Commentary: Do the Right Thing on the Homeless and Let the Chips Fall Where They May

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Last week’s discussion on homelessness witnessed the council, in the face of outcry from the Mace Ranch neighborhood, shift gears on the homeless respite center proposal and shift the site from the 3559 Second Street location to the corporation yard at 1717 Fifth Street.

Naturally, the council is now receiving complaints from the Davis Manor Neighborhood.

Staff noted, in advance of last week’s meeting, that before they undertook formal outreach to residential neighborhoods, they started receiving feedback (all of negative, it seems, from residents) regarding concerns about “the safety of schoolchildren who regularly traverse the Dave Pelz overcrossing.”

Others opposed a homeless center anywhere within city limits – although from what we saw, that seemed to be a minority view.

I went into the process believing that we need both a day location for homeless people to do basic things like wash clothes and get out of the weather, and I also believe we need permanent nighttime shelter – right now non-profits and religious organizations are providing temporary cold-weather shelter in town.

The Interfaith Rotating Winter Shelter stops operating by mid-March.  That means we effectively have no shelter for seven or eight months out of the year.

Where this should take place, I was largely agnostic.  However, I do agree with council that the 1717 5 Fifth Street location is far better for a number of reasons – closer to downtown and closer to services being the primary reason.

The staff apparently conducted their outreach to the business community first – businesses in close proximity to the 3559 Second Street location.  Looking at the timeline of events, it becomes
pretty clear that the council and staff brought this item back because of public outcry – primarily from Mace Ranch residents.

The Change.org petition and numerous heated posts on NextDoor seemed to necessitate the issue coming back to council sooner than anticipated.

What was a bit unsettling is that we saw Mayor Brett Lee pushing for city staff to move quicker and make sure we have the day center in place before winter sets in – even though it seemed like there was no rush to do this before public outcry started on the respite center location a few weeks ago.

“I would like to see something happen prior to the rainy season,” the mayor said.  “I am looking at weeks not months.”  He pushed back hard on staff.  But again I wonder, where was the urgency before this matter was placed back on calendar?

The public seemed fairly evenly split.  About half of the 43 public commenters expressed concerns about the Second Street location.  Most of the supportive comments were less site specific – focusing on the need for a respite center, with some student activists expressing concern about Davis shaming homeless people and the stigma that homelessness is equate to dangerousness.

The overwhelming sentiment of those opposed to Second Street was, “It’s just not safe for our kids.”

On the other hand a UC Davis student responded,  “I think most people are in favor of putting in a homeless shelter but when it comes to putting it somewhere in the city, it is always, somewhere else.  Somewhere else that is not near me.”

As Dave Griffin pointed out: “Every time this issue arises, it’s always no.”

That is my feeling as well.  While some people were flat out against a respite center, most took this position: “I’m not in favor of the Second Street site, but we have to put it someplace else.  It’s just not safe for our kids.”

Or this one: “We do care about the problem, the homeless.  It is a big problem here in Davis.  But we need to come up with a solution that works for everybody.  The Second Street one just doesn’t work for everybody.”

A lot of people argued that they were not against the homeless, that this is not NIMBYism – but are they correct?  The implicit assumption behind the argument that it is not safe to have homeless near the overpass is because they inherently present a danger to children.

But do they?  Few people cited anything other than fear and conjecture in support of their arguments.  No one delved into statistics or even studies that demonstrate this as a fact.

As Gloria Partida put it in her column: “Children are already riding past homeless residents on their way to and from school, we are already dealing with the effects of people living on our streets, off of our community gardens, outside of our businesses and setting up camps in our open spaces.”

And then she makes what to me is the critical point: “The difference is that they are not supervised or having intervention delivered to them in these spaces.”

This is the part that I don’t understand either, in the opposition of the near-neighbors or people opposing the housing-first model – we already have people living on the streets and present in our community.  Is it better for them to be unhoused and unsupervised?  Or it is better for them to have a place to go, a meal, a bed to sleep in and then hopefully we can cobble the money together for other services?

I think staff got it inevitably correct: no matter where the respite center is put, near-neighbors and others are going to complain.

It is unfortunate that the council responded to all of this negative feedback by moving the location.  However, at the end of the day they did the right thing by putting it in the best available location, from what I can tell.  They did the right thing.

They will undoubtedly get pushback now from the Davis Manor community.  But in the end, they will see how this works.  It’s only a brief pilot and if the program makes things worse, they’ll undoubtedly have to shift it again.

—David M. Greenwald reporting


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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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44 thoughts on “Commentary: Do the Right Thing on the Homeless and Let the Chips Fall Where They May”

  1. Rik Keller

    Is the City doing “the right thing?” The staff report states the the best course is not to pursue a temporary daytime program at all, but to focus on increased permanent beds.

    How did the Vanguard switch from being location “agnostic” to saying that the new location is the “best possible,” without comparative site analysis of the new location being done?

    Why is the Vanguard still ignoring the fact that the City had a secret outreach program with businesses for months and five separate meetings, but did nothing to involve community residents?

     

  2. Eric Gelber

    In general, I would agree with Rik about the benefits of outreach to local neighborhood residents. In the case of the 2nd Street site, outreach was apparently limited to local businesses—perhaps because this site is in a business district, not a residential area. What “community residents” would the City have been expected to reach out to? Those complaining were from distant neighborhoods who complained that children would be endangered because the site was located in proximity to a bike route. That’s quite an extensive “backyard.”

    NIMBYism is typically voiced by small but vocal minorities based on assumptions, stereotypes, and fears that are not fact-based. The city should listen to those concerns and mitigate them where possible—but ultimately the Council must do the right thing.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Largely agree Eric.

      Worth noting from the staff report: “In addition to businesses, staff received significant input from residents, primarily from the Mace Ranch neighborhood, before formal outreach to the residential neighborhoods could be undertaken.”

      The city apparently was going to reach out to the neighborhood. If you look at the businesses that they reached out to: they were all immediately located along Second St far closer than the residential folks.

      · Arcadia BioSciences
      · Buzz Oates
      · Davis Chamber of Commerce
      · DMG Mori
      · HM.Clause
      · Pacific Gas and Electric
      · Ramco Enterprises
      · Stillwater Sciences
      · Stratovan
      · TechnipFMC
      · UC Davis

      Thus the timeline seems to have become compressed more than originally intended (remember the council meeting itself was not until July 30

      1. Rik Keller

        It is completely false that all of those businesses in the list are “far closer than the residential folks”. Just as one example, FMC is 900-1,000 feet away from the proposed 2nd Street site, while dozens of residences across I-80 are closer than that (plus those residences use the bike path which is literally adjacent to the proposed site).

        And when exactly was the City going to conduct outreach to the affected community/residences? It would have been on the same insufficient and accelerated timeline that we are seeing for the Manor neighborhood now. Contrast that with the 2nd Street businesses that had a catered secret AND private outreach for months.

        1. Eric Gelber

          Come on now. Regardless of how the crow flies, residential areas separated by an interstate highway, railroad tracks and a major thruway can hardly claim proximity or that the proposed site would have significantly impacted their neighborhood in a unique or significant way. And, with Davis’ extensive network of bike routes, pretty much anywhere is arguably connected to everywhere else.

        2. Rik Keller

          Eric: if one of the primary transportation route for adjacent neighborhoods is right by the street, how can you claim that they wouldn’t be affected? And how can you claim that businesses 1,000 feet or more away from the site should have been more of a priority to provide outreach to?

        3. Eric Gelber

          … how can you claim that they wouldn’t be affected?

          Rik – Define “affected.” Some complained merely that it would be visible to kids from the bike overpass. What other evidence-based “harm” is being alleged?

        4. Rik Keller

          Eric: I don’t know the full range of claims being made. But I do know that in the secret outreach meetings that the City held with the businesses, they identified many of the same concerns, including bike path issues, visibility, etc. And the City treated these claims as legitimate enough to warrant a draft list of proposed mitigation measures. I guess it’s only NIMBYIsm if it is individuals, rather than the Chamber of Commerce, UC Davis, Mori, Schilling. etc. making the complaints.

        5. Rik Keller

          Eric G:  now a business owner (Don Shor) in the vicinity of the new proposed site has made the following claims about the impacts of such a facility:

          “City council and staff need to understand that there are likely to be some increases in petty crimes in the vicinity. We really need a clear expression of intent that complaints about vandalism, graffiti, public disorder, and other behavioral issues will be fielded and dealt with promptly”

          What evidence are we requiring for these claims? Should there be a different standard of scrutiny for claims like  this versus those made by community residents?

          The City certainly thinks that a lighter standard should be applied to business claims. It treated them  earlier in the process as legitimate and requiring mitigation, whereas it claimed that community residents would just complain no matter where the facility was proposed, and that no amount of mitigation would help.

          1. Don Shor

            What is so important about this aspect of the process that you have now literally made the same point almost twenty times? I seriously don’t get your indignation over this. If you’re a resident of Davis Manor, I urge you to make your views known on the site and the possible issues. If not, I don’t really see why you’re going on about it so much.

        6. Rik Keller

          Don Shor: I’m just commenting on this messed-up process and how bad of a job City staff and Council have done with it, and are continuing to do with it.

          Rather than complaining about me, it seems that your energy would be better spent providing evidence about all the crime that you say the facility is going to cause. Or are you just allowed to make these claims based on fear alone?

          Would you also like to discuss the parts of the staff report where they recommend against pursuing a temporary day-use-only-facility in the first place because it will take time and energy away from the largest need: permanent shelter beds?

           

          1. Don Shor

            Rather than complaining about me, it seems that your energy would be better spent providing evidence about all the crime that you say the facility is going to cause. Or are you just allowed to make these claims based on fear alone?

            My comments were my opinion, based simply on the observations by others of issues around existing encampments as well as the history of similar projects — albeit on a much bigger scale — such as Loaves and Fishes in Sacramento. I don’t feel compelled to provide you with any further evidence, nor do I think you could provide evidence that it won’t cause issues. It’s likely. That’s all I said. Please don’t start a process of embellishing, distorting, or misrepresenting my comments.

            Would you also like to discuss the parts of the staff report where they recommend against pursuing a temporary day-use-only-facility in the first place because it will take time and energy away from the largest need: permanent shelter beds?

            No. I think they can walk and chew gum at the same time. You evidently don’t think so. Let us know when you announce your council campaign.

        7. Rik Keller

          Ok, Don: then  just carry on describing the crime that this project will produce without providing any evidence for your claims.

          As far as walking and chewing gum at the same time, while it sounds so folksy and practical and all, most folks find that if they spend a few hundred thousand $ on shoes, they don’t have that much left over to buy gum, and vice versa. Put simply: City resources for addressing homelessness are scarce, therefore City staff recommends against this direction: “ If the goal is to devise a long-term shelter plan to address the rising number of persons experiencing unsheltered homelessness in Davis, then staff recommends foregoing all options in lieu of examining the feasibility of siting a permanent, year- round overnight shelter…” [from the 7/30/2019 Feasibility Report].

    2. Alan Miller

      Those complaining were from distant neighborhoods who complained that children would be endangered because the site was located in proximity to a bike route. That’s quite an extensive “backyard.”

      Then they are not NIMBYs.  They are people who know that the so-called homeless can walk.

        1. Alan Miller

          I don’t believe the majority have an issue with so-called homeless people as such, but rather the consequences of the categories of people I listed before that are sometimes called ‘homeless’, but that I can’t list because those words are banned here, but I’m supposed to know which words are banned and I’m shamed for not knowing that.

        2. Rik Keller

          The City 5th Street corporation yard site was apparently ruled out early in the process by City staff because of the potential impacts to the City’s own operations. It was not even included in the list of 5 sites that were evaluated in the Feasibility Report from July. This definitely seems a case of the City saying “not in my corp yard,” which has now led to months and months of delay in this botched process.

    3. Bill Marshall

      The city should listen to those concerns and mitigate them where possible—but ultimately the Council must do the right thing.

      The listening part I get and support, but the mitigation part I take great exception to…

      “Concerns” are seldom ‘evidence-based’… your statement, as written, is an open invitation to coercion, blackmail, pandering, manipulation, etc.

      “mitigate as appropriate/factually justified/warranted”, I can support…  mitigation if there is a demonstrable, factually-based issue… too often, your posit is used to manipulate land use decisions, even when the “concerns” are not evidence/factually based… aka, “caving” to quiet voices that may not have been justified in the first place…

      Or, do you believe wehrgelt (sp?)[blood money] is good public policy?

      The Mafia works that way… give us what we want, in order for you to get what you want or deserve…

  3. Alan Miller

    Naturally, the council is now receiving complaints from the Davis Manor Neighborhood.

    How dare people look out for the welfare of their neighborhoods.  Bad people.  Bad.  Bad.  And the rest of you who live out in your perfect Davis suburbs, you are good people, because you are not complaining, because they are no citing a so-called homeless facility near you.  You are not NIMBYs, because it won’t be in your back yard.  Especially the super-rich areas.  Not NIMBYs, because it is never going there. So super-rich people are good people.  Bad Davis Manor, with your mid-range house and your NIMBY NIMBY.  Let’s call them names and shame them for caring about their neighborhood.

      1. Bill Marshall

        Way “over the top” David… either have that second cup of coffee, or refrain from caffeine… your comment was way out of line… I’ve been admonished by “moderator”, for much less…

        Borderline violates at least one of the VG “rules”…

      2. Rik Keller

        Greenwald: that’s a classic straw man.

        And you said earlier that you didn’t care about the location at that you were “site agnostic.” And now you are claiming that this new site is somehow superior to all of the others, even though no comparative analysis of it has been done.

  4. Don Shor

    With respect to the repeated comment about “secret” meetings, I will just say that there’s a difference between ‘private’ and ‘secret’. Secrecy implies intent to withhold information, while private just means the public wasn’t invited to the meetings. If city staff sends me a note or calls to check when I’m in, then stops by my shop to talk about any issues I might have with a proposal, it’s not a secret meeting.

    Staff is doing the diligence the council ordered, in a rather compressed time frame. It makes perfect sense that they would contact the actual direct neighbors first, then try to arrange public outreach to residents – particularly when those residents are across several lanes of an interstate freeway.

    I suggest the disparagement of staff cease. They were doing their jobs.

    It is interesting to me that the consequence of pushback from the cross-freeway residents, who didn’t want this in their back yards, means it will literally now be in mine, right behind my business. My guess is outreach now will be hurried and will yield about the same feedback, but this sounds like a done deal at this point. So here are my thoughts and concerns.

    To our homeless neighbors who will be making use of the respite center, I hope that you’ll feel welcome and safe in our neighborhood. The safety and security of these individuals seems to go unaddressed in all the back and forth about where they should go to meet their day to day needs. The corporation yard and environs is very dark and pretty deserted after work hours.

    It isn’t clear to me where these folks are going to go at 5 pm when the gates are closed and locked behind them. I’ve heard vague discussion of shuttles to other sites, but realistically a lot of them are just going to be walking off into the night. In the winter, it’s already getting dark at 5 pm. For their safety and to allay likely concerns of nearby residents and businesses, it would be great to have a commitment from the police department that the site will be monitored into the evening. The site should be assessed for any need for further security lighting as well.

    City council and staff need to understand that there are likely to be some increases in petty crimes in the vicinity. We really need a clear expression of intent that complaints about vandalism, graffiti, public disorder, and other behavioral issues will be fielded and dealt with promptly. This should be considered something of a pilot program, and the unintended consequences will need to be monitored and reviewed after several months. Likewise, the costs to the public works department may exceed projections; it is a busy location with lots of items stored that need secure containment. Please don’t underestimate what the staff there will require in implementing this.

    There seems to be consensus that the folks who are homeless are likely to need more safety net services than the general population. My understanding is that most of those are addressed at the county level: physical and mental health issues, substance abuse programs, job training, basic income support. Bringing together a large number of people who need those kinds of help presents challenges and opportunities. It is likely to require additional staff, either liaison from city and county or directly from the appropriate county agencies, to steer people toward the help they need and ensure follow-through.

    The challenge is that people who work in social welfare programs are over-burdened already, with huge caseloads and insufficient funding. We would really need a commitment from the county and city to find the stopgap funding this facility might need in order to make it work for the benefit of the homeless. The opportunity comes from having the clients in a central location. The agencies and local governments need to rise to that opportunity and direct resources in a consistent manner. The county supervisors need to be a part of this dialogue if they aren’t already.

    So to our elected officials: you can’t just set this up and walk away from it. Wherever it is located, it will have impacts that need to be mitigated. Followup reports need to be detailed and honest, and there may be additional funding needed now and in the near future. Really, there’s a need for respite centers in other locations as well, but the likelihood of those will be contingent on the success of this one.

    1. Rik Keller

      Don Shor: you rightly make a distinction between “secret” and “private”. However, in this case the meetings were both secret AND private. The City did not announce to the public that they were happening, and only disclosed their existence after the fact.

      As far as the concerns you bring up: the City has already shown that it is more willing to listen to and address the concerns of business owners than it is with the general public. Also, don’t  forget that, according to City staff, impacts to businesses can be mitigated (even it it involves paying them $100K for increased security costs), but residential folks are unreasonable and there is nothing you can do to mitigate.

      However, now after wasting months, the City is on the fast track. And with articles like this saying that somehow after not even making the cut early in the process, the site chosen now is the best one, and that we should just “let the chips fall where they may,” you should be prepared for random chips falling on you and your concerns.

    2. Alan Miller

      those residents are across several lanes of an interstate freeway.

      Are they?  How do we know this?  Maybe we do.  So, the people just up the bike trail to the north on the same side of the freeway didn’t complain?  If not, shall we speculate, why not?  Are South Davis people just a lower grade of Davisite?  (not in my eyes, in the eyes of those casting the heavy “NIMBY” judgement and label)

      I suggest the disparagement of staff cease.

      Are there people disparaging the city staff?  I didn’t take it that way.  I took it as some were disparaging the City policy and process.

      It is interesting to me that the consequence of pushback from the cross-freeway residents, who didn’t want this in their back yards, means it will literally now be in mine, right behind my business.

      That was the plan all along — stick it to 5th Street businesses between L and Pole Line.  The strategy was probably hatched in secret meetings between South Davis residents and the King of Davis.  We have a king, right?  Goes with our moat.

      My guess is outreach now will be hurried and will yield about the same feedback, but this sounds like a done deal at this point.

      This is the strategy and how it works:  You want to site something at Point A.  You make a big deal, hold meetings, get in the media about Point B.  You generate hostility about citing your something at Point B.  Then you quickly switch to Point A while those at Point A aren’t around to fight it, and the timeline is now hurried.  Point A businesses and residential neighbors try to complain, but it’s too late, as it’s “a done deal at this point”.  Government 101.

      To our homeless neighbors who will be making use of the respite center, I hope that you’ll feel welcome and safe in our neighborhood.

      And we bless this food and say these words in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

      The safety and security of these individuals seems to go unaddressed.

      We are talking about a day respite center as opposed to hanging out largely downtown.  Are they not safe downtown during the day?

      The corporation yard and environs is very dark and pretty deserted after work hours.

      And it will be closed initially after work hours.  And eventually it won’t be deserted or dark if a night shelter is put there.

      It isn’t clear to me where these folks are going to go at 5 pm when the gates are closed and locked behind them.

      That’s what several folk protesting the 2nd Street site said as well.

      I’ve heard vague discussion of shuttles to other sites,

      What sort of sites would those be?  Vague shuttles operating on vague schedules dropping people in vague locations?  That should keep the protests down at the destinations.  Wherever they are.

      but realistically a lot of them are just going to be walking off into the night.

      And into Davis Manor.  Maybe camping in the mini park?

      In the winter, it’s already getting dark at 5 pm. For their safety and to allay likely concerns of nearby residents and businesses, it would be great to have a commitment from the police department that the site will be monitored into the evening.

      Which would take a lot more money.  I see this turning into quite the money suck.

      The site should be assessed for any need for further security lighting as well.

      Bright floodlights, or mellow 2700k Davis neighborhood streetlights?  Why should the so-called homeless be subjected to blue-white light at night?  Not to mention the neighbors on Pomona and other adjacent streets.

      City council and staff need to understand that there are likely to be some increases in petty crimes in the vicinity.

      I thought the so-called homeless were no more a threat to the housed than the so-called housed.

      We really need a clear expression of intent that complaints about vandalism, graffiti, public disorder, and other behavioral issues will be fielded and dealt with promptly.

      Ah, but they are indeed only “complaints”.  They won’t be real, because they are statistically more likely to have been perpetrated by the housed, right?  As are panhandling, bites by pit-mixes, loose dogs, garbage, public urination, outdoor defecation and the occasional insane person screaming at a citizen that they are going to kill them and **** their children in the *** after they are dead.  But that never happened.

      This should be considered something of a pilot program, and the unintended consequences will need to be monitored and reviewed after several months.

      Or, just suck it up and deal with the quite predictable consequences, Davis Manor!

      Likewise, the costs to the public works department may exceed projections;

      Have there even been projections made to be exceeded?

      it is a busy location with lots of items stored that need secure containment.

      What are some toxic chemicals, office computers and power tools among friends?

      Please don’t underestimate what the staff there will require in implementing this.

      I’m not!  Who said I was?

      There seems to be consensus that the folks who are homeless are likely to need more safety net services than the general population. My understanding is that most of those are addressed at the county level: physical and mental health issues, substance abuse programs, job training, basic income support.

      How do any of those needs change with or without new facilities?

      Bringing together a large number of people who need those kinds of help presents challenges and opportunities. It is likely to require additional staff, either liaison from city and county or directly from the appropriate county agencies, to steer people toward the help they need and ensure follow-through.

      This will be accomplished using new magic rainbow unicorn money!

      The challenge is that people who work in social welfare programs are over-burdened already, with huge caseloads and insufficient funding. We would really need a commitment from the county and city to find the stopgap funding this facility might need in order to make it work for the benefit of the homeless.

      And take that out of the pothole-filling fund.

      The opportunity comes from having the clients in a central location.

      Because all the people along the ditches, channels, bike trails and railroad are going to all come in from the cold, so our children can use the ditches to safely row to school again.

      The agencies and local governments need to rise to that opportunity and direct resources in a consistent manner. The county supervisors need to be a part of this dialogue if they aren’t already.

      In raising our taxes to pay for this.

      So to our elected officials: you can’t just set this up and walk away from it. Wherever it is located, it will have impacts that need to be mitigated.

      Yup.  And it will require more and more and more money to fund it as the program grows!

      Followup reports need to be detailed and honest, and there may be additional funding needed now and in the near future.

      But not from increased taxes . . .

      Really, there’s a need for respite centers in other locations as well,

      I would suggest five.  One for each of the new districts in Davis.

      Strong neighborhoods within districts may want to identify and stick the weakest neighborhood politically with the next so-called homeless facility.  Better start jockeying for power in round one of these upcoming district civil wars.

      but the likelihood of those will be contingent on the success of this one.

      And the success of this one will put Davis on the map and catch the eye of the mighty Homeless Industrial Complex.  Where it stops, nobody knows!

  5. Alan Miller

    Let the Chips Fall Where They May

    In other words, some neighborhood has to take the consequences of having the so-called homeless facility near them — if it happens to be you, suck it up.  Suck it up, Davis Manor.

    And no doubt some do-gooder-er in Davis Manor will say they are fine with it, looking down on all their neighbors who have complained, and proving their own moral superiority, to themselves.

    1. Bill Marshall

      If it was a “dry” facility, would you oppose one in your neighborhood?  The facility under construction @ San Sebastian and Fifth is only two football field’s length away from me… no worries on my part… ‘wet’ or ‘dry’…

      Just asking… no need for response…

      1. Alan Miller

        Just asking… no need for response…

        Odd comment, I thought the point of asking was to get a response.

        If it was a “dry” facility, would you oppose one in your neighborhood?

        No.   I believe, with no evidence locally, yet, that those who would attend such a facility are less likely to be a problem than those who currently pile up garbage in the neighborhood now.

        What I oppose is shaming those who have concerns.  The concerns are not unfounded.  I shame the shamers.  The shamers shame me.  And the world keeps on spinnin’

  6. Ron Oertel

    “And no doubt some do-gooder-er in Davis Manor will say they are fine with it, looking down on all their neighbors who have complained, and proving their own moral superiority, to themselves.”

    Why do I find this amusing?  Damn “do-gooders”, I guess.  😉

    Seems to me that there was once a publicly-subsided, relatively new facility (which previously served troubled youths) very near this site, on Fifth Street.  Probably could have provided an already-built respite center, housing, and services – all in one place.

    That’s o.k. – I’m sure there’s plenty of money and locations to start-over from scratch, again. Starting with a respite center that doesn’t provide a place to stay at night. 😉

    1. Bill Marshall

      Families First was a sham… City didn’t own nor have any claim to the property… your post is ill-informed, at best… please get real.

      You continually show you are opposed to any development/redevelopment that adds population…

      I suggest you support the ZPG organizations, if you don’t so already… financially…

      I had a couple of occasions to visit the Families First facility… not suitable for the proposed purpose… have you ever visited it?  I doubt it…

      1. Alan Miller

        I suggest you support the ZPG organizations, if you don’t so already… financially…

        Can’t speak for RO, but I support NPG organizations.  Actually, I support this mad scientist who is developing a plague that only attacks arseholes.  The idea is to rid the planet of arseholes, leaving it for those remaining.  Unfortunately, everyone on the Vanguard comments section, including me, will be eliminated when he succeeds.

      2. Ron Oertel

        Bill: Ownership of the site was not an insurmountable obstacle.  The city had control regarding the zoning of the site, and Families First was apparently under extreme duress.  I believe they also lost approval to operate the site, though I don’t recall the exact details regarding that.

        If there actually are public funds available for homeless services (e.g., beyond those provided by the city), that was a perfect opportunity for a combined public agency effort.

        Instead, the city is attempting to piece-together partial services, on its own. Probably leading to more problems, when the facility closes at night. Also wondering about the impact on the community garden, and those who use it.

        My thoughts regarding ZPG organizations are completely irrelevant.  Why would you even bring that subject up?

        Yes – I have visited the facility.  It would have been very-well suited to provide a respite center, housing, and other services.  Similar to what was provided for at-risk youth.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          “Bill: Ownership of the site was not an insurmountable obstacle. ”

          The zoning isn’t nearly as important as ownership. Ownership is far more important. The city would have had to purchase the property in order to put a respite center there. The funding to do that is not there.

      3. Ron Oertel

        It also seems strange that funding is somehow available to build an expensive, new facility at 5th and San Sebastian, but was apparently not available to save the already-existing Families First site/facility.

        Perhaps has something to do with the “mighty Homeless Industrial Complex”, and the manner in which it’s funded?

        Reminds me of how Affordable housing developers are “teaming up” with regular developers during campaigns, these days. (I believe the San Sebastian site developer is the same Affordable housing developer that teamed up with the WDAAC developers – during that campaign.)

  7. Ron Oertel

     The city would have had to purchase the property in order to put a respite center there. 

    Where did I state that such efforts would be limited to the city?  Also, where did I state that the site would necessarily have been limited to a respite center?

    Where are Affordable housing developers getting their money from?  (Hint – it’s not from developers, for the most part.  It’s from the State.)

    The value of the site was increased significantly, as a result of the city’s decision to change zoning to allow dense student housing on the site.

    I suspect that no one (let alone the owners of the site) “championed” its re-use. A lot more money to be made, as a result of the decision by the city to change the zoning.

    1. David Greenwald

      Whether you stated it or not, the city looked Specially at locations that they controlled to put the respite center.  The affordable housing developers for the most part have bootstrapped their developments onto land dedication from market rate developments.  It’s unclear whether a respite center would fit under that rubric – I don’t know either way, but given the hypothetical, it is largely a non-issue at this point.

      1. Ron Oertel

         The affordable housing developers for the most part have bootstrapped their developments onto land dedication from market rate developments.

        Evidence for that claim?  Didn’t you previously cite an example (in Sacramento) where that wasn’t the case?

        In any case – if your claim is correct, look for more “unholy alliances” between Affordable housing developers and “regular” developers – as witnessed during the WDAAC campaign. (And, promoted by you.)

        Again, the funding for the actual buildings is not coming from developers.  It’s coming from the state.  I see no reason that such funds couldn’t include land purchases – especially if the value of the land is limited by its current zoning.

         

        1. David Greenwald

          Evidence for that claim is go down the list of affordable housing sites and find the ones not attached to market rate housing.  Yes, a Sacramento non-profit raised the money to purchase a site but I think that largely proves my initial point – in order to have utilized the FamiliesFirst site, someone whether it was the city or non-profit needed to purchase it and the resources are largely not there to do it.  I think this is not only moot but wishful thinking.

        2. Ron Oertel

          Evidence for that claim is go down the list of affordable housing sites and find the ones not attached to market rate housing.  

          That’s not “evidence” of the requirements.  It may be evidence of what the Affordable housing developers “prefer” to do, when applying for funding.  Perhaps more money to be made for themselves, that way.  Non-profits are not always (*ahem*) entirely altruistic.

          Yes, a Sacramento non-profit raised the money to purchase a site but I think that largely proves my initial point – in order to have utilized the FamiliesFirst site, someone whether it was the city or non-profit needed to purchase it and the resources are largely not there to do it.

          Thanks for acknowledging actual evidence, which is the opposite of what you claimed.

          Again, funding comes from the state.  Not from the city, developers, or non-profits.  In fact, non-profits are the “receivers” of such funding.

           

           

        3. Ron Oertel

          Given the state (and city’s) supposed concern regarding preventing sprawl and encouraging infill, one wonders if the current incentives for Affordable housing are actually achieving those goals.  Especially when sprawl is the result of the alliance (“teaming up”) of market rate and Affordable development interests.  

          As usual, it seems that the process has been bastardized by moneyed interests, resulting in an outcome that’s the opposite of what was intended – using taxpayer money, no less.

      2. Rik Keller

        You keep using that word “bootstrapped”. I do not think it means what you think it means.

        [hint: “In general, bootstrapping usually refers to a self-starting process that is supposed to proceed without external input.”]

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