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  1. TopTop #1
    tommy's Avatar
    tommy
    Supporting member

    What to do about homelessness?

    The conversation on the homeless & Courthouse Square is complex, and difficult, with no easy answers. I notice at the Starbucks on 4th St, the tables and chairs that used to be outside, have been removed - I think because homeless used to occupy them for hours at a time. The 2nd St Post Office is no longer open during the night, as homeless started staying there at night, causing security and sanitary problems.

    I read how the residents of Guerneville voted against opening a homeless shelter at the 9 acre property on Armstrong Woods Road, in a public meeting. The article also stated that the residents were also opposed to West Co Comm Services employees voting - apparently they were in favor of a new homeless shelter.

    It's easy to be in favor of a homeless shelter, unless you live nearby. There are many sides to homelessness. Not only compassion and caring for the homeless, and programs to help them find a home, but also the social and behavioral problems that often accompany them.

    I often drive by Olive St Park in Santa Rosa. Usually the benches are filled with homeless, they're hanging out around the bathrooms. Due to that, I surmise that this is the last place that a woman would feel comfortable, to take her baby for a walk. The problem likely is that, the more services offered to the homeless, the more homeless will be drawn to the area.

    I think it's important to recognize all the sides of this issue, so that we can respond with compassion and awareness.
    Last edited by Barry; 05-15-2017 at 01:41 PM.
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  3. TopTop #2
    Dorothy Friberg's Avatar
    Dorothy Friberg
     

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    Quote tommy wrote: View Post
    The conversation on the homeless & Courthouse Square is complex, and difficult, with no easy answers. ...
    Some of these conditions will improve with the arrival of warmer weather. We have to own our homeless problem, and tolerance is a good beginning. I'm not surprised at businesses blanching at their presence, especially at those who do not clean up their messes. At one point I had no vehicle and had eye surgery (with the mandate to flush the eyes several times daily. I was unable to do so. Also, all my energy was consumed just trying to access and stand in line for the services I needed (mainly meals) By the end of the day I was exhausted just going to and fro.

    In my opinion, if neighborhoods got to know each other; possibly with a block party or community picnic, and then take responsibility for ONE homeless person, offering encouragement, part time work, hope for a future off drugs or alcohol (often used to dull their pain or to get to sleep); THEN that community is owning this problem and finding creative solutions to solve it. We have the resources, but do we have the will.

    Finally I'd like to call Guerneville's NIMBY citizens out on this issue. I attended the "Community Christmas " dinner there and during my whole meal the woman next to me complained about the "outsiders" living along the river and at various encampments. She ranted on and on about "these are not even our people". I know of at least one man who I was trying to encourage whose camp (not messy) was bulldozed into the mud during the rainy season losing all his possessions and driving him to drink more deeply. There are quite a few homeless there including homeless children. When West County Community Services had access to a large suitable property the NIMBYs raised hell purporting that children would be endangered on the way to school. This is not a valid fear and these folks need to look at the values they are conveying on said children. They have missed a golden opportunity to teach their children cooperation rather than fear.

    Thank you to all the members of the community who are willing to step up and offer encouragement and a good word to and for the homeless. These are our mothers, our fathers and our children.
    Last edited by Barry; 05-15-2017 at 01:41 PM.
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  5. TopTop #3
    jbox's Avatar
    jbox
     

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    Quote Dorothy Friberg wrote: View Post
    ...Finally I'd like to call Guerneville's NIMBY citizens out on this issue. ...
    If you are going to call out Guerneville as a NIMBY place you may as well have some more facts to consider. The lower River area has something like 250 plus homeless. Per capita that is 3 to 4 times the level San Francisco or Santa Rosa has. It has become much worse in the last few years. Violent crime and property crime is getting worse. Residents are afraid to go downtown, especially after dark. Our single ambulance is overused with homeless calls to the ER, leaving it unavailable for other emergencies. Law enforcement is inadequate and just today Sheriff Freitas announced really big cutbacks to the Guerneville substation. There are huge encampments along the River where volunteers have removed well over 100,000 pounds of garbage. The River and its banks are the dump and sewer for these encampments.

    Guerneville does not possess the infrastructure and services needed for such a large population, most of whom are from elsewhere. Sebastopol is smugly silent, though WCCS in Sebastopol has in the past printed up a flyer encouraging the homeless to go to Guerneville. That's a bit NIMBY, don't you think?
    Last edited by Barry; 05-15-2017 at 01:41 PM.
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  7. TopTop #4
    robert777's Avatar
    robert777
    Supporting Member

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    A homeless shelter including the idea of giving these people something to do may help. Activities or chores (possibly with pay) within the shelter won't force them to wander around all day.
    Help finding odd jobs outside, even if they're low-paying, will help alleviate the intense boredom that may accompany homelessness, and give them a few bucks in their pockets, making the need to panhandle less prevalent.

    Quote tommy wrote: View Post
    The conversation on the homeless & Courthouse Square is complex, and difficult, with no easy answers. ...
    Last edited by Barry; 05-15-2017 at 01:41 PM.
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  8. TopTop #5
    tommy's Avatar
    tommy
    Supporting member

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    There are pros & cons on the idea of part time jobs at a shelter. While it might lessen the boredom of the homeless, homeless shelters are not popular in neighborhoods, because they bring down the character of the neighborhood. What family with young kids would want to live next to a shelter?

    I read in the "Russian River Times" today that Sup Hopkins said she will not pursue the purchase of any property as a homeless day service center in the lower Russian River at this time. It seems that that's in line with the sentiment of the community.

    Homelessness is an intractable problem, defies solutions, and is getting worse. When I lived in San Francisco in the early 90s, there were homeless there, but I never saw any in visits to Santa Rosa and the Russian River Area. Obviously today, there are many homeless in Santa Rosa and the River Area.

    I say the problem in intractable, because it's grown out of changes in our "hourglass" economy: disappearance of middle class manufacturing jobs, shortage of mental health resources, shortage of programs to help the homeless, increase in the cost of housing, etc... resulting in people dropping out & living in the streets.

    Often the only thing I can do is offer kindness & spare change.

    Quote robert777 wrote: View Post
    A homeless shelter including the idea of giving these people something to do may help. Activities or chores (possibly with pay) within the shelter won't force them to wander around all day.
    Help finding odd jobs outside, even if they're low-paying, will help alleviate the intense boredom that may accompany homelessness, and give them a few bucks in their pockets, making the need to panhandle less prevalent.
    Last edited by Barry; 05-15-2017 at 01:42 PM.
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  10. TopTop #6
    rossmen
     

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    Yes sebtown is successful in chasing out. Guerneville and roseland struggle to catch up, in chasing out street dwellers that is. I have just delt with superior court, 10k to deal with a tenants moldy mattress on the floor in an abundant winter. We live in an area rich, with enforcement, attraction and attitude. To depend on laws to service ignorant compassion is to bubble yourself up. So confusing, if one choses to think.

    Quote jbox wrote: View Post
    I...Sebastopol is smugly silent, though WCCS in Sebastopol has in the past printed up a flyer encouraging the homeless to go to Guerneville. That's a bit NIMBY, don't you think?
    Last edited by Barry; 05-15-2017 at 01:42 PM.
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  11. TopTop #7
    Jude Iam's Avatar
    Jude Iam
     

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    "intractable problem"???

    $20 MILLION could only "buy a few houses", i.e. useless to help thousands people go from 'homeless and destitute' to housed, fed, working and well...

    i disagree.

    entirely a question of values and political will (determined by business interests rather than conscience).
    Last edited by Barry; 05-15-2017 at 01:42 PM.
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  13. TopTop #8
    podfish's Avatar
    podfish
    Supporting Member

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    Quote tommy wrote: View Post
    There are pros & cons on the idea of part time jobs at a shelter. While it might lessen the boredom of the homeless, homeless shelters are not popular in neighborhoods,....

    Homelessness is an intractable problem, defies solutions, and is getting worse. ....
    I say the problem in intractable, because it's grown out of changes in our "hourglass" economy: disappearance of middle class manufacturing jobs, shortage of mental health resources, shortage of programs to help the homeless, increase in the cost of housing, etc... resulting in people dropping out & living in the streets. .
    I don't follow your train of thought from part-time jobs to shelters being unpopular in neighborhoods. I think those are two unrelated issues.

    One thing relevant to both of your observations: that part-time jobs lessen boredom, and that there's an hourglass economy -- more and more people will have both issues. I don't see the hourglass going away. The number of people needed to run Facebook is a fraction of what it took to run GM. And when a general-purpose robot (look up "Baxter") can be bought for $30K (which they can't, yet) lots of jobs that are already at or below living wage will out-and-out disappear. As will lots of professional jobs. The 'basic guaranteed income' people are starting to get serious about doesn't quite work because too many traditional Americans don't feel valued/valuable without employment. So your first point: we're going to need part-time, make-do jobs that don't feel like that's what they are. And you second point is addressed by BGI plus some way to supplement it so people do have the ability for discretionary spending. I don't know how you get there from here, but it's either that or we may as well get Brazil to show us how to set up favelas.
    Last edited by Barry; 05-15-2017 at 01:42 PM.
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  15. TopTop #9
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    Thank you for sharing your own experience and vulnerability.

    I've always had a fantasy that if each (able) couple or family or intentional community would "adopt" one homeless person, giving them some responsibility, and some guidance, and sustenance, we could reduce the problem. I understand that no one wants alcoholics in their homes (unless they're "refined by wine") or drug addicts (unless it's prescription drugs). Many homeless people aren't addicts of any kind; but have lost jobs and then homes, and ultimately vehicles they couldn't afford to keep running. It's very hard to stay clean when you're living on the street. And living in shelters sometimes means sleeping alongside addicts, and those so desperate they'll steal from you. Another fact about shelters is that many religious ones will pressure people to take part in services that have no meaning to them.

    I know of a friend and previous neighbor who was given notice a couple of months before me. She's a senior, and had been living with and care taking an alcoholic man. When he died, she moved in with the next door neighbor who was also an alcoholic man. They were both abusive, but she couldn't afford to pay much rent, so she was trapped. When she received notice in October, she started sleeping in her car, with her cat. She ate at Taco Bell, showered the gym, and used the library computer to look on Craigslist for other positions. During the months that she was living in her car, I had her over for dinner a few times, and she was so grateful that someone cared.

    She finally found another live-in caretaker position, and was doing a job share with another woman. The other person wasn't pulling her weight, and my friend ended up doing the bulk of the work. The attempt at communication with the other woman failed. After a month of this, she took a leap and called a male acquaintance, who had said to call him if she ever needed help. He came to the rescue and moved her in to his home in Walnut Creek. Things looked pretty good, but didn't last long before he wanted sexual favors in exchange for housing. So, she packed up and moved on once again.

    She ended up living in a Christian shelter, with her cat living in her car. She said it was the most horrible living experience she'd had. In order to stay there, she had to go along with the irrational rules, and the attempts at religious indoctrination. Many of the residents were addicts, and trusting anyone was a big mistake. She doesn't drink or do drugs, but fell into a deep depression.

    She said that the only thing that kept her going was our connection through email and the phone. I was literally her lifeline to sanity.

    Her recent email said that she'd found a room to rent, but the landlady was unpleasant. She's trying to make some connections with other women that are stable, and don't know of her past as a homeless woman. She's sure that they wouldn't want anything to do with her. And it seems to be a sad and disheartening fact.

    I was given notice in Dec. 2016, and if it wasn't for the gracious invitation to stay on a friend's couch, I too would have been living in my car. The friend who offered me a place to stay didn't even know me that well, and some people who knew me, stopped communicating....maybe fearful of my new neediness.

    I spent 5 months on that couch, and had to navigate long flights of stairs which were painful for my knees and hips, but I was thankful for the shelter and someone who cared enough to house me. She didn't even want me to go when I recently finally found a room to rent.

    I've actually given shelter to several people in my lifetime when I was able to. Most were very grateful, and tried to give back; others took advantage. Sometimes all people need is to know that someone cares enough to reach out, with more than spare change. It's not without risk, but then life is risky, and we never know when we'll be on the side of the coin that means we lose. It can happen when we least expect it, and is happening every day in our county and beyond.


    Quote Dorothy Friberg wrote: View Post
    Some of these conditions will improve with the arrival of warmer weather. We have to own our homeless problem, and tolerance is a good beginning. ....
    Last edited by Barry; 05-15-2017 at 01:43 PM.
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  17. TopTop #10
    american dream's Avatar
    american dream
    Supporting Member

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    What a thoughtful, caring response to this thread... More than ever, we have to be there for each other, in whatever way we can. I have not been homeless, but have been too close at times and have given, shared, and received caring shelter from the heart.

    Quote Shandi wrote: View Post
    Thank you for sharing your own experience and vulnerability....
    Last edited by Barry; 05-15-2017 at 01:43 PM.
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  19. TopTop #11
    robert777's Avatar
    robert777
    Supporting Member

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    Thanks for the comment, but I don't understand this as a reply to my post.I know shelters are not popular. I'm talking bout ideas concerning the operation of exiting shelters, or ones that may exist in the future.

    Quote tommy wrote: View Post
    There are pros & cons on the idea of part time jobs at a shelter. While it might lessen the boredom of the homeless, homeless shelters are not popular in neighborhoods, because they bring down the character of the neighborhood. What family with young kids would want to live next to a shelter?

    I read in the "Russian River Times" today that Sup Hopkins said she will not pursue the purchase of any property as a homeless day service center in the lower Russian River at this time. It seems that that's in line with the sentiment of the community.

    Homelessness is an intractable problem, defies solutions, and is getting worse. When I lived in San Francisco in the early 90s, there were homeless there, but I never saw any in visits to Santa Rosa and the Russian River Area. Obviously today, there are many homeless in Santa Rosa and the River Area.

    I say the problem in intractable, because it's grown out of changes in our "hourglass" economy: disappearance of middle class manufacturing jobs, shortage of mental health resources, shortage of programs to help the homeless, increase in the cost of housing, etc... resulting in people dropping out & living in the streets.

    Often the only thing I can do is offer kindness & spare change.
    Last edited by Barry; 05-16-2017 at 10:37 AM.
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  21. TopTop #12
    nicofrog's Avatar
    nicofrog
     

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    i have been homeless or border line homeless for around 18 years; I have observed local homelessness closely,donated a few cubic yards of things to them. and ate and talked with ,picked up cigarette butts and had a sip of cheap beer with many.

    I will offer you a different perspective,and many of you especially land owners and realtors with dislike it.

    You are not having trouble managing citizens,you are having trouble managing your POLICE !

    homeless folks naturally just like you or me do not want to be right under everyone’s nose on the sidewalk,but every time they build a nice place to stay in the woods or bushes the cops come and route them out. I have seen the cops and dicks near the smart train tracks bring in a back hoe and destroy their tents WITH their possessions inside! the cops made them all come out,clear away from the tents ,and then destroyed them and put it all in a dumpster.

    they do this repeatedly,I talked to the cops they sited health concerns etc etc ,that does not excuse "Cruel and unusual punishment" NOTHING makes me madder than this I had to leave so I would not be arrested.
    (and I agree camps should not be below high water line on the river)

    like keith richards said about the stone's"We don't have a drug problem,we have a police problem"


    those cops are working for the city council that is working for the realtor’s who are working for YOU, land owners and land buyers and wine growers who want a nice little pristine Beverly hills type W.Sonoma county. Welcome to sidewalk incarceration,for the crime of living life differently ,these people must sleep on hard cold sidewalks (YOU WANT TO CALL IT BORING!!) LOL got a blanket? go out for a night or two,and see how "bored" you are((take a bottle of Tokay,you will need it around 3 am)) . you could sell boring.

    Why here? the HUMONGOUS quantities of wasted food in the dumpers here is staggering,thrift stores throw away hundreds of pounds of perfectly good items daily

    our PROGRAMS (Food Bank,Redwood Gospel etc ) are good ,the weather is beautiful a lot of the time,a lot of the people are beautiful and friendly(YOU) so why NOT stay here. I know a bush the cops don't know about yet!!

    So sorry no quick solutions here just yet... I am blessed I enjoy work and still can!

    what if there was a homeless run Rural Waste management,recycle and compost humanure group
    allow camps on unused property above water line,monitor for fire safety, clean and recycle all goods ,run simple humanure sawdust buckets (proven safe and effective if managed correctly in Sonoma county by ME.)

    Small villages could have tool lockers that allowed for yard work in adjoining neighbourhoods , shopping cart trucks could deliver green waste to small local compost systems .

    You might say that I'm a dreamer, but you are also wasting time and money(the county and cities do "studies " that cost ridiculous money ,bring in "experts" who talk of building houses((oh goodie,more realtors more money more contractors ) all for housing 5 more people (hopefully good Christian families with 2 1/2 children and no drugs booze or swearing... )
    Tiny home village? maybe if you can vary Zoneing, and keep the home owners ass. from having a cow

    so rage and rant on ,please label your post as "Having a Cow" so I can find it easily!!
    Last edited by nicofrog; 05-20-2017 at 06:28 PM. Reason: oops
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  23. TopTop #13
    podfish's Avatar
    podfish
    Supporting Member

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    Quote nicofrog wrote: View Post
    .....Why here? the HUMONGOUS quantities of wasted food in the dumpers here is staggering,thrift stores throw away hundreds of pounds of perfectly good items daily

    our PROGRAMS (Food Bank,Redwood Gospel etc ) are good ,the weather is beautiful a lot of the time,a lot of the people are beautiful and friendly(YOU) so why NOT stay here. I know a bush the cops don't know about yet!!

    So sorry no quick solutions here just yet... I am blessed I enjoy work and still can!

    what if there was a homeless run Rural Waste management,recycle and compost humanure group
    allow camps on unused property above water line,monitor for fire safety, clean and recycle all goods ,run simple humanure sawdust buckets (proven safe and effective if managed correctly in Sonoma county by ME.)

    Small villages could have tool lockers that allowed for yard work in adjoining neighbourhoods , shopping cart trucks could deliver green waste to small local compost systems .

    You might say that I'm a dreamer...
    I'm afraid you are, but your proposal or something like it seems to me to be the only humane and realistic way to deal with people who are unable to maintain (pay for) a permanent residence. Cunning plans developed by people who may have the best of intentions don't seem to be successful. You don't mention any plan to deal with those who because of mental illness or bad attitude couldn't thrive under that plan - it would require some organization and cooperation. I have no idea whether it's many or few of the homeless. Until town governments and neighboring people have some faith that the kind of community you suggest will be maintainable, it's not likely to happen.
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  25. TopTop #14
    podfish's Avatar
    podfish
    Supporting Member

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    Quote nicofrog wrote: View Post
    ...
    homeless folks naturally just like you or me do not want to be right under everyone’s nose on the sidewalk,but every time they build a nice place to stay in the woods or bushes the cops come and route them out. I have seen the cops and dicks near the smart train tracks bring in a back hoe and destroy their tents WITH their possessions inside! the cops made them all come out,clear away from the tents ,and then destroyed them and put it all in a dumpster.
    related -- I was just reading the comments on a WaPo article about the new proposed budget. There was an interesting exchange. The OP on it described a childhood of poverty and overworked parents, and said they wouldn't wish that on anyone. The comments after it were of the type that makes me despair for a solution the most. Several people said, "hey, that was my childhood too, we lived on rats and bird droppings, sewed till our fingers bled, but would never never take welfare. And look at me now, I'm pretty damn successful". Well, they were more modest than that, but I caught that undertone. In case you wondered, these are the Trump supporters that confuse liberals, who see them as voting against their own interests. They obviously don't see it that way. As long as that's a major component of American thinking, that hard work and good character is enough and that those who don't thrive in that environment don't deserve help, our society will continue to fail a good chunk of its citizenry.
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  27. TopTop #15
    Dorothy Friberg's Avatar
    Dorothy Friberg
     

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    While I understand your bitterness about these actions (direct violation of 4th Amendment "the people have a right to be secure in their homes, persons and personal property") it is not all negative. Just 4 days ago I was parked at night on a side street and heard rapping, flashlights, etc. for over 1/2 hour to which I did not respond. Finally a door opened and it was a cop and I said, "you did not identify yourself" to which he replied, ma'am I'm trying to help you, you are parked in someone's driveway, blocking it". My oops, I immediately moved and he had the tow truck right there ready for a tow. Thank you officer.
    Quote nicofrog wrote: View Post
    i have been homeless or border line homeless for around 18 years; ...

    I will offer you a different perspective, and many of you especially land owners and realtors with dislike it.

    You are not having trouble managing citizens, you are having trouble managing your POLICE !
    ...
    ...
    Last edited by Barry; 05-22-2017 at 05:10 PM.
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  28. TopTop #16
    tommy's Avatar
    tommy
    Supporting member

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    Great post Nico. I've been homeless myself. The main problem is if the govt authorities do not control the homeless, by tearing down illegal structures, making them move, not wanting them to sleep in Starbucks doorway, etc... if they provide great services, this will encourage more homeless to move to this area, which is not a desirable thing.

    While there are many good people who are homeless, there are also many in the homeless community who are alcoholics, druggies, mentally ill, thieves, criminals, etc. This is a fact. Accommodating them is not in the best interest of society. Our culture is based on self reliance, making something of yourself, contributing to society, etc. Homeless people are, in general, are not interested in these values. Who in their right mind would want to live next to a homeless shelter?

    Quote nicofrog wrote: View Post
    i have been homeless or border line homeless for around 18 years; ...

    You are not having trouble managing citizens,you are having trouble managing your POLICE !...
    Last edited by Barry; 05-22-2017 at 05:11 PM.
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  30. TopTop #17
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    There are also a good number of people who live in and own homes who are alcoholics, druggies, mentally ill, thieves, and criminals. Many of us live next door to them. How many of us really know our neighbors? These character flaws are usually well hidden in the sheltered, but the homeless are exposed for all to see, and judge.....and fear.

    Money is the deciding factor, and long as they can afford to live here, that's really the bottom line.

    Quote tommy wrote: View Post
    Great post Nico. I've been homeless myself. ...
    Last edited by Barry; 05-22-2017 at 05:12 PM.
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  32. TopTop #18
    podfish's Avatar
    podfish
    Supporting Member

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    Quote tommy wrote: View Post
    Great post Nico. I've been homeless myself. ...
    You have valid points, but I'd avoid the phrase 'government control'. And of course it's not a 'desirable thing' to encourage homeless to move to here, or for that matter to any centralized area. But I don't understand why so few follow their logic to the end. There's pretty much concensus on the problems and on the unacceptability of many solutions. All that says is that the solutions have to get more creative and maybe more disruptive. But the problem (better, the issue) won't disappear on its own. You have to accomodate them - the alternative is to 'fix' them or dispose of them. Neither seem likely or moral. That's what I liked about Nico's ideas. They lead to changing the way things work instead of pounding the round peg into the square hole or discarding the peg alltogether.

    There are hard things - the hardest is dealing with mental illnesses because our society also respects individual nonconformance. That's a win over most of history, but the price is paid by those who are ill, who are not just free spirits. But there's no agreement on where that line falls.

    Also as you say, there are many or most who don't want to live in an area where there are a lot of homeless (fix that first - there' shouldn't be homeless). Also many people don't want to live near frat-houses, town centers, freeways, transit hubs, roosters or barking dogs, and a bunch of other things. But some do. If there was a way to turn 'homeless encampments' into nonconformist communities, I'm sure interesting features would develop. Many of the homeless have trouble succeeding under capitalism. Many successfully people aren't all that enamored with it either, though. They might find common ground fairly easily.

    Your last point, "Our culture is based on self reliance" is to me a big problem. Why is everyone supposted to value that? There's a lot of loneliness and our high rates of suicide indicate that there's a problem. And culture-wide values themselves are a problem. It's too easy to equate being moral/normal to holding those values rather than others that are really equivalent. I think of the example of those who kept all their savings in low-rate savings and were screwed by the economics of the last ten or twenty years. I've seen people interviewed who feel betrayed, because in the post-depression era people were trained that conservative investment was safe, thrift was a virtue, and 'gambling' on stocks or spending too much on housing was too risky. They seem to uniformly believe that they're the moral, good folks and the world's gone crazy or even evil. Nope, they just were out of step with the evolution of what the culture values.
    Last edited by Barry; 05-22-2017 at 05:12 PM.
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  34. TopTop #19
    Jude Iam's Avatar
    Jude Iam
     

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    Does everyone remember, not so many years ago, when people without money who had mental/emotional illnesses had homes/hospitals to live in? Like in Sonoma, with staff who did therapy and cared for them?
    And because of CHANGING VALUES/POLITICAL FORCES, the BUDGET was SLASHED and the places CLOSED? Why is there no talk about this basic care for the people of THE RICHEST COUNTRY THAT HAS EVER BEEN ON EARTH? jude
    Last edited by Barry; 05-22-2017 at 05:13 PM.
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  36. TopTop #20
    Icssoma's Avatar
    Icssoma
     

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    You are right to mention mental health--the largest common denominator with homelessness is mental health (brain chemistry imbalance). Addressing this would also be a tremendous step toward reducing violence (domestic violence, elder abuse, road rage, racism that is not culturally based, domestic terrorism/mass shootings and police violence.).
    What will it take to have a movement where we could target the largest population in our criminal non justice system, and create major changes across our world?

    There are few services that address this--try to get a youth to see a counselor, therapist, psychiatrist--especially someone with few resources. Locally, West county health system is a good start, yet underfunded.

    Where is the movement to make mental health the most important health issue that faces us? With the ability to focus on brain chemistry imbalance we could dramatically change so many primary concerns.

    the only work/ research i am aware of that addresses brain chemistry imbalance is the effort of the Avielle foundation (https://aviellefoundation.org/), founded by the scientist parents whose daughter was murdered in the Sandy Hook shootings [as opposed to the 5 groups i can name that work on breast cancer even while we know that separating cancers (by body part) rarely gives us the most effective approach.]

    Housing and food need bolstering, no question. (food banks are difficult for many to access, especially with out a car and offered unusual hours).

    Would love to see brain health up there with cancer, heart disease, Alzheimers--i can't' think of any other area we could target where potentially so many dramatic changes would be possible. Can't think of any more core social prevention issue than this one.
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  38. TopTop #21
    Hotspring 44's Avatar
    Hotspring 44
     

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    RE:
    Quote tommy wrote: View Post
    The main problem is if the govt authorities do not control the homeless, by tearing down illegal structures, making them move, not wanting them to sleep in Starbucks doorway, etc... if they provide great services, this will encourage more homeless to move to this area, which is not a desirable thing.
    It seems to me that kind of attitude and way of thinking without different, more compassionate way of thinking it would eventually put us further down the slippery slope towards the eventual acceptance of what could become a form of economic-based banishment or even worse, genocide.

    I know what I said may sound kind of harsh, but so be it.

    The middle class in our society is shrinking, hence; more joblessness, (=) more homelessness... ...Has anyone noticed that he cost of living; IE: Rent, Mortgage, commutes, etc. have gone up?.. ...Or that wages in general have either gone down as compared to the cost of living?.. ...Or that for many in so-called 'middle-class' income bracket that their wages and earnings have stagnated?


    Because of job outsourcing to other countries, to a smaller degree than most people think; and to a much larger extent than most people think > the lack of college education, automation, computers, and robotics, etc. there will continue to be trend towards there being fewer and fewer so-called well-paying jobs available all over the US and locally, yet there will become a higher ratio of people to existing, good paying, middle-class jobs.

    I think we should be concerned and think about what to do about the next wave of who will become homeless next!

    The existing homeless people who are in need of assistance are not anywhere close to having their needs met as it is.

    There are many possible and humane solutions, but violating the civil rights and stomping on the dignity of homeless people, which seems to occur almost on a daily basis in our state which, in part, seems like under certain circumstances some people are willing to say that is okay because of reasons like
    Nobody ("who...)... ..."in their right mind"would want to live next to a homeless shelter", or, _____Fill in the blank.

    There are NIMBYs who vote for and elect politicians that purposely make it virtually impossible for an adequate sanitary place for the homeless, or even persons who are just traveling through the area for that matter, to put their human waste in (I'm talking about urine and excrement specifically)... ... No 'open' bathrooms or outhouses; or the existing ones are woefully inadequate at best,... ...Also, no safe place to take a shower (particularly for women) etc....
    ... Unless, of course, you have enough money for a motel room just to get some minimal sleep, take a crap, or shower or bathe; in which case you're probably not homeless.
    More and more motels these days only accept credit cards or special preapproved vouchers; no cash.

    Homeless people more often than not, do not have a credit card.

    Obviously, there has been an exodus of homeless people from places like Santa Rosa and of course other areas too that essentially criminalize homelessness and being very poor.

    It is inevitable that homeless people will end up relocating to other places that have not yet made such draconian inhuman laws from the places where law enforcement is used to give them the boot.

    It is inevitable that places such as West Sonoma County, for example, will end up getting more than their fair share of homeless because of the draconian laws that were made and enforced in other areas.

    Of course there are going to be a certain percentage of those homeless people that relocate who are, for lack of better words, going to be 'troublemakers'.

    Justifying and excuse making for inhumane treatment and constitutional violations done to homeless people, if not hints at, actually glares of prejudice and creates a space for more injustice to emerge; IMHO... ... Specifically, NIMBY/ism is one of the most hypocritical things that I notice in a so-called progressive' neighborhood. That kind of NIMBY-ism makes it far easier than it should be for gross injustice both here and elsewhere to be an acceptable norm.

    Of course, I have a different reason for believing that there should be no homeless shelters (and therefore nobody would have to
    'live next to' one)... ...I don't think anybody should be 'Aced-Out' of access to minimal resources and be forced into 'homeless' in the 1st place.

    Our nation needs to have a very important conversation that does not leave anybody out, which also does not unfairly allow moneyed-interests to be over-represented > (as is almost always the case).
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  40. TopTop #22
    Hotspring 44's Avatar
    Hotspring 44
     

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    Quote Icssoma wrote: View Post
    ...--the largest common denominator with homelessness is mental health (brain chemistry imbalance).
    Could you please link to any source/s with data that support that statement?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Hotspring 44; 05-22-2017 at 09:56 PM. Reason: question was not stated clearly, I made more clear what I am asking
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  41. TopTop #23
    patnicholson
    Supporting Member

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    Could all you folks who feel the situation could be improved, please do something about it?

    I could be wrong, so please correct me, but it seems the county has tied it's hands but refusing to create the necessary structure to start correcting the problem

    If you contact the board, and it's a homeless problem, you get referred to the CDC, the community development commission, These are the folks that handle HUD, federal housing assistance money. The Feds do not do shelter, they do permanent housing. This is outrageously expensive, serves few and leaves no money leftover for shelter( soon to be discontinued, new goals for federal housing assistance ). Temporary shelter is not their concern, they do not have the funding.

    This leaves the homeless,homeless. Services may be available, but is access?

    A temporary, transitional camp would provide a step up from the sidewalk. A sanctioned campsite would, in theory, allow "campers" to keep there stuff-safe, and allow some protection from tweakers and gangsters.

    This is currently not being done and there is no framework to allow it's creation. The only agency that would get
    the job to do this does not see this as part of it's job description.

    Lynda Hopkins is on-board w/ camping as a temporary solution but the rest of the board? The folks living on the sidewalks ,are still there, they got chased away for the big SR plaza ground - breaking, but now they're back.
    Who gave that order? Did you see anything in the PD about that sweep?

    Call the press democrat. Tell them you want to see coverage in the paper,daily about how this problem is getting fixed.Letters are helpful.

    Call the board, call your friends who don't live in this district and tell them to call their supe and ask what did the board do at their last meeting to address this problem,did they create any new beds, how many folks got taken off the street, how many more folks are no longer housed and in need of shelter?

    All the other attending problems that come w/ being homeless start to improve w/ shelter.

    Do not buy "we are doing the best we can". They are not, anything that maintains the status quo keeps these people on the street.

    The only alternative to a mental health problem is jail. Where are the services to provide assistance to the mentally ill homeless? Do these folks know about what services are available? Why not? These services don't exist? Can the county do a better job than the current set-up? Do you really think this is the best they can do?
    What will it take to do better? Do they know? Do they need help finding out what else can be done? Does the board think if they sit on their hands long. enough, the problem will fix itself? Does it really matter where the homeless person is from if there are no services to provide assistance?

    Do you folks do Facebook? Can you start an on-line site that could get the idea for a sanctioned campground
    started?

    Do you know homeless students? Ask them what the jc is doing to create housing/shelter? Are they provided with the resources to become sheltered?

    If you make your presence known in an unavoidable way, like those sidewalkers, a new path could be created.

    And do it now, what needs to happen to get these people off the street by the time it turns cold?
    Last edited by Barry; 05-23-2017 at 02:31 PM.
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  43. TopTop #24
    Hotspring 44's Avatar
    Hotspring 44
     

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    Quote patnicholson wrote: View Post
    ...I could be wrong, so please correct me, but it seems the county has tied it's hands but refusing to create the necessary structure to start correcting the problem

    If you contact the board, and it's a homeless problem, you get referred to the CDC, the community development commission, These are the folks that handle HUD, federal housing assistance money. The Feds do not do shelter, they do permanent housing. This is outrageously expensive, serves few and leaves no money leftover for shelter( soon to be discontinued, new goals for federal housing assistance ). Temporary shelter is not their concern, they do not have the funding.
    Commonly referred to as "getting the runaround".

    This leaves the homeless,homeless. Services may be available, but is access?
    Some services are probably available, sometimes, to some people. Same goes for access, sometimes for some people.

    A temporary, transitional camp would provide a step up from the sidewalk. A sanctioned campsite would, in theory, allow "campers" to keep there stuff-safe, and allow some protection from tweakers and gangsters.

    This is currently not being done and there is no framework to allow it's creation. The only agency that would get
    the job to do this does not see this as part of it's job description.
    = deaf ears, = denial of service = vicious cycle. It's been happening like that for decades.

    Call the press democrat. Tell them you want to see coverage in the paper,daily about how this problem is getting fixed.Letters are helpful.
    2 or 3 times a year is closer to what will really happen on that.

    RE:
    Call the board, call your friends who don't live in this district and tell them to call their supe and ask what did the board do at their last meeting to address this problem,did they create any new beds, how many folks got taken off the street, how many more folks are no longer housed and in need of shelter?...
    Lots of suggestions there.
    It's not like all of what you have suggested has not been previously been done in Sonoma County before...
    ...Been there, done that.

    Does anybody know of or remember about a group of people who referred to themselves as S.C.R.A.P.?... ...(it's been so long I forget exactly what that acronym stands for but I seem to remember, it probably stood for Sonoma County Rural Action Project). It was a small association of people that one of was Mary Moore.

    I was a member of that group for a while many years ago when I lived in Monte Rio.
    S.C.R.A.P. routinely did exactly what you mentioned, and even more. (a voice with at least some organization that did speak for the poor and disenfranchised to County officials, etc.) and also did more things such as Bohemian Grove awareness and such.

    All I can say about those kinds of suggestions is that if literally hundreds of people honestly and respectfully, in person, by letter, petition, or email, etc. try to convince your supervisors to come up with the money and make things happen for the homeless before it gets cold next winter as has been suggested, it might make a small ding in the armor of socioeconomic based 'denial of service'; but little more than that at best is remotely likely.

    I can tell you from some first-hand experience in the past and by observation in the current times that not much, if anything will actually get done in a significant enough way that would actually mitigate homelessness in Sonoma County or most of anywhere else in the country for that matter.

    When very rich and powerful monied interests are involved, (In Sonoma County, monied interests are embedded and deeply involved to the core).
    I suggest: don't make your voice hoarse from screaming into deaf ears.

    The point I've been trying to make all along here is that it is a big national issue and cannot be solved by one County alone.

    California, if it were a country, would be within the 10 wealthiest in the whole world; yet, California by itself may not have the means to deal with the homeless issue without every other state also being on board with it, and coming up with real, substantial doable schemes to solve the core problems causing homelessness in the 1st place.

    Homelessness is a symptom of the actual problem.
    The actual problem is so huge nobody really wants to deal with that, particularly, those who are doing anywhere between okay and fairly well-to-do within the existing economic structure.
    The vast majority of people that are in those categories don't want to rock the boat for fear they will be next to go overboard and end up homeless!
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  45. TopTop #25
    Icssoma's Avatar
    Icssoma
     

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    the major shutdowns occurred with Regan as governor, they were never reversed. there are virtually no places/options for people.
    this is one piece of the problem.
    we need research to look at medical options. many people i know will not take medication because they feel slow, zombie like, not like themselves. perhaps it is a coincidence, but many of these people self medicate with marijuana. many people are successful with managing their lives this way.
    many are not.
    i know two people who wouldn't take medication for the above reasons, and a significant additional factor was the medications they tried (which is a huge process unto itself), took away their sex drive. both were functional when i met them, both deteriorated, and killed themselves.
    as a community and society we are desperate for medical support, services, options, and research. opportunities for food and housing play an enormous role in addressing mental health (brain chemistry) problems.
    i am frightened by seeing us ramp up a war economy, and a war on drugs, while simultaneously taking away the very few things that help people survive (food stamps, medicare cuts, childcare options, everything that makes life a little easier.).
    huge topic. to address homelessness effectively we have to have programs and services that assit people with the health of their brain (awkward, we will get used to it).
    we may need to start with bandaids, advocacy, and including people on the fringe in our lives.
    (small ways and large ways to help people stay above water).


    Quote Jude Iam wrote: View Post
    Does everyone remember, not so many years ago, when people without money who had mental/emotional illnesses had homes/hospitals to live in? Like in Sonoma, with staff who did therapy and cared for them?
    And because of CHANGING VALUES/POLITICAL FORCES, the BUDGET was SLASHED and the places CLOSED? Why is there no talk about this basic care for the people of THE RICHEST COUNTRY THAT HAS EVER BEEN ON EARTH? jude
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  47. TopTop #26
    podfish's Avatar
    podfish
    Supporting Member

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    Quote Hotspring 44 wrote: View Post
    ...
    I can tell you from some first-hand experience in the past and by observation in the current times that not much, if anything will actually get done in a significant enough way that would actually mitigate homelessness in Sonoma County or most of anywhere else in the country for that matter.
    ....
    The point I've been trying to make all along here is that it is a big national issue and cannot be solved by one County alone.

    California, if it were a country, would be within the 10 wealthiest in the whole world; yet, California by itself may not have the means to deal with the homeless issue without every other state also being on board with it, and coming up with real, substantial doable schemes to solve the core problems causing homelessness in the 1st place.

    Homelessness is a symptom of the actual problem.
    The actual problem is so huge nobody really wants to deal with that, particularly, those who are doing anywhere between okay and fairly well-to-do within the existing economic structure.
    The vast majority of people that are in those categories don't want to rock the boat for fear they will be next to go overboard and end up homeless!
    I disagree -- it's a big INTERnational issue. Countries all over the world have the challenge of providing for their population as a whole. As a country, we've been lucky to avoid the situation of Brazil or India because of the size and wealth of the country relative to our population. As to another post's invocation of Reagan as a cause, that's like blaming immigrants for loss of jobs (without the racism). The real problem is that a random individual's economic contribution isn't very high these days, and is rapidly going down. The people in Rio don't need much from those in the favelas, so they keep them away. That's going to be replicated everywhere, and in fact is being replicated everywhere. The homelessness issue is systemic, and a systemic solution, quite different from western capitalism, will need to be developed if we're to avoid just handling poverty in the traditional ugly way it's been done in the past.

    The idea that it's too expensive, that California doesn't have the means, only is valid if you let the system we have now persist. Ever since the first cave-man communities, wealth depended on the contributions of its members. That's finally changing, and there's really no hint of how we'll adapt. In that sense, the homelessness crisis is valuable in that as it gets worse, we'll have to confront it rather than paper it over with small charitable efforts.
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  49. TopTop #27
    Hotspring 44's Avatar
    Hotspring 44
     

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    I get your point; RE:
    Quote podfish wrote: View Post
    I disagree -- it's a big INTERnational issue.
    In the sense of longer-term (in comparison to the local homeless shelter that we are talking about and the local homelessness and more localized issues pertaining to that), I think you're absolutely correct.
    A good example is what is going on in Europe and the Middle East regarding the multiple refugee crisis which will definitely just expand and continue to grow and end up being more of a worldwide 'challenge' as time goes on.

    I think it is extremely unlikely that a few local people from Sonoma County and surrounding counties, on our own, without a national movement of some kind backing it would have the ability to convince government bodies per se to deal with whats going on here in the US regarding homelessness, never mind the rest of the world.

    It seems to me it's a moot point at this point in time to expect the world to come together to deal with things in such a way, (that), whereas American homelessness, internationally speaking would be of enough importance to spend any time on as far as the international scene is concerned.

    Countries all over the world have the challenge of providing for their population as a whole.
    So many countries are not up to that challenge.
    I'm not so sure that we here in the US are up to that 'challenge'... ...Yet.

    Anyway, until we have had our own discussion regarding homelessness here in US nationally, and have had some kind of success coping with and 'solving' our own homelessness issue/s, the world (INTERnational") homelessness issues for the most part will be swept under the rug or sidelined at best, completely ignored, or worse, used for party-affiliated political gain here in US is more likely... ... The United Nations?... ...HA! I will not go too deep into my sarcasm about the 'INTERnational' system's UN to do anything more than a horse-and-pony show at this point... ...No 'power' members in the U.N. refuse to agree on much of anything...
    ... ...Ever!...... ...Politics!

    The idea that it's too expensive, that California doesn't have the means, only is valid if you let the system we have now persist.
    Yes... ...And??...

    ...BTW, I hope you mean we and not me when you said "you" because me by my tiny, itsy-bitsy little o'l self is next to nothing in the big picture... ...Insignificant... ...IOW, 1x1x1x1x1... still =1. But, 1+1+1... = we.
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  51. TopTop #28
    Jude Iam's Avatar
    Jude Iam
     

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    even without the specific numbers here, let's get clear - the US is not Somalia... the friggin budget trump just submitted is trillions$$$$$$$$$$$$ to the extremely rich, including war machinery/arms manufacturers.

    with that budget changed, ALL this could be easily solved. How to effect that budget change is the question, not IF homelessness/hunger/education for all/ etc. could be solved. the money is there, it's just spent on death, destruction and making more money for the wealthiest. wtf.
    jude
    Last edited by Barry; 05-24-2017 at 10:54 AM.
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  53. TopTop #29
    podfish's Avatar
    podfish
    Supporting Member

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

    Quote Jude Iam wrote: View Post
    even without the specific numbers here, let's get clear - the US is not Somalia... the friggin budget trump just submitted is trillions$$$$$$$$$$$$ to the extremely rich, including war machinery/arms manufacturers. ...
    ns. I'm really curious to see the reaction to this budget and other outrages. Will more people realize they're going to be casualties of the system, rather than beneficiaries? and will a movement (with compelling leaders) grow out of it to make some real changes? I don't care where the smart money goes, I'm hopeful anyway.
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  55. TopTop #30
    Hotspring 44's Avatar
    Hotspring 44
     

    Re: What to do about homelessness?

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