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Santa Rosa police clear half of homeless encampment at Fremont Park

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Christopher Chung / The Press Democrat
Christopher Chung / The Press Democrat

Going tent to tent on Wednesday morning, Santa Rosa police cleared homeless residents from the western half of Fremont Park in downtown, where their presence near a grove of redwood trees constituted a fire hazard, according to city authorities. Those living in the eastern half of the plaza were not required to leave.

The encampment at the 1.7-acre park, also known as Cancer Survivors Plaza, had grown substantially over the past month, the latest in a series of large unsanctioned homeless encampments on public property within the city this year. On a recent weeknight, the nonprofit Sonoma County Acts of Kindness served dinner to 105 people living in the park off Fourth Street.

Wednesday’s police action resulted in no arrests, according to Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Jonathan Wolf, and served as a reminder of how intractable the problem has become: it marked at least the fourth large-scale eviction of homeless people in and around the city in the past six months, since over 200 people were forced to leave the Joe Rodota Trail in late January.

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