Sherman R. Frederick
Sausalito Marin Scope
A homeless encampment has sprung up on city land adjacent to Dunphy Park.
Robbie Powelson of the Tam Equity Campaign, who has also been active in establishing impromptu homeless camps in San Rafael and Novato, said the campers in Sausalito “are now demanding that the city provide mobile bathrooms, hand-washing stations, trash services, and access to parking permits.”
He said that the camp began in December with “local leader, long time anchor-out, and lead plaintiff of the Standing Rock Occupation Daniel Eggink began occupying land on Dunphy Park in the name of indigenous sovereignty and as a sanctuary to people who are living outside.”
The camp has “ballooned” with the majority of campers being formerly “anchor outs” from Richardson Bay.
In a press release the City of Sausalito said:
“The City of Sausalito has been receiving calls and emails from residents with questions and concerns about a homeless encampment on City land adjacent to Dunphy Park.
“The Sausalito Police Department has been monitoring the site and its residents since the first tent was set up there in late December 2020. Since then, several more tents have been added to the encampment.
“Although some residents find the tents unsightly, current federal law limits the ability of municipalities to remove homeless encampments from public property. Based on a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Martin v. Boise, which the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review in 2019, cities have no lawful authority to remove the homeless or their tents except when they are able to offer alternative shelter or housing.
“The grey areas of the ruling are likely to be sorted out in the courts in the coming years, including questions about instances where health and safety concerns would justify the removal of outdoor encampments from public property.
“The City of Sausalito is currently working with local social service agencies to assist the individuals who are living at the encampment. If possible, alternate housing will be found for them.”
Powelson said many in the Sausalito “occupation” are refugees from boats once anchored out in Richardson Bay but destroyed by the City of Sausalito and the Richardson Bay Regional Agency.
(You can reach the writer via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.)