa Margarita), and Laurie Davis (R-Laguna Niguel).
In addition to several legislators from both parties, numerous other supporters of SB 1011 were in attendance at today’s announcement, including Escondido City Councilman Joe Garcia, homeless advocate Brett Boman, and social media influencer Ricci Wynne (known for exposing the homelessness crisis in San Francisco).
Click here for a fact sheet on SB 1011, which is in the Senate Rules Committee awaiting assignment to a policy committee for a hearing. It is similar to Jones’s Senate Bill 31 of 2023 and is modeled after the recent “Unsafe Camping Ordinance” enacted by the San Diego City Council.
What they’re saying about SB 1011:
“Public spaces are not living spaces. People deserve to live inside, and the public deserve to use their parks, sidewalks and streets as they were designed. This bill is a step toward creating that reality.” – Senator Catherine Blakespear (D-Encinitas)
“Addressing the widespread issue of homelessness is a shared responsibility to ensure our most vulnerable populations receive the proper care, resources, and shelter to begin rebuilding their lives. While we must work together to safeguard our children and families by providing a clear path to our sidewalks, schools, and public spaces, it is imperative we guarantee dignity, respect, and support to those facing homelessness. I stand behind Senator Jones’ initiative to prioritize compassion and equitable treatment for all members of our community.” – Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil (D-Jackson)
“Solving the homelessness crisis is not a partisan issue and I’m happy to join with colleagues from both sides of the aisle to connect homeless people with services and get them shelter.” – Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa)
“We must approach this challenge with empathy, compassion, resolve and accountability. It is not enough to simply acknowledge the problem; we must take meaningful action to address it. That’s why I stand here with Senator Jones and support his legislation for it will provide Compasionate, Safe and Accountable solutions.” – Escondido City Councilman Joe Garcia
“By compassionately clearing encampments, we aim to ensure that families can go about their daily lives without having to worry about the dangers posed by homeless individuals with mental health issues, trash, and drug paraphernalia. Our goal is to strike a balance between accountability and compassion. We want to ensure everyone’s needs are met and everyone feels safe in their community, and we believe that we can achieve this by working together.” – Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa)
“I’m a lifelong San Francisco resident and never have I seen such an exponential growth in homelessness. This Senate bill is a commonsense, no-brainer step in the right director and Senator Jones has my full support from San Francisco all the way down to San Diego.” – Ricci Wynne, social media influencer known for exposing the homelessness crisis in San Francisco
“Drive down the streets – walk down the road – my story is not alone, nor unique, and California needs to step up to tackle this issue. I am standing with Senator Jones again this year as address this issue with an improved bill. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, but a California issue. If you care about what is happening in California, I urge all members of the California State Legislature to join Senator Jones and those lawmakers who support his efforts.” – Brett Boman, homeless advocate