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  1. TopTop #31
    karenm97's Avatar

    Re: Homelessness after the fires

    Santa Rosa Ave and Petaluma Hill Rd, which are both my neighborhood, are filling in/"developing" really fast. Some of those recently-empty lots are housing, but not enough. The empty buildings won't stay that way for long. I keep wondering where the homeless folks who were living in the abandoned lots can go now :(

    Quote nicofrog wrote: View Post
    ...OH and then in dear ol' Santa Rosa we see a huge unused building what?every six or eight lots all along S. Santa Rosa ave ! ...
    Last edited by Barry; 12-31-2017 at 11:06 AM.
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  3. TopTop #32
    Shandi's Avatar


    Medicine Hat maintaining homeless-free status 2 years on - Calgary ...

    I realize that this is "old news", but I don't remember seeing it posted here, and wonder if our officials are aware of what's been done, and what's possible, or if they do know, and don't give a damn!

    It's a brief video that shows the plan in detail and what was done, and how much MONEY was SAVED.

    Makes me wonder if some of the savings went into our officials pockets as a reward for implementing a program like this....naw, they have other ways of siphoning money from us, under the table, and behind closed doors.

    Who's proud to live in Sonoma County, home of the growing homeless?

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  5. TopTop #33
    jesswolfe's Avatar


    There are cities in the US who do this with the same results. While conservatives annoy the heck out of me (sorry to be blunt) the one idea that we should all adopt is fiscal responsibility. The government has limited funds and all too often use them to cover up problems, not fix them. If Sonoma county wants to be fiscally responsible about addressing homelessness, getting people housed is much cheaper than sweeping the problem under the proverbial rug. We wouldnít spend so much on ďhousingĒ them in jail. We would spend less on bulldozers to wipe out camps. In terms of public health, itís much easier to take care of yourself if you are housed. Itís much easier to be employed if you are first housed (try going on job interviews when you donít have funds for washing clothes, or you have no access to a shower). Iím appalled that we are wasting so much money on optics when it would be much easier to address the essential problem of being homeless: not having a home.

    Everyone is so bought into the mythology around homelessness that they feel doing something about it is a waste of time and money. Homeless people are broken and thus disposable in our culture. As someone who has been homeless, most of the services donít address the real problem. My one pet peeve was having someone at the shelter lecturing us about how to manage money. Believe me, being poor is a full time job. If you donít have enough money to manage, you spend all of your time trying to manage the little you have.


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  7. TopTop #34
    Hot Compost

    Re: Homelessness after the fires

    Homelessness itself is NOT a very complex problem - it is a long term camping trip for those who live that way.

    There are certainly more simple answers, though what communities need are not simple answers - they need good effective answers.

    The good answer, and the simple answer, may not always coincide.

    Communities simply need to NOT criminalize homelessness.

    That means providing for basic needs, including the most obvious - bathroom facilities.

    100 years ago, America was not so terrified of "night soil." It was used in gardens and farms as fertilizer. Certainly, excrement is a disease vector, but then, so is any kind of manure.

    This year's fire near Bel-Air was started by a cooking fire at a homeless encampment.

    I don't care to dwell in the minutiae too much, but I believe one of the larger fires was also.

    That is a problem that is going to bite California in the rear end again, and again.

    What worked in the past, during the Great Depression ? Tent cities, for example.

    If it worked then, why wouldn't it work now ?

    Very simply, the shot-callers who have the most influence at City or County hall, do not want the problem solved.

    Until Sonoma County is organized so that the Greater Good is more important than the wishes of the wealthy and the influential, homeless people will be camping everywhere they can find a hiding place.

    I live on 15 acres that adjoins about 100 square miles of forest. The total amount of fuel there is greater than a small nuclear bomb, and with comparable destructive power.

    My backyard looks up a hill (which I love walking on). ANY homeless encampment up there threatens to start the Blaze of the Ages, which terrifies me and my neighbors.

    Personally, I would react very forcefully to remove any homeless encampment that has the ability to start a large wildfire.

    However, I also know where some of the more popular camping spots are - a mile or 2 of railroad track adjoined by an industrial area and many acres of blackberry bushes.

    That, and the parking lots of local big chain stores, are where homeless people go.

    Ignoring it and criminalizing it really doesn't make it better, it makes the situation worse.

    Compounding the problem is the accessibility of fire - any homeless person with a lighter can make life very difficult for those who have made their life difficult.

    I don't expect that Sonoma County or Santa Rosa or California (or any neighboring states) will realistically deal with the problem. But I think it's one of the most important situations that the US needs to deal with.

    Part of the nature of the problem is people looking for a "Good" solution. Sometimes, what life has to offer is a choice between terrible fvcked up situations, that wouldn't even normally be called solutions.

    That's one area where Americans are weak, they always want the "Good" solution.

    If I had to pick an area in Sonoma County for a large homeless encampment, I would pick the area near Sonoma Compost.

    The area between Nicasio Road and Nicasio Reservoir, near where I put the "X". I pick that area because I am sort of familiar with it, and because it is bounded by the road (a natural fire-break) and the reservoir, another natural fire-break.

    Name:  nicasio3.jpg
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    Sonoma Compost gets an incredibly sweet deal from the county, $35 a truckload for letting people drop off yard waste. 300 truck-loads a day, and then they sell the finished compost, which is about 1/6 the volume of what it started out as. i.e. they sell about 50 truckloads a day of finished compost, the result of their hard work.

    So if they complain, I would say, "too bad. If you don't like it, you lose your sweet deal". I should add, I have tremendous respect for the senior scientist at Sonoma Compost, so I don't mean to be harsh & controlling. But the county has a problem that needs to be solved.

    As far as the home-owners nearby, there is a 7 megawatt natural gas facility that gets methane, from the landfill beneath Sonoma Compost. To sweeten the deal for them, I would reduce their electricity bills by about 50%.

    I would add bus service, so that the people living in the encampment aren't stuck there. And parking, so homeless people with cars can join in the, ahem, fun.

    I know that is not a perfect solution and may not be the best solution. If there is going to be a genuine solution or solutions, it will involve people getting out maps and looking at them, and any potential encampment site has to have very good answers viz a viz the subject of urban interface wildfires.

    So that means any meetings on the subject has to be attended by experienced wildland firefighters, or whatever the proper term is.

    I would also add, this is a problem that comes with a deadline - the beginning of the 2018 fire season.

    If it's not massaged into a workable solution by then, California and Sonoma County get another year of Homeless Person Roulette. That did not work out too well in 2017.
    Last edited by Barry; 01-01-2018 at 10:45 AM.
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