September Newsletter

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe. Psalm: 4:8

Dear Friend and Supporter of Loaves & Fishes,

Every night in Sacramento County, over 1200 people call a car, a bench, or a tent along the river “home.” Our shelters and transitional housing programs are overflowing. The affordable housing stock is full with years long waiting lists.

In 2008, a camp of over 200 homeless people sprang up behind the train levee near Loaves & Fishes. It was on property that sat empty, where they couldn’t easily be seen by their housed neighbors and where, for a while, they could evade eviction. They knew they wouldn’t be allowed to stay permanently on the land they did not own, but they literally had nowhere else to go.

Homeless Man

As the camp behind the railroad levee grew, friendships and relationships also prospered, a community developed, and together the residents gave each other a sense of security and safety. They dubbed this camp “The Wasteland”. The metaphor, not lost on those who named it, not only described the former dump where they camped but the campers themselves who been cast aside and discarded by society. It became infamous when the Oprah show spotlighted it as Sacramento’s Tent City.

One unique group organized, helped each other, and developed their own rules and guidelines to ensure harmony and peace. They created “SafeGround,” a sleeping place free of drugs, alcohol, violence, and harassment. They continue to seek a permanent SafeGround,a simple, legal, safe place where homeless campers can stabilize their lives and build a pathway out of homelessness. Every night Safe Ground members camp together. They stick together as a united group, help each other, and abide by their credo of no drugs, no alcohol, and no violence. They are careful of the places they stay, and have strict rules for the campers to be conscious of the delicacy of the environment and to “do no harm.” Living as a community contributes to the leaders’ and members’ sense of personal empowerment and takes an incredible amount of ingenuity.

SafeGround Sacramento is now a 501(c)3 non-profit, seeking to create a permanent SafeGround. The first permanent “Safe Ground” is envisioned as a 2-5 acre campus with small, weather-tight sleeping cabins; common area facilities including a laundry, kitchen, dining area, showers, and restrooms; a vegetable garden area; social services and employment support. A community of 60 to 100 homeless people at a time will heal and flourish there. As residents are able to find permanent housing and move on, new members will be welcomed.

May we ask you, as a loyal and open-handed friend of Loaves & Fishes, to also help make the dream of SafeGround a reality?

SafeGround is a separate non-profit charity, independent from Loaves & Fishes. If you would like to make a donation, please go to right away.

Love & Peace,
The Loaves & Fishes Community
P.O. Box 13495
Sacramento, CA 95813
Phone:(916) 446-0874

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Street Address:
1351 North C. St.
Sacramento, CA 95811

PO Box 13495
Sacramento, CA 95813

Phone: 916-446-0874
Fax: 916-446-0875


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