Photo: Getty Images
Santa Rosa has been through a lot in the last few years.
Unfortunately, a popular bike trail for residents is now home to the largest homeless encampment in Sonoma County history and it's California's fault.
In just the last year alone, homelessness throughout the Golden State has seen a 16% surge compared to last year. It's widely believed to be because of the result of the skyrocketing housing costs.
Residents in Santa Rosa don't care though. They want this situation take care along their bike trail ASAP.
"It's an occupation. It's taken over our neighborhood," Stuart Kiehl, who's been an resident of Santa Rosa for 20 years. "It means lower property values. There are people that are 40 feet away who have townhouses. Who would want to buy their house?"
Officials are working to clean up this area but the vagrants who have taken over don't want to leave....
"I love it. I put myself here," a 40-year-old vagrant who's lived on the trail for the last seven months. "I don't live out here; I thrive out here. I have everything I need."
Experts believe the homeless encamped here don't want to leave because residents are known to drop off food and clothes for them every once in awhile.
The city of Santa Rosa has been in emergency-response mode since 2017 after the deadly Camp Fire rolled through.
Since the fires, this homeless encampment has been a main goal for Santa Rosa officials.
"I absolutely acknowledge the tremendous anger and frustration in the community and in the neighborhood, and it's warranted," said County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, whose district includes the trail. She's become the target of a recall effort over it by annoyed residents
For more information, check out the rest of the story at CNN.