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Homeless advocates file lawsuit to block Sacramento from clearing homeless encampments from some areas

Homeless advocates are suing the City of Sacramento over a measure on the November ballot that would allow the city to clear homeless encampments in certain areas. The lawsuit, filed by five nonprofits, says the measure violates a 2018 appeals court ruling, which says governments can't criminalize living outdoors when shelter isn't available. Measure O, though, would require the city to create thousands of shelter beds and make it a misdemeanor for the homeless to camp on city streets if they refuse a spot in a shelter. It would also allow the city to clear groups of four or more from camping on public property. The lawsuit is asking a judge to block the measure from appearing on the November ballot. "This measure does nothing to end homelessness in Sacramento," said homeless advocate Howard Lawrence. "In order to stop homelessness in Sacramento, we need to stop the inflow of people who are becoming homeless."

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