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  1. TopTop #1
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    The eastern half of the Joe Rodota trail has been taken over by the homeless. Be sure to watch the video below. This is such a difficult problem! I'm going to guess that Lynda Hopkins will have something to say about it next Sunday, Oct 27th, at our community picnic, along with taking your questions.

    Seems to me, that providing housing with wrap-around services, is the only answer. That's going to be expensive and have its own problems, but otherwise this is just going to get worse.

    Your thoughts?
    Barry



    Camp crowding Santa Rosa trail is new flashpoint over homeless enforcement
    WILL SCHMITT
    THE PRESS DEMOCRAT October 19, 2019


    A sprawling homeless camp of more than 100 tents and makeshift dwellings has overrun a public trail in west Santa Rosa, spurring a flood of complaints about safety and squalid living conditions and stoking public debate over what many local residents decry as another example of government’s failure to respond to an intractable problem.

    The camp, which now spans about a quarter mile of the Joe Rodota Trail west of Stony Point Road, has swelled to at least 110 people in recent weeks amid a growing list of calls taken by Santa Rosa police. The tally now tops more than 80 reports regarding homelessness on the trail over the past few months, with incidents ranging from outstanding warrants to an assault with a deadly weapon.

    Local officials acknowledge the unsanctioned camp is rife with health and safety issues, including the spread of untreated human waste, substance abuse and garbage strewn around the area.

    Some residents say the settlement has become a blight on the popular public trail — a converted former rail right of way overseen by the county. The impact on nearby residents and businesses has also become increasingly clear. People in the camp area apparently have used drugs in broad daylight on multiple occasions, and one longtime camp denizen said this week that she knew of a bottle of urine tossed by a homeless person into an adjacent home’s backyard.

    “This is a public safety hazard and a humanitarian crisis,” said Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, whose district includes the encampment.

    ‘Epicenter for lawlessness’

    The camp’s growing size has prompted county park rangers to largely steer clear of the trail segment, part of an 8.5-mile path from Santa Rosa to Sebastopol that is a well-used route for bike commuters and recreational riders, joggers and walkers. Some have reported avoiding the path, not wanting to run a gantlet they perceive as potentially threatening. For its part, the county seems to agree, with plans now in motion to advise trail users to avoid the area.

    The homeless settlement has become “this sort of epicenter for lawlessness, this sort of symbol for, honestly, everything that’s wrong in government,” Hopkins said in a candidates’ forum last week.

    It poses in graphic terms another front in the now all-too-familiar conflict for parts of Sonoma County, the Bay Area and California where homelessness is rampant — a conflict, Hopkins said, between “the people who are falling through the cracks and a takeover of what is a public right of way and something that taxpayers invested in so they could commute and get out of their cars and get between west county and Santa Rosa.”

    But local government has done little about the highly visible camp, in clear sight of drivers on Highway 12 and residents on Occidental Road.

    Workers with Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa, the county’s largest private homeless service provider, and some local officials have made occasional patrols through the area. County homelessness teams are set to make their presence known on the trail starting this week.

    But there is no firm timeline for enforcement action against the campers, and a court order limits what local officials can do until at least next summer.

    “Ultimately, what we want to see is that folks are leaving the trail because they’re coming into services,” said Geoffrey Ross, the executive director of the Community Development Commission. “It’s going to be a several-week process.”

    Trail users told to avoid area

    While officials figure out what to do and how to do it, those who use the trail for recreation and travel will be asked to bypass the area, said Bert Whitaker, director of Sonoma County Regional Parks. Signs will soon be posted advising people to find alternate routes for the foreseeable future, he said.

    Continues here
    Last edited by Barry; 10-21-2019 at 02:39 PM.

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  3. TopTop #2
    sealwatcher's Avatar
    sealwatcher
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    From Susan Collier Lamont's post on FB in response to the PD article

    I'm not even sure you should bother with the article. Just read this from the Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights (a commission your dedicated Sonoma County representatives are trying to starve out of existence). If there's one thing we've learned over the years, it's that your electeds hate hearing the truth.

    From Acting Chair Smith: The Commission on Human Rights has consistently been involved in and working on issues of homelessness in the county.

    We toured the former Roseland encampment and provided a report and recommendations to the CDC and Supervisors. We partnered with officials working on homelessness from San Francisco to help advise on the report recommendations before submitting.

    We also partnered with North Bay Donate to organize and deliver blankets, socks, hygiene kits and medical supplies to campers after the fires, as they were not able to access services, due to being homeless before the fires.

    We brought in Sharon Lee, director of Seattle's Low Income Housing Institute, to present along with River King, Sonoma County Chapter Leader of the American Tiny Home Association, on tiny home villages as an innovative solution to homelessness. It makes sense to look to folks with direct experience in tiny home planning, construction, management and implementation of supportive wraparound services in the discussion. I'd like to think Santa Rosa City councilmember Julie Combs for her support of that forum.

    The Junior Commission on Human Rights has consistently had homelessness committees since its inception in 2013. Our youth see this problem and they want to do something about it.

    We passed a resolution expressing our concerns about the ongoing human rights violations occurring in encampments, the severe problems created by the lack of adequate sanitation, health care and security, and the responsibility of elected officials to ensure that supportive services addressed these problems.

    It must also be said that previously, efforts by Homeless Action to provide essential sanitation services to the Joe Rodota Trail encampment to reduce and avoid outbreaks of Mersa and other sanitation nightmares have been blocked by officials who did not wish to sanction the encampments by allowing sanitation services to be provided. But the alternative is not sustainable, healthy or in alignment with human rights and dignity.

    Over and over, we hear that shelter placements are turned down. However, evidence shows that people who turn down shelter placements are far more likely to accept a tiny home placement. Tiny homes are warm, dry, secure, provide dignity and can begin healing the painful and broken relationship that unhoused folks have with a society they feel does not care about the conditions in which they exist. Folks with PTSD, LGBTQ+ folks, folks who have been incarcerated, folks with mental health needs and others that can't tolerate a shelter situation can absolutely feel safe and secure in a tiny home.

    We must create both transitional and permanent supportive housing for our unhoused neighbors and this must include tiny home projects. Imagine a situation in which the community--schools, builders, wood shop classes, faith based organizations, private individuals and anyone else who feels moved to participate in healing-- can come together and create small dwellings that have the power to truly be life changing. Imagine unhoused folks being able to help with tiny home construction, painting and set up alongside their neighbors. Imagine that each village has a community garden. Imagine beautiful, brightly painted, small villages around the county instead of corralling everyone into one big spot. Imagine people beginning to regain dignity, human rights, ownership and stewardship of their community. Imagine the safe and secure tiny home being the essential foundation needed to be able to address and treat co-morbid issues of substance abuse and mental illness.

    This is a Sonoma County problem, a Bay area problem, a California state problem and a national problem. It is not going to go away. If San Francisco had a 10th of the space that Sonoma County had, there would be tiny homes. How are we allowing these tent encampments to continue, kicking the can down the road? The human rights violations are staggering. Families are in the encampments. Women are unsafe and subject to sexual assault and domestic violence. LGBTQ+ people are not safe. People who have experienced so much trauma are continually being re-traumatized by this situation and our response to it.

    The commission has been told of a police officer kicking a woman sleeping under a bench, an elderly homeless woman being put out of a hospital at 1:00 am in the morning with nowhere to go, someone not being allowed to retrieve their life saving medication.

    All of this is wrong.

    The recent ruling by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria of San Francisco, requiring local governments to provide shelters with beds and accommodations for the disabled, and requiring law enforcement to store and preserve personal items seized at encampment sweeps is an attempt to address some of the human rights violations and harm caused by existing policies.

    But we need to take all of this to another level.

    There has already been at least one death due to medical conditions combined with winter weather in a tent encampment, and we are heading into another fall and winter season. Life expectancy is shortened when we live outside in these conditions. Rest in Love, Armando Cooper.

    The cost of a tiny home can be as little as $2500
    .
    We have the money, we have the space, and we certainly have the creativity and the people power to do it. We just need the will power to put human rights and human dignity before politics and profit.
    I believe that we can do it. I believe that we must do it.

    Let's be a shining example of what is possible in the state of California. Let's repair, rebuild, reconnect.
    Recovery and transformation are always possible.

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  4. TopTop #3
    SonomaPatientsCoop's Avatar
    SonomaPatientsCoop
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    Seems to me, that providing housing with wrap-around services, is the only answer. That's going to be expensive and have its own problems, but otherwise this is just going to get worse.

    Your thoughts?
    Barry
    Yes- there's a concept in dealing with the homeless crisis that seems to be very successful- called "Housing First". The idea being that you get people homed first...and then deal with the myriad of issues that led to homelessness (addiction, domestic violence, unemployment/inder-employment, mental health etc).

    This seems what Santa Rosa is doing with the Palms and the Gold Coin motels. And while I haven't followed it - Seattle had a program a few years ago that seemed very successful in the early stages housing hardcore alcoholic homeless- and actually allowing them to drink in the housing. Philadelphia, after a Federal judge ruling recently- looks to be the first place in the nation that will open a supervised injection site for opioid addicts- a concept that has proven successful in Canada and Europe.

    I will say... our nation as a whole has failed miserably on actually dealing with the myriad of issues that lead to homelessness in the first place.

    And...I'll say... CA has unique problems. Due to the climate, general permissiveness around many issues, and a strong social safety net... CA attracts homeless from around the nation.

    And, I'll say from experience in the community... we are never going to "solve" the homelessness crisis. There is a substantial portion that simply, for many different reasons, have *NO* interest in re-intergrating into "society". Many more we have a short window to help... hope and self-worth fade fast on the streets.

    And...I'll just add... most of the groups trying to support the homeless are religion based. And for many homeless- that's the last thing they want. They don't want to be preached too. And they most certainly don't want to be made to feel that beyond the many failures they know they have committed, that "turning away from god" was another one... I'd say take away the %#*^ tax exempt status of the churches...and use the money to do some good work that doesn't come with judgement and strings...
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  5. TopTop #4
    Thad's Avatar
    Thad
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Tiny homes, fine, great idea but how long is that going to take? For something to be done now, educate yourself on what the Rainbow gathering used to be. Imminent domain some open space, set up a campground, Move in.
    Trail cleared next week.

    When you arrived at The Rainbow Gathering first you'd hear was welcome home

    Garbage was handled by Swami Mommy and the garbage Gurus, Madam Frog ran the kitchen, everyone handled security.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Gathering
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  7. TopTop #5
    Mayacaman's Avatar
    Mayacaman
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Sonoma Patients Co-op wrote:
    Yes- there's a concept in dealing with the homeless crisis that seems to be very successful- called "Housing First". The idea being that you get people homed first...and then deal with the myriad of issues that led to homelessness (addiction, domestic violence, unemployment/inder-employment, mental health etc)...
    sealwatcher wrote:
    We must create both transitional and permanent supportive housing for our unhoused neighbors and this must include tiny home projects. Imagine a situation in which the community--schools, builders, wood shop classes, faith based organizations, private individuals and anyone else who feels moved to participate in healing-- can come together and create small dwellings that have the power to truly be life changing. Imagine unhoused folks being able to help with tiny home construction, painting and set up alongside their neighbors. Imagine that each village has a community garden. Imagine beautiful, brightly painted, small villages around the county instead of corralling everyone into one big spot. Imagine people beginning to regain dignity, human rights, ownership and stewardship of their community. Imagine the safe and secure tiny home being the essential foundation needed to be able to address and treat co-morbid issues of substance abuse and mental illness.

    How about we look into the current status of what has become of all of the burned out lands throughout Northern California - all of the hundreds of thousands of acres that have been charred by the “wildfires” these past several years? There’s plenty of acreage there – tens upon tens of thousands of acres that are quite suitable for homes for the homeless as well as reforestation - in orchards.

    Some of these lands are “owned” by the lumber corporations and will not show a profit for several decades, until they can be re-planted with seedlings, and those seedlings mature into marketable lumber. Perhaps the lumber corporations might be persuaded to "fire-sale" some of this land to the State of California? The dems could then take the initiative for solving the "Homeless Crisis" away from Trump.

    =OR= Taking the long view, perhaps some give-a-shit lawyers (are there any left ?) can take on the Timber corporations and wrest title to the timber lands away from them on the grounds of the undeniable historical Fact that the timber companies originally acquired titles to the timber-lands through an elaborate system of Fraud.

    =OR= Taking the short-term expedient, for the last item will take some time to achieve - perhaps some humanitarian organization, or some philanthropist with good intentions can be persuaded to buy back serious acreage in the burned-over regions of Northern California & Oregon from the timber-corporations which still "own" such properties.

    =OR= Perhaps parcels of forty acres @ could be acquired - somehow - (by whatever means) here in Sonoma County. OR wherever such needs exist (& the need is dire everywhere in the United States at this point in time) to implement what sealwatcher wrote: "
    Imagine that each village has a community garden. Imagine beautiful, brightly painted, small villages around the county instead of corralling everyone into one big spot. Imagine people beginning to regain dignity, human rights, ownership and stewardship of their community."

    Marvelous things have been done in bringing back & re- greening depleted & devastated regions in China, Ethiopia, and Jordan, in recent years. Thus, there is Work, for the able-bodied among the Homeless. All they need is a little direction – and a paycheck. In exchange, they will receive both a parcel of land (slightly under half an acre is enough) and a tiny home. Rammed-earth block walls with mobile dimensional milled fir ceilings made in situ is the absolute cheapest way to go.

    Thad wrote:
    Tiny homes, fine, great idea but how long is that going to take. For something to be done now, educate yourself on what the Rainbow gathering used to be. Imminent domain some open space, set up a campground, Move in...
    We need to acquire a Vision with regards to what may be done in the recently hard-hit & burned-over Wastelands of Northern California. It seems that there is where we should be focusing our attention for a more permanent solution for Homelessness:

    Both Kinds: -For the families of the working poor who are renters & =ALSO= -For the indigent. Yes, Occupy the Wilderness - but first ask Pharaoh if we may go off a little ways, to hold a festival

    It is obvious that the Board of Supervisors in Sonoma County are not interested in doing anything towards providing tiny homes for the homeless. It is an open secret that they do not want “poor people living in rural Sonoma County” – and this includes poor yeomen, who are actually titled landowners, like myself. You may quote me on that score.

    Just realize, please, that there are legal hurdles involved in making anything happen in rural Sonoma County. In the first place, the Zoning regulations would have to be entirely re-written.
    =AND= The Sun-Mar Excel model non-flush toilet would have to be made legal.

    Sonoma County is one of only two jurisdictions in the entire western
    hemisphere where the Sun-Mar Excel Model toilet is not "permitted."

    = Try fighting city hall on that one =

    In the wake of the shut-down of Morningstar & Wheeler's ranch in 1973, the board of supes re-wrote the zoning codes in this county to basically preclude the possibility of any future communes.
    Up until that time, students at Sonoma State often shared communal quarters in former chicken coups. All of that was made illegal in 1973.

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  9. TopTop #6
    tommy's Avatar
    tommy
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    They should not be camping on the Joe Rodota Trail. The trail, similar to Courthouse Sq, or Golden Gate Park, is a public commons area. When people camp there, with all the negative associations, they deprive the much greater majority of people, of the right to enjoy a clean area of nature... that belongs to the public.

    A lot of the energies around the homeless is to get them to move elsewhere..."Don't set your tent up on my street!" This is a reasonable desire. When a municipality is welcoming to the homeless, more will move there. It's human nature. This figures into the response of public officials, as so it should.

    It's unrealistic for the Judge from San Francisco to say that to get the homeless to move, you have to offer them alternative housing. There is not alternative housing for them available. That reality invalidates that order.

    The cost of a Tiny House far exceeds $2500. Maybe that's the materials & labor to build one. The 12 or 15 Tiny Houses that Sonoma Co built for vets, cost $115k +/- each. Costs besides the materials & labor are utility hookup costs & fees, land costs, foundations, etc.

    The increasing numbers of the homeless is an expression of the breakdown of our society, and fracturing of government resources. I support a national effort to build housing, fund treatment programs, and provide jobs like during the Depression.

    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    The eastern half of the Joe Rodota trail has been taken over by the homeless. Be sure to watch the video below. This is such a difficult problem! I'm going to guess that Lynda Hopkins will have something to say about it next Sunday, Oct 27th, at our community picnic, along with taking your questions.

    Seems to me, that providing housing with wrap-around services, is the only answer. That's going to be expensive and have its own problems, but otherwise this is just going to get worse.

    Your thoughts?
    Barry


    Camp crowding Santa Rosa trail is new flashpoint over homeless enforcement
    WILL SCHMITT
    THE PRESS DEMOCRAT October 19, 2019
    Last edited by Barry; 10-23-2019 at 02:18 PM.
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  11. TopTop #7
    podfish's Avatar
    Supporting Member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Quote tommy wrote: View Post
    They should not be camping on the Joe Rodota Trail. ...
    it's equally unrealistic for anyone to say that they just have to move, period. You can say "I don't like this situation" but it's pointless to propose a partial solution - "just move them". What's the rest? I agree, camping on public right-of-way is unacceptable, for the homeless or, for that matter, for boy scouts or European tourists. There needs to be a place for people to go, and it's equally unrealistic to put up barriers that the people you're trying to move can't/won't be able to deal with.

    This does seem like a problem that falls right in the bailiwick of the city and county government, and I don't understand how they can keep punting it away. There does need to be a short-term solution, it's not going to be solved by individuals or charitable organizations or least of all by the people who are currently homeless. This does seem like dereliction of duty by public officials; refusing to take action because all proposed actions are opposed by someone or another is like taking your hands off the steering wheel because you can't agree on which offramp to take.
    Last edited by Barry; 10-23-2019 at 02:19 PM.
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  13. TopTop #8
    Mayacaman's Avatar
    Mayacaman
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    tommy wrote:
    The cost of a Tiny House far exceeds $2500. Maybe that's the materials & labor to build one. The 12 or 15 Tiny Houses that Sonoma Co built for vets, cost $115k +/- each. Costs besides the materials & labor are utility hookup costs & fees, land costs, foundations, etc.
    Actually, Tom, the cost of building a Tiny House - two stories, 9x12, with a sleeping loft - can be far less than $2500. If the tiny house is built in the country, in the burned out wilderness, out of materials on hand {Earth & Wood} and the walls are made of rammed-earth blocks, and the rafters and roof are made of fir milled with an alaskan or mobile-dimensional mill from the still-standing, but charred trunks of the burned firs & pines.

    =AND= If the Homeless themselves{those who are willing and able to work} and the Homesteaders on larger parcels of 4.444 acres up the road, are the ones working on the construction. As I wrote above:

    "Marvelous things have been done in bringing back & re- greening depleted & devastated regions in China, Ethiopia, and Jordan, in recent years. Thus, there is Work, for the able-bodied among the Homeless. All they need is a little direction – and a paycheck. In exchange, they will receive both a parcel of land (slightly under half an acre is enough) and a tiny home. Rammed-earth block walls with mobile dimensional milled fir ceilings made in situ
    is the absolute cheapest way to go."

    = Click on the links Rammed-earth = & = mobile dimensional to get my drift =


    What I am saying is that every settlement needs to be equipped with this equipment.

    Last edited by Barry; 10-23-2019 at 02:20 PM.
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  15. TopTop #9
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    NY Times article on homelessness:


    As Homelessness Surges in California, So Does a Backlash
    Tent encampments across California are testing residents’ tolerance and compassion as street conditions deteriorate.
    Last edited by Barry; 10-24-2019 at 02:12 PM.
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  16. TopTop #10
    tommy's Avatar
    tommy
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    This is not a realistic solution to the problem of the homeless.


    Quote Mayacaman wrote: View Post
    tommy wrote:

    Actually, Tom, the cost of building a Tiny House - two stories, 9x12, with a sleeping loft - can be far less than $2500. If the tiny house is built in the country, in the burned out wilderness, out of materials on hand {Earth & Wood} and the walls are made of rammed-earth blocks, and the rafters and roof are made of fir milled with an alaskan or mobile-dimensional mill from the still-standing, but charred trunks of the burned firs & pines.

    =AND= If the Homeless themselves{those who are willing and able to work} and the Homesteaders on larger parcels of 4.444 acres up the road, are the ones working on the construction. As I wrote above:

    "Marvelous things have been done in bringing back & re- greening depleted & devastated regions in China, Ethiopia, and Jordan, in recent years. Thus, there is Work, for the able-bodied among the Homeless. All they need is a little direction – and a paycheck. In exchange, they will receive both a parcel of land (slightly under half an acre is enough) and a tiny home. Rammed-earth block walls with mobile dimensional milled fir ceilings made in situ
    is the absolute cheapest way to go."

    = Click on the links Rammed-earth = & = mobile dimensional to get my drift =


    What I am saying is that every settlement needs to be equipped with this equipment.

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  18. TopTop #11
    Dustyg's Avatar
    Dustyg
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Good idea. Homeless folks need community too!

    Quote tommy wrote: View Post
    ...The cost of a Tiny House far exceeds $2500. Maybe that's the materials & labor to build one. The 12 or 15 Tiny Houses that Sonoma Co built for vets, cost $115k +/- each. Costs besides the materials & labor are utility hookup costs & fees, land costs, foundations, etc.

    The increasing numbers of the homeless is an expression of the breakdown of our society, and fracturing of government resources. I support a national effort to build housing, fund treatment programs, and provide jobs like during the Depression.
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  19. TopTop #12
    Cynthia Poten's Avatar
    Cynthia Poten
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Tiny homes are one solution to the homeless problem.

    See: Green Matters: Can Tiny Homes Solve Homelessness?
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  21. TopTop #13
    Mayacaman's Avatar
    Mayacaman
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    tommy wrote:

    The cost of a Tiny House far exceeds $2500. Maybe that's the materials & labor to build one. The 12 or 15 Tiny Houses that Sonoma Co built for vets, cost $115k +/- each. Costs besides the materials & labor are utility hookup costs & fees, land costs, foundations, etc.
    Then I wrote:

    Actually, Tom, the cost of building a Tiny House - two stories, 9x12, with a sleeping loft - can be far less than $2500. If the tiny house is built in the country, in the burned out wilderness, out of materials on hand {Earth & Wood} and the walls are made of rammed-earth blocks, and the rafters and roof are made of fir milled with an alaskan or mobile-dimensional mill from the still-standing, but charred trunks of the burned firs & pines.

    =AND= If the Homeless themselves{those who are willing and able to work} and the Homesteaders on larger parcels of 4.444 acres up the road, are the ones working on the construction. As I wrote above:

    "Marvelous things have been done in bringing back & re- greening depleted & devastated regions in China, Ethiopia, and Jordan, in recent years. Thus, there is Work, for the able-bodied among the Homeless. All they need is a little direction – and a paycheck. In exchange, they will receive both a parcel of land (slightly under half an acre is enough) and a tiny home. Rammed-earth block walls with mobile dimensional milled fir ceilings made in situ
    is the absolute cheapest way to go."

    = Click on the links Rammed-earth = & = mobile dimensional to get my drift =


    What I am saying is that every settlement needs to be equipped with this equipment.
    Then tommy wrote:

    This is not a realistic solution to the problem of the homeless.
    Actually I am correct, Tommy, & I am a builder. The solution to Homelessness is a Home - a private room with a loft on close to half an acre of terra firma. - Not some rickshaw that can be pushed along the highways & bi-ways, & not some voucher to stay in some motel for an indeterminate, but temporary period of time.

    The solution for Homelessness is a Home. =AND= There are hundreds of thousands of acres of burned-over lands throughout the Pacific Northwest where people who are currently without homes may land. -And have a "real home." - a permanent one.

    And yes, it would be far cheaper to build them on-site from the raw materials at hand, than to purchase commercial building materials from Home Depot or Friedman's to build them, hence my suggestions.

    In the unincorporated areas of Mendocino & Humboldt Counties, tiny houses would not need sewer hook-ups, since they could use out-houses. Single units in the deep country would not need more volts of electricity than a used solar panel can generate.

    Yes, what I am suggesting should be considered as the long-term Goal. And, No, it will not be easy to make it happen. But where there is a will, there is a a way.
    Last edited by Mayacaman; 11-12-2019 at 09:19 PM.
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  23. TopTop #14
    Moon's Avatar
    Moon
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    One more component of the problem: Sometimes the cops will tell homeless people that, if they'll leave where they're camping, they'll get a shelter bed--and then there turn pout not to be any.
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  24. TopTop #15
    tommy's Avatar
    tommy
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    I've had a change of heart regarding the camps on the Joe Rodota Trail. I went to a Homeless Action! meeting on Monday. Homeless Action! is a coalition of homeless people, and their allies, that meet weekly to offer help and solutions to the homeless.

    I learned there are several churches in Santa Rosa, that allow "safe parking" in their parking lots for the homeless. I learned that they have County/State funding of $450k, due to expire in Jan 2020, to establish a homeless center in Sonoma County, but have had difficulty finding a location for it.

    Regarding the camp on the Joe Rodota trail, I learned that homeless representatives have been in contact with a nearby church to provide a Porta Potty. They've been trying to get trash / recycling pickup from Recology. Residents of the camp continuously pick up trash, and encourage campers to keep their camp clean. There was a man at the meeting from the adjoining apt/condo complex, who has created a dialog to promote the safety of people and property, in the complex and the camp.

    I'm now remembering the slowed down video on Wacco, that showed 4 or 5 people shooting up drugs in the camp. I now view that video as alarmist, unprincipled, reactionary, and designed to inflame the public against the camp. I'm not condoning drug use. But it's unconscionable to make a video of instances of drug use, and not show other sides, of good and decent people who live in the camps, and the struggles all of them have had in securing housing.

    When I actually met homeless people in the meeting, I realized that

    1. they're human, and deserve compassion,
    2. they've often ended up homeless due to an incident like losing a job, having an accident, losing housing, etc and
    3. they deserve my heart and caring, as I could very well be in their shoes.

    It's one thing to donate to charities that help people in places like Haiti or India or the Tenderloin... and have an elitist attitude toward people camped along a trail in our own neighborhood.

    Being housed, it's easy, yet supremely selfish, to sit in my cushy house, and criticize those without housing.

    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    The eastern half of the Joe Rodota trail has been taken over by the homeless. Be sure to watch the video below. This is such a difficult problem! I'm going to guess that Lynda Hopkins will have something to say about it next Sunday, Oct 27th, at our community picnic, along with taking your questions.

    Seems to me, that providing housing with wrap-around services, is the only answer. That's going to be expensive and have its own problems, but otherwise this is just going to get worse.

    Your thoughts?
    Barry



    Camp crowding Santa Rosa trail is new flashpoint over homeless enforcement
    WILL SCHMITT
    THE PRESS DEMOCRAT October 19, 2019


    A sprawling homeless camp of more than 100 tents and makeshift dwellings has overrun a public trail in west Santa Rosa, spurring a flood of complaints about safety and squalid living conditions and stoking public debate over what many local residents decry as another example of government’s failure to respond to an intractable problem.

    The camp, which now spans about a quarter mile of the Joe Rodota Trail west of Stony Point Road, has swelled to at least 110 people in recent weeks amid a growing list of calls taken by Santa Rosa police. The tally now tops more than 80 reports regarding homelessness on the trail over the past few months, with incidents ranging from outstanding warrants to an assault with a deadly weapon.

    Local officials acknowledge the unsanctioned camp is rife with health and safety issues, including the spread of untreated human waste, substance abuse and garbage strewn around the area.

    Some residents say the settlement has become a blight on the popular public trail — a converted former rail right of way overseen by the county. The impact on nearby residents and businesses has also become increasingly clear. People in the camp area apparently have used drugs in broad daylight on multiple occasions, and one longtime camp denizen said this week that she knew of a bottle of urine tossed by a homeless person into an adjacent home’s backyard.

    “This is a public safety hazard and a humanitarian crisis,” said Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, whose district includes the encampment.

    ‘Epicenter for lawlessness’

    The camp’s growing size has prompted county park rangers to largely steer clear of the trail segment, part of an 8.5-mile path from Santa Rosa to Sebastopol that is a well-used route for bike commuters and recreational riders, joggers and walkers. Some have reported avoiding the path, not wanting to run a gantlet they perceive as potentially threatening. For its part, the county seems to agree, with plans now in motion to advise trail users to avoid the area.

    The homeless settlement has become “this sort of epicenter for lawlessness, this sort of symbol for, honestly, everything that’s wrong in government,” Hopkins said in a candidates’ forum last week.

    It poses in graphic terms another front in the now all-too-familiar conflict for parts of Sonoma County, the Bay Area and California where homelessness is rampant — a conflict, Hopkins said, between “the people who are falling through the cracks and a takeover of what is a public right of way and something that taxpayers invested in so they could commute and get out of their cars and get between west county and Santa Rosa.”

    But local government has done little about the highly visible camp, in clear sight of drivers on Highway 12 and residents on Occidental Road.

    Workers with Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa, the county’s largest private homeless service provider, and some local officials have made occasional patrols through the area. County homelessness teams are set to make their presence known on the trail starting this week.

    But there is no firm timeline for enforcement action against the campers, and a court order limits what local officials can do until at least next summer.

    “Ultimately, what we want to see is that folks are leaving the trail because they’re coming into services,” said Geoffrey Ross, the executive director of the Community Development Commission. “It’s going to be a several-week process.”

    Trail users told to avoid area

    While officials figure out what to do and how to do it, those who use the trail for recreation and travel will be asked to bypass the area, said Bert Whitaker, director of Sonoma County Regional Parks. Signs will soon be posted advising people to find alternate routes for the foreseeable future, he said.

    Continues here
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  25. TopTop #16
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Quote tommy wrote: View Post
    I've had a change of heart regarding the camps on the Joe Rodota Trail. ...
    Thanks for your involvement in this issue and your post.

    So given "your change of heart", then what??
    Last edited by Barry; 11-13-2019 at 01:15 PM.

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  27. TopTop #17
    juna
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    to All about the Trail folks.

    Please read and sign to support the bike coalition petition to create change for the better for All.
    Juna


    Dear Leadership Council:

    The Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition is concerned about the growing homeless encampment on the Joe
    Rodota Trail, which has resulted in Regional Parks posting signage directing cyclists to detour due
    to safety issues.

    While we seek to restore the trail to its intended purpose as a safe, car-free transportation
    corridor, we also have compassion for the homeless and don’t want to inflict further misery on
    people who are already suffering. The homeless people currently living there need a place to go.

    In the last few years, camps have been cleared, people have been scattered, and new camps emerge
    elsewhere. We need a different approach. We support the use of public land to create a sanctioned
    camping area with sanitation facilities, where these people can move and various agencies can bring
    services to help them. In the interim, it seems reasonable to locate some porta-potties and trash
    cans near the trail to mitigate the hygiene and pollution issues.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Sincerely,
    Eris Weaver, Executive Director

    Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition
    [email protected] [email protected]rg> • 707-545-0153

    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    Thanks for your involvement in this issue and your post.

    So given "your change of heart", then what??
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  29. TopTop #18
    Mayacaman's Avatar
    Mayacaman
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Good words, tommy

    Yes the Homeless are human, and many of them went to college and once held decent jobs. That is a fact. "There but for fortune, go you, or I" - as the song said. I am a witness. To all who are concerned about the day-to day nutritional needs of the Homeless who abound in Sonoma county these days, I would have you know that there are things that can be done to feed hungry people, locally.

    One of the places where you may find an abundant supply of free food, after twelve o'clock, Monday through Saturday, is in the backyard of the Redwood Gospel Mission. The Mission has the trucks & the contacts to pick up the food from All of the local Supermarkets. - But so much Food goes to waste every day behind the Mission. It is truly a tragedy, given the current level of Hunger in this, our County.

    If folks would like to help organize a Food Conveyor-Belt from the Mission to the Joe Rodota Trail (& other sites where homeless congregate) notify me. I'd be glad to make it a team effort.

    At present, I am doing this alone, as I can find time. I do not have the time to do this every day. It would be nice if we could Organize a team to do this on a daily -or every other day- basis.
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  31. TopTop #19
    juna
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Hi,

    Anyone desiring to help feed our hungry, contact [email protected]
    The trail folks are on their list of recipients as well as many shelters.

    Juna
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  33. TopTop #20
    Dustyg's Avatar
    Dustyg
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Which Redwood Gospel Mission, where?
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  35. TopTop #21
    Mayacaman's Avatar
    Mayacaman
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Dustyg, Good Question !

    The Redwood Gospel Mission is located at Sixth & Wilson, just across the Street from the Arlene Francis Center; a block north from A'Roma Roasters & Old Railroad Square. (101 6th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95401)

    We need to Organize, & communicate about our statement of purpose. =OR= Bloc with the already functional Sonoma food runners, as Juna has suggested... [email protected]

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  37. TopTop #22
    Jude Iam's Avatar
    Jude Iam
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Tommy,

    Glad you're grateful for your cushy home - and, I trust, for your couple dozen rentals.

    A RADICAL IDEA: how about making a few of them available at less than market rate to those of us without a home right now. That would be walking the talk.

    I myself would sure welcome a place to live. I'm about to take off for abroad for a while, where it costs far less to live, and to take a break from having been looking for months and not finding housing around Sebastopol.

    Best, Jude

    Quote tommy wrote: View Post
    I've had a change of heart regarding the camps on the Joe Rodota Trail....

    Being housed, it's easy, yet supremely selfish, to sit in my cushy house, and criticize those without housing.
    Last edited by Barry; 11-14-2019 at 12:15 PM.
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  39. TopTop #23
    Glia's Avatar
    Glia
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Kudos on your wide-angle POV and understanding of this Gordian Knot of a problem! Regarding the inflammatory video showing "campers" shooting up what are assumed to be drugs:

    • In addition to providing housing (not "shelters" or "centers" which sound good but fix nothing), we need to provide safe injection sites and needle exchange;
    • It is quite possible the substance being injected on the video is insulin, not recreational or black-market drugs.
    Quote tommy wrote: View Post
    ...I'm now remembering the slowed down video on Wacco, that showed 4 or 5 people shooting up drugs in the camp. I now view that video as alarmist, unprincipled, reactionary, and designed to inflame the public against the camp. I'm not condoning drug use. But it's unconscionable to make a video of instances of drug use, and not show other sides, of good and decent people who live in the camps, and the struggles all of them have had in securing housing.
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  41. TopTop #24
    Barbara Harris's Avatar
    Barbara Harris
     

    Homeless Encampment on Highway 12

    I have written to 5th District Supervisor Lynda Hopkins twice in the past 6 weeks, requesting her involvement and resources to secure public toilets and trash cans within the homeless encampment alongside Highway 12. As yet, unfortunately, there has been no response from her office.

    In reading numerous experiences and encounters of and from those walking, biking, and living along this now hideously neglected stretch of county (and newly City of Santa Rosa annexed) public trail - along with descriptions of those whose circumstances require living there in tents and cardboard boxes . . . is a mess of neglect to behold. The result of this demise is to reveal the breakdown of necessary resources in order to run interference and to re-place resources. Rather than take alarming and reactionary videos of those with addictions, please request (and vote) for policies, services, enforcement and above all, those decision makers who pay and enact attention.

    Please do not rely upon the well meaning, yet minimally resourced food banks, churches for showers, overcrowded and minimally supervised drug and crime infested temporary "beds", clothing drop-offs, cold nights, and lack of attention. Instead, please demand from those who we have elected (city and county) that they step up and convert the empty spaces into safe places for those who deserve to sleep at night without fear of being robbed, attacked, and/or denied hygiene, counseling, needle exchange and above all, the message that there are options because this matters.

    No one wants to suffer. Nobody wants to feel less than.
    The disparity is obvious and will continue until there's intervention.
    Ask those who make decisions to take care of necessary business. Isn't that why they got involved? Or not.
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  43. TopTop #25
    tommy's Avatar
    tommy
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    At the Homeless Action! meeting, what's needed is a place to house about 30 people, in 12 tiny houses and 12 RVs. Homeless Action has received $450 k (mostly for proposed management) from the City & State sponsored "Leadership Council". It'd be a temporary village, on wheels, with a common kitchen and bathrooms. There'd be case managers and others keeping peace and health standards. The property size is 1/8 acre or more. The agreement would be for a minimum of 18 months, with a desired 5 year term.

    Please contact Adrienne Lauby from Homeless Action! or myself, if you know of any possible places.

    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    Thanks for your involvement in this issue and your post.

    So given "your change of heart", then what??
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  44. Gratitude expressed by 6 members:

  45. TopTop #26
    Mayacaman's Avatar
    Mayacaman
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    tommy, you wrote:
    At the Homeless Action! meeting, what's needed is a place to house about 30 people, in 12 tiny houses and 12 RVs. Homeless Action has received $450 k (mostly for proposed management) from the City & State sponsored "Leadership Council". It'd be a temporary village, on wheels, with a common kitchen and bathrooms. There'd be case managers and others keeping peace and health standards. The property size is 1-2 acres. The agreement would be for a minimum of 18 months, with a desired 5 year term.

    Please contact Adrienne Lauby from Homeless Action! or myself, if you know of any possible places.

    But you also wrote:
    I learned that they have County/State funding of $450k, due to expire in Jan 2020, to establish a homeless center in Sonoma County, but have had difficulty finding a location for it.

    So, if a place is not found in the next six weeks will the money evaporate? Nice of the State & County to dangle a carrot that like when they know very well it is next to nigh impossible to find a place. Again, the nimbys will prevail as they have in this regard in this county for the last thirty years of this illusive Quest for a small pasture where the Homeless may safely - & legally set up their tents or park their RVs.

    We need to see this window of six weeks time as a Crisis - Just as the Situation of Homelessness in California has reached Crisis level.

    Let us know, tommy, where (and at what hour) the group, "Homeless Action" meets on Monday Nights. It should be attended as it if were a Town Hall Meeting - at least until the matter of finding a venue for the grant money can be settled...

    =ALSO= please let us know how to contact Adrienne Lauby...
    Last edited by Barry; 11-15-2019 at 10:58 AM.
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  47. TopTop #27
    Dustyg's Avatar
    Dustyg
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Jude: No need to be rude to Tommy. Many of us have lived here for a long time, have no rentals (let alone a couple of dozen) and are barely able to stay here ourselves.
    Quote Jude Iam wrote: View Post
    Tommy,

    Glad you're grateful for your cushy home - and, I trust, for your couple dozen rentals.

    A RADICAL IDEA: how about making a few of them available at less than market rate to those of us without a home right now. That would be walking the talk....
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  48. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  49. TopTop #28
    Jude Iam's Avatar
    Jude Iam
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Dusty,

    I don't follow your reasoning ("Many of us have lived here for a long time, have no rentals (let alone a couple of dozen) and are barely able to stay here ourselves" - right: if you had rentals, you WOULD be able to stay.)

    At any rate, there's a distinction between rude and forthright and I'd like to be on the forthright side.

    When one is in the position of being able to actually help a situation that one is going on about, I believe that doing something OR quitting talking is usually referred to as "Put up or shut up" - that's expressed more rudely.

    How many houses / rentals does one person need? When hundreds and thousands of folks are without ANY home.

    How much income can even be used by ONE person? Just how much rent comes in monthly from 21 units in Sonoma County? Annually?

    Taken up a degree, Bernie says that billionaires should be illegal. I agree. Too radical? Not for the 99.999%.

    Jude
    Quote Dustyg wrote: View Post
    Jude: No need to be rude to Tommy. Many of us have lived here for a long time, have no rentals (let alone a couple of dozen) and are barely able to stay here ourselves.
    Last edited by Barry; 11-15-2019 at 10:59 AM.
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  50. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  51. TopTop #29
    tommy's Avatar
    tommy
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Homeless Action! meets every Monday morning at 9:30 -11:00 at the Methodist Church, 1551 Montgomery Dr, Santa Rosa. They meet in a room with an exterior door to the front sidewalk, on the east side of the complex.

    Adrienne's email is [email protected]
    Quote Mayacaman wrote: View Post
    ...Let us know, tommy, where (and at what hour) the group, "Homeless Action" meets on Monday Nights. It should be attended as it if were a Town Hall Meeting - at least until the matter of finding a venue for the grant money can be settled...

    =ALSO= please let us know how to contact Adrienne Lauby...
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  52. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  53. TopTop #30
    DivineLightBeing's Avatar
    DivineLightBeing
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Thanks for the information about how the general public can step in and contribute in their capacity. I started getting involved while the fire shut down most of all local businesses etc....and brought food cooked in my tiny RV home. Now I am more motivated to help because I realized that while some people are working on more permanent solutions, I can help with the organizing of the distribution of much needed supplies.

    This is the list of what is urgently needed hopefully before the rain:

    Tarps or plastic sheeting that can be grommeted and used to keep dry.
    Tents for people sleeping on crates without cover
    Hand sanitizers, wet ones or body wipes
    Men jackets
    Blankets
    Garbage cans with wheels
    Hand warmers
    Storage bins with tops (Rodent proof)

    These items can be deposited and distributed by Reyvon Hill (trail resident and organizer) near entrance by Goodwill store. Cell: 707-757-4567 [email protected] Please contact her to find out how you can help even if all you can do is a load of laundry or whatever...

    I am providing her with chargeable battery packs for her and other residents cell phones for open communication.

    To get informed: Homeless Action meeting every Monday (9:30 -11) Methodist Church 1551 Montgomery Dr, Santa Rosa McMullen Room Coordinator Adrienne Lauby [email protected]

    Local meetings at the trail by entrance: Sundays 11 AM and Wednesdays 6 PM.

    Next Board of Supervisor Meeting: Mon 11/18 at 8:30 (575 Administration Drive, SR, room 102A

    I can organize donation pick up, please text me at 707-334-3490
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