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What the Rise in Homelessness Means for Sacramento Businesses

SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento businesses and homeowners are reporting the homeless population is directly interacting with business and homeowners more than they have in the past.

According to the latest homeless count data, the amount of people without permanent housing in Sacramento has increased 30 percent since the last time data was collected in 2015. Now there are an estimated 3,665 homeless people living within the city.

Downtown and midtown businesses seem to be making adjustments as a direct result of the homeless issue.

Businesses near concentrated homeless areas, such as highway overpasses, throughout the city say they're seeing more homeless people near their storefronts.

Some have dealt with vandalism as camps get set up on or near their property. Many have now made investments in security cameras and fences to keep customers and employees safer.

Others have reported damaged property. Some restaurant owners FOX40 spoke with Friday say customers are put off by large concentrations of homeless people near a storefront.

Veronica Beaty, policy director with Sacramento Housing Alliance, says the biggest issue is simple -- not enough affordable housing.

She said there's been a major push to clean up camps along the American River Parkway, and that has made the homeless population much more concentrated in the downtown and midtown area. Now, businesses and homeowners say homeless people are directly interacting with business and homeowners more than they have in the past.

Homelessness doesn't seem to be affecting the downtown or midtown housing market in a major way. Realtors who spoke with FOX40 with said it's still a sellers market, and homes are hard to come by because they're being sold so quickly.