Coaches, parents protest potential homelessness housing site placement near baseball fields

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The City of Sacramento continues to work on addressing the homelessness crisis and getting those people off the street and into a safe area.

But one Sacramento-area Little League is against the city’s proposed option of housing them near where they play.

The Airport Little League has been home to countless kids. The president of the league, Joanne Jauregui, hopes it remains that way.

“We’re not going to go anywhere; we hope we don’t go anywhere,” Jauregui said.

It’s a wish she’s made after finding out the open land between the fields near the Sacramento Executive Airport in South Sacramento could be used as a place to house those without a home.

In helping address the homelessness crisis, Sacramento is hoping to open more “safe ground” and “safe parking” sites like one location near W and 6th street. The site is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is staffed around the clock with case managers, offering services to help the unhoused get back on their feet.

The site is one of at least 20 that leaders are looking at across California’s capital.

“We were shocked about it,” said Jauregui.

Parents held a rally Saturday morning opposing any such move, saying they already deal with issues relating to the unhoused near the field and they’re afraid it could get worse — and crime could rise.

“It’s scary, it is scary,” said parent and coach Jessica Martinez. “Why does it have to be across the street where our kids play?”

The proposed site near the baseball fields falls under Vice Mayor Jay Schenirer’s district and he told FOX40 they are a long way before a final decision will be made, they still need to speak with the league.

“We have quite a lot of vetting and work to do,” Schenirer said. “We can’t solve this by ourselves. To be successful as the city, it’s going to take everyone working towards a similar set of goals.”

But the vice mayor makes this promise:

“My commitment to the community, that before we do anything we will sit down with the community and have those discussions on an ongoing basis so we can hopefully get everyone on the same page,” Schenirer said.

Schenirer said the city has spent a year working with the community before opening the W/X bridge site and they will work with the community again before making a final decision.

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