Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Safe Parking Request

I write to you with the Thursday homeless meeting in mind, the reasonable use of Lot D at the Fairgrounds, covering 30 - 40 Parkers, for the cost of cleaning the toilets and showers, that apparently there will be Parkers who won’t have a safe legal place to spend the night.

You’ll likely remember D was the site of Safe Park the winter of ’14, for which CC and the county were lauded by the Chron and LA Times.

There has been nothing preventing their return, except Shirlee, who says it is too far from downtown and too expensive.  There are many homeless people who have jobs or income that make the drive an easy one compared to sleeping at a curb.  It is closer to downtown than the Methodist Church on Stony Point or the Synagogue.  

It was expensive in ’14 because use was conditioned on hiring a 12-hour attendant and a drive-through guard.  In the three months there was no infraction of the rules.  I was there several times in the evening, talking to the attendant, who told me she was glad for the job, but there was no need for her or the guard, and Parkers who were very grateful for the place to be safe.

One was a woman who might have been the model for Rockwell’s Thanksgiving grandmother.  She had a degree in history and worked for more than 40 years as a nursery school teacher.  I asked how she happened to be homeless.  “Until 3 years ago, my future was secure, all in order.  Then it exploded.”  I didn’t ask what exploded but it’s easy to make intelligent guesses.  “You have no idea how blessed it is to have a place to take a pee and wash my face in warm water before I go to sleep."  

Commonly, 2 or 3 Parkers would stick their heads in the office and tell the attendant she didn’t need to have Fairground staff come clean the toilets and showers.  They’d done it.

So it’s not too far and not expensive.  No one pays anything for use of the facility.  The Fair uses it marginally for horseman-parking during the fair and that can be shifted.  The only cost would be cleaning.  I’m confident a small team of regular Parker volunteers could be asked to clean before they leave, or they could be paid minimum wage.
Arguments that this location isn't a safe and useful resource are absolutely bogus, and failure to make use of Lot D is criminal if you know stories of curb-Parkers who have been harassed or accosted by the SR police. 
A mild-mannered man, I know, (never been in trouble with the law) and corresponded with in San Quentin was incarcerated because of an altercation with SR police that began when they rapped on his window, shined a light in his face and told him to move.  He worked as a welder fabricating stainless tanks, carried PTSD from Viet Nam, was sleeping in his truck because he and his girlfriend had a disagreement.  After being boosted by the police, and given a $265 fine, his life spiraled out of control and violating a condition of his first arrest lead to SQ.

I remember there was faultless Safe Parking at the Fairgrounds Lot D, the winter of ’14 with toilets and showers.  Virtually no cost to the county.  Is there a reason Safe Park can’t return?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

News Articles on Safe Parking

News Articles on Housing First


Here are some articles you may have missed concerning "Housing First"(most recent on top)

LA to pay homeowners to build second dwellings for homeless

Costs associated with homelessness are high, suggesting need for shift to programs to end homelessness

New ‘Housing First’ strategy could be game-changer, study finds

Advocates tout success of Housing First in fight against homelessness

Housing-First, Services-Second Policy Lowers Cost Of Helping Homeless In Duval County


Will Old Remedy Solve Modern Housing Crisis?

San Diego Council To Vote On Motel’s Conversion To Transitional Housing

A new way to fight homelessness: Charlotte charity buys entire apartment community

More affordable housing coming to Oakland County

Juneau’s Housing First opening delayed until September


Madison's biggest attempt at Housing First for homeless produces hope and unease

Move in Day: Amarillo Housing First Furnishes Homeless Woman's New Home

Advocates tout success of Housing First in fight against homelessness

Amarillo Housing First cleans up with car wash fundraisers

HUD makes $2 billion available to homeless programs: encourages Housing First

lnspira Donates $50K to Help End Homelessness in South Jersey County by 2020

Grand Forks LaGrave on First project set for groundbreaking as soon as August

Housing first, then personal transformation for the homeless

Three year Housing First - San Diego plan kicks off

Housing people fast is five times cheaper than homelessness - here's why

Seattle City Councilman says ‘Housing First’ is Key to Solving Homelessness. But Is That the Answer?

Will County Declares and End to Homelessness for Veterans

Is This Complex Affordable Housing Deal a Promising Model or a Unicorn?

Group tackling homelessness one person at a time

Program to Spur Low-Income Housing Is Keeping Cities Segregated

Creating a Home for L.G.B.T. Seniors in New York City

House Republicans want to kill a key federal housing policy. City Hall is not happy

The Disappearing Downtown Shelter

Advocates tout success of Housing First in fight against homelessness

‘Housing First’ only process that’s proven to rapidly end homelessness

Don't Abandon Housing First

Ted Yoho urges Ben Carson to reverse Obama-era ‘Housing First,’ reinstate homeless shelter funds

Madison's biggest attempt at Housing First for the homeless produces hope and unease

Homeless cleanups in L.A. have surged, costing millions. What has been gained?

Miniature Homes: A Possible Solution For San Angelo's Homeless

1 in 5 L.A. community college students is homeless, survey finds

Seattle to Award $30 Million in Homeless Services Contracts

June 29th:

Sonoma County confronts state over $9 million in outstanding Medi-Cal mental health payments

June 25th

June 26th
June 17th

June 16th

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Interagency Council on Homelessness Tools


Here are some links to some important tools from the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness:

Criteria and Benchmark for Achieving the Goal of Ending Chronic Homelessness (https://www.usich.gov/tools-for-action/criteria-and-benchmark-for-ending-chronic-homelessness)
Ending Chronic Homelessness (https://www.usich.gov/goals/chronic)
Assessing Whether Your Continuum of Care Has Achieved the Goal of Ending Chronic Homelessness (https://www.usich.gov/resources/uploads/asset_library/Questions_To_Assess_Progress_On_Chronic_Homelessness.pdf)


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Scopes of Work and Budget for Catholic Charities contracts with the City of Santa Rosa


Here is a link to

Exhibit A-  Scope of Work
Exhibit B - Budget ($442,650)
Exhibit C - Quarterly Status Report
Exhibit D - Homeless Management Information System

for a contract between the City of Santa Rosa and Catholic Charities for some of the operation of Homeless Services HOST Program and the Mobile Shower for 2017-18.

Here is a link to:

Exhibit A-  Scope of Work
Exhibit B - Budget ($572,303)
Exhibit C - Quarterly Status Report
Exhibit D - Homeless Management Information System

for a contract between the City of Santa Rosa and Catholic Charities for the operation and use of the Sam Jones Hall Homeless Shelter ($442,803) and the Winter Shelter ($130,000) for 2017-18.

Note that the program design and budget for the operation of the Winter Shelter mirrors the design of the 2016-17 year, and has not been modified to reflect the "Housing First" model currently being discussed by the City.  David Gouin confirmed today that the contract for the use of about $460,000 of the recently-budgeted additional $600,000 - will be provided once approved by the SR City Council tonight.

Safe parking, sanctioned encampments, more storage, CHAP projects, more subsidized housing, rapid rehousing, and additional staffing to convert other sites to the "Housing First" model - will all compete for the remaining $140,000.