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  1. TopTop #61
    Meinvelt
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Don't have the time. That said, I was being generous with my 95% "guestimate" regarding the homeless who come for assist....more like 98%. Not responding anymore thanks.
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  2. TopTop #62
    podfish's Avatar
    podfish
    Supporting Member

    Re: Homeless Encampment on Highway 12

    Quote Stargazer wrote: View Post
    SDC can be set up to provide services of all kinds in one local area for a large number of people and there is plenty of room for expansion if needed. I wonder why no one ever mentions SDC or questions why it is not being used as a site for our large homeless population?
    I'm sure there are a zillion reasons why it's not.. but that's the nature of 'reasons' -- you can always make a case for something and against something. I think the use of existing empty facilities, reasonably near town (who believes that people want to be relocated to the boonies?) seems to be the best of a bunch of bad options. It seems like the need to provide some kind of solution should overcome the objections to any specific site.
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  4. TopTop #63
    Hotspring 44's Avatar
    Hotspring 44
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Meinvelt, are those lab test results you mentioned from a wide section of the total homeless population or primarily from the emergency room labs?

    If the latter, it clearly indicates bias and your opinion is just that, an opinion and is not evidence-based enough to be of any value to solving or even knowing the totality of the homelessness issue/s regarding meth or much anything else directly related to homelessness in Sonoma County or anywhere else.

    Quote Meinvelt wrote: View Post
    I work in a hospital, lab results tell all.....
    Certainly; without more factual information than you have given so far in this thread.
    The part of your statement, IE: "lab results tell all", is a generalization.

    In your postings on this thread, you have implied that there is a large percentage of 'Meth' use among the vast majority, (of homeless people) and therefore, large percent of homeless people are currently meth users, ("fans").
    [Citation] "At least 95% of the homeless I've encountered are meth fans"

    Is that what you meant; [that] large percent of homeless people at large in Sonoma County and/or California, or anywhere else for that matter, are currently meth users?

    I suppose one can split-hairs on the words "fans" and "users" but... ...?
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  6. TopTop #64
    Mayacaman's Avatar
    Mayacaman
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Hotspring, & All...

    Many of those who are currently homeless in America today are users or abusers of drugs of some sort. That's the testimony of street people themselves who were interviewed in the Documentary, "Seattle is Dying" produced by the television station KOMO in Seattle. There is a drug epidemic in America at this time and many of the Homeless are into opioids & methadrine. That is a sad fact.

    It was not always so. Back in the early 1990's many of the homeless in San Francisco were working poor who simply could not come up with first & last months rent +plus+ the cleaning deposit. I think that overall, the main thing that has led to the current epidemic of drug abuse is depression, and despair. It is a function also of the death wish. People want out. Drugs are a way of slowing killing oneself, without pulling the trigger or jumping off the bridge.


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  8. TopTop #65
    Stiles's Avatar
    Stiles
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Oh ya, that's a perfect place for them......with all the RADIATION on Treasure Island !!
    What a great science experiment !

    Quote BEE KIND wrote: View Post
    There is an article in today’s SF Chronicle about new homeless housing and addiction treatment center on Treasure Island, where there aren’t neighbors to object. Looks like an ideal situation! I recommend reading it.
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  9. TopTop #66
    Mayacaman's Avatar
    Mayacaman
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Stargazer wrote:

    ... Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) still sits empty in the town of Eldridge while it's future development plans may be in process. .... SDC can be set up to provide services of all kinds in one local area for a large number of people and there is plenty of room for expansion if needed. I wonder why no one ever mentions SDC or questions why it is not being used as a site for our large homeless population?
    I think that this is a wonderful idea. It should be fully explored and pursued.
    Last edited by Barry; 11-22-2019 at 02:03 PM.
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  10. TopTop #67
    Hotspring 44's Avatar
    Hotspring 44
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    That may very well be true of stats in the hospital where you work. I just don't know. However, FWIW, I do take your word on what you say your experience has been in your workplace.

    Quote Meinvelt wrote: View Post
    Don't have the time. That said, I was being generous with my 95% "guestimate" regarding the homeless who come for assist....more like 98%. Not responding anymore thanks.
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  11. TopTop #68
    Hotspring 44's Avatar
    Hotspring 44
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    To say "Many" is one thing. To say 95%, (and inferring that 95% is low-balling), is almost like saying, all of...
    ...Just saying.

    It is not like I/we don't know that homelessness for "many" is at least in part be because of drug, alcohol abuse and addiction.

    That being said, there are many systemic societal causes that have recently exacerbated homelessness than just 'the homeless' peoples drug and alcohol use in and of it self.

    It also has allot to do with what society values. In particular, the me vs. them attitude that has so much permeated American society politic, which is one thing that I believe is a major causative factor contributing to the why there is so much of too-little-too-late action/s from our representatives as far as adequately making the initial investments of time, space and money that are all needed to work in concert to succeed with ending the increasing homelessness crisis in most places where it exists.

    As far as I can tell, the homelessness crisis is exemplified in Sonoma County, (not only Sonoma County by itself, but it is quite prevalent none the less), [is] the NIMBY-ism which is most certainly a humongous hurtle to get over, which, in the long-run, may show to be next to impossible to get past.

    Quote Mayacaman wrote: View Post
    Hotspring, & All...

    Many of those who are currently homeless in America today are users or abusers of drugs of some sort. That's the testimony of street people themselves who were interviewed in the Documentary, "Seattle is Dying" produced by the television station KOMO in Seattle. There is a drug epidemic in America at this time and many of the Homeless are into opioids & methadrine. That is a sad fact.
    Also, IMO, a homeless person wanting 'out' of a desperate and seemingly hopeless situation, such as, where the drug and alcohol use is noticed by others. Just consider that homelessness is oftentimes symptomatic of other issues. Consider the actions of the homeless person who is in constant stress is not so much having a "death-wish" either conscious or subconscious, but rather a desperate act out of of despair.

    Just because a percentage of homeless people may or do have a very real "death wish" is not a reason to condemn those who are homeless that do not whom are in extreme psychological distress whereas, drug and alcohol use etc. undeniably does exist but is more symptomatic of psychological distress than an actual desired permanent condition on their part.

    There are homeless people who are desperate, that need societal help and they are not getting enough of it, in large part because of the generalizations such as 95%+ are meth-heads or opioid addicted needle users, etc.. Also, a general lack of reasonable empathy from those that 'have' which I think needs to be addressed with more outreach to the 'haves' with accurate information instead of being loaded with bias generalizations.

    Also, I wonder how many 'invisible' homeless there are who do not fit into the common generalizations that get overlooked.
    Last edited by Hotspring 44; 11-21-2019 at 09:16 PM. Reason: small edit to be more concise
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  13. TopTop #69
    BlueBayou's Avatar
    BlueBayou
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    I’m sorry I’m insulted by the use of the term Meth Fans to start with. I’d like to know if this 95% is a census you actually took or is this just your impression of who homeless must be? What a heartless response to the post of someone who took the time to walk and talk amongst the people there and check out what’s going on himself, contribute some very important details and some practical suggestions.

    I too see these empty commercial buildings sit empty for years on end and wonder the same. But if the movement to be of service and to truly help those that do not have the means, then let’s provide housing for people regardless of what they are a fan of. When we get the providing of safe shelters buttoned up then I suggest tackling other needs of those most likely to be the occupants. Until then you’re either putting the cart before the horse or already discriminating.

    There are existing programs and professionals in that arena so no “suggestions “ to deal with the addiction issue are not needed. You turn to those organizations for support that are professionally equipped and trained. He didn’t go there looking for meth addicts, he went there looking for people, the people that could use some support. We should all try to live in a sense of community.

    If I have 3 and you have none well of course I can share. And if you have nothing to offer of possession or goods then we all have what this person who posted has and that is time - time to talk to someone time to know more about those less fortunate sleeping and surviving out there tonite.
    Quote Meinvelt wrote: View Post
    Interesting, you didn't come across any meth addicts? At least 95% of the homeless I've encountered are meth fans. Perhaps we have two different realities.
    Last edited by Barry; 11-22-2019 at 02:05 PM.
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  15. TopTop #70
    Mayacaman's Avatar
    Mayacaman
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail


    Hotspring 44 wrote:

    “…there are many systemic societal causes that have recently exacerbated homelessness than just 'the homeless' peoples drug and alcohol use in and of it self.

    It also has a lot to do with what society values. In particular, the me vs. them attitude that has so much permeated American society politic, which is one thing that I believe is a major causative factor contributing to the why there is so much of too-little-too-late action/s from our representatives as far as adequately making the initial investments of time, space and money that are all needed to work in concert to succeed with ending the increasing homelessness crisis in most places where it exists.

    As far as I can tell, the homelessness crisis is exemplified in Sonoma County, (not only Sonoma County by itself, but it is quite prevalent none the less), [is] the NIMBY-ism which is most certainly a humongous hurtle to get over, which, in the long-run, may show to be next to impossible to get past.

    There are homeless people who are desperate, that need societal help and they are not getting enough of it, in large part because of the generalizations such as 95%+ are meth-heads or opioid addicted needle users, etc.. Also, a general lack of reasonable empathy from those that 'have' which I think needs to be addressed with more outreach to the 'haves' with accurate information instead of being loaded with bias generalizations.

    All true, Hotspring 44. The “death wish” I spoke of does not connote blame or onus on those who are homeless. It is only a bi-product of the despair that has overwhelmed many who have been up against it so long that they see no way out.

    I agree with you one hundred percent, that “It also has a lot to do with what society values…” In fact I would say that it has everything to do with what society values.

    Society” ought to value “People.” – Even if they are considered the “dregs” of Society. No one should be homeless in America. No one. No one should be without food or clothing, or shelter. – No matter how lost or undone they are. It is a national shame that this has come to be; and it is up to us, who are among the “haves” to try to fix it.

    That is the reason why I propose the re-institution of the Homestead Act = So that folks who are now without permanent shelter may be endowed with a home, in a planned community.


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  17. TopTop #71
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: Homeless Encampment on Highway 12

    This is a copy of my personal response to DivineLightBeing:

    Thank you for writing from your personal experience. We have too many "general jugements" from those who've never taken the time to reach out in compassion.

    I also was a "care-giver" for a Bipolar young 22 year old man who was nearly homeless if not for my compassion. At our first "encounter" I just shared half of my sandwich, while I listened "deeply" to him. After a few minutes, he removed his headphones that blared music so he could separate from the pain in his body and soul. I looked into his eyes the entire time he spoke, without interrupting him. It was like being under a rushing waterfall of raging, yet mournful emotions, but I stayed the course. (My own brother was Bipolar from birth, and killed himself at 39.)

    This young man, who's name was Richie, stopped talking, and only said one thing to me: "You're REALLY LISTENING!" I simply responded "Yes, I am"

    For the next 25 years, I assisted him in many ways with food, clothing, shoes,housing, transportation to appointments and the ER. I also help him obtain Cannibus, which worked better than any of his psych drugs that he took faithfully, in spite of the stomach pains, nausea, and extreme weight gain. Cannabis calmed him, and allowed him a bit of joy in his tragic existance. He tried unsuccessfully to kill himself five times.

    He died two years ago, with congestive heart failure, asthma, and diabetes. He had died on the surgeon's table several years before, and was resusitated. He was mad at not being allowed to die, and also at not seeing "heaven" or "god" as promised by so many.

    I have many heartfelt letters from him, over the years, showing gratitude to me. They could fill a book, if I ever took the time to create it.

    He was the most compassionate person I've ever known. It seemed that everything I gave him in the way of shoes, clothes, blankets, coats and other items were always passed on to someone who was "homeless".
    He said "Sandy, if you saw what I see everyday, you would do the same." I knew he was telling the truth.

    Many times he would invite a homeless person in to his dingy motel room, to shelter them from the cold and rain. Some of them stole from him while he was passed out from the 7 various medications he was on. He'd get angry, but soon forgive them, and allow them shelter once again.

    I wrote a poem to honor him, and although I haven't posted it in the poetry section, I'd like to share it here:


    The Champ Has Left the Ring
    In Honor of Richie Mora 1970-2017

    You fought as if your life depended on it, and in many ways it did.

    We watched as you took blow after blow, some even self-delivered, while bringing your hidden strength to retaliate and defend yourself from this massive, unstoppable opponent.

    At times we thought the battle was over, but you pulled yourself up, and through some unseen power, re-engaged with a weakened effort, in this fight that you knew you couldn’t win.

    Your breath came in gasps, your heart was struggling to beat, walking was painful, and yet you wouldn’t give up until they restrained you, as the end was near.

    You will be missed by many whose lives you touched with your compassionate heart. With not much yourself, you gave all that you had.

    Your tears were shed not only for yourself, but for all who suffered from hunger, cold and abuse.

    Be free from the suffering you endured for so long.

    Let your spirit fly on wings of our love, into the eternity that awaits all of us.

    RIP May 2017

    Richard John Mora Jr.


    Quote DivineLightBeing wrote: View Post
    I have taken care of a 55 yrs old who was gang raped at 12 yrs old for 8 yrs in my own home because she was “walking on walls” in a psychiatric facility. ...
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  18. TopTop #72
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Thank you Mark, for sharing your compassion and wisdom with us. We need more like you~
    Quote Mayacaman wrote: View Post
    ...Society” ought to value “People.” – Even if they are considered the “dregs” of Society. No one should be homeless in America. No one. No one should be without food or clothing, or shelter. – No matter how lost or undone they are. It is a national shame that this has come to be; and it is up to us, who are among the “haves” to try to fix it....
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  20. TopTop #73

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    I would guess that a more or less equivalent percentage of the general population are users or abusers of drugs. Each social level has its own particular drugs; some come by way of doctor's prescription, some from the liquor store and some are illegally distributed. Everyone is seeking some form of escape from unedited reality, why should the homeless be any different? Sure they spend some of the little money that comes to them on drugs; if the same amount will fill your stomach but leave you miserable, or get you high which will make you forget you are hungry, the choice is not so irrational. This is not about drugs or about mental illness (if being crazy did not make you homeless, being homeless will surely drive you crazy).

    The homeless span a huge variety of individual stories, and there is only one single thing they all have in common; they do not have homes. This is about resource allocation in our society that operates to load resources on those who already have more than they can even use and deny resources to those who have nothing. This is about the fact that there are eight times as many empty houses in this country than there are homeless people. This is about nobody should get seconds until everyone has had firsts. This is about land and shelter held for speculation by absentee landlords. This is about the fact that we have positive feedback loops at both ends of the social scale: the richer you are the easier it is to get richer still, and the lower you sink the harder it is to climb out.

    The bottom line is that these people are not "them" they are us. Unless you are a member of the ownership class you are only a run of bad luck away from homelessness. Some may have a larger cushion, but we have seen many times how assets can suddenly lose their entire value through no fault of their owner. I suspect that the unconscious realization of this may underlie much of the hostility people display towards the homeless.

    Here is my suggestion for housing the homeless.

    First, calculate the total cost of fully housing everyone. Second, calculate the total assessed value of all secondary housing in the country. Secondary housing is any housing that is not somebody’s primary residence. It includes second homes, empty houses, and vacation rentals. Third, calculate the percentage of assessed valuation that will meet the housing costs and impose an annual federal property tax at that percentage rate.

    No doubt an actual implementation would have to be somewhat more complex, but it seems to me eminently fair that the owners of secondary housing should bear the cost of housing the homeless. If there were no such concept as secondary housing, and all housing was available for occupancy, we would be able to house everyone with no difficulty. What prevents people from living in houses is not the unavailability of houses, or even the actual costs of housing them, but rather the price of housing. This is determined by the market as a whole; if more income can be derived from houses by turning them into short term vacation rentals, there will be fewer primary housing units available, and therefore the price will rise. The same argument applies to all kinds of secondary housing. Therefore the exorbitant price of primary housing is a direct result of the existence of the secondary housing market, so it is only fair that that those who benefit from that market (either financially or by being able to enjoy multiple homes) should pay for those who are priced out of the market altogether by these activities.

    This post is already far longer than I intended and there are other aspects that need to be covered, such as whether shelter (and other necessities) should be a basic human right, but that will have to wait for another post. I cover this entire area in some depth at www.patrickbrinton.com.

    Patrick Brinton
    Last edited by Barry; 11-23-2019 at 01:48 PM.
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  21. TopTop #74
    BlueBayou's Avatar
    BlueBayou
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Quote Mayacaman wrote: View Post
    I think that this is a wonderful idea. It should be fully explored and pursued.
    Regarding Sonoma Development Center , The state spent $2.1 million last year for an outside study that found the property was in need of nearly $115 million in infrastructure repairs to meet modern codes. A majority of its buildings were obsolete and would also require millions of dollars in seismic upgrades.

    There was a deadline of Oct 4, 2019 asking for
    13 residents to join a planning team to reimagine Sonoma Developmental Center's future. Here’s the PD article.
    Last edited by Barry; 11-23-2019 at 01:51 PM.
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  23. TopTop #75
    Mayacaman's Avatar
    Mayacaman
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    BlueBayou wrote:
    Regarding Sonoma Development Center...
    Duly noted, BlueBayou

    However, there is nothing in that piece from the Press Democrat that precludes the State and the County from taking the current homeless crisis by the horns, and declaring a state of Emergency, whereby those who are out in the cold, with Winter hard on its way, will have shelter.

    I am certain that almost all of the homeless who are camped along the Joe Rodota Trail as well as many other nooks & crannies throughout the North Bay would rather have the pleasure of dry quarters at the SDC - even if the buildings at the SDC are in need of earth-quake retrofitting. They could sign waivers to agree not to sue in the event of an earthquake.
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  25. TopTop #76
    BlueBayou's Avatar
    BlueBayou
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Quote Mayacaman wrote: View Post
    Duly noted, BlueBayou

    However, there is nothing in that piece from the Press Democrat that precludes the State and the County from taking the current homeless crisis by the horns, and declaring a state of Emergency, whereby those who are out in the cold, with Winter hard on its way, will have shelter. ....
    Thank you for your response. I was only offering the information as something I remembered running across not long ago. I too am homeless and maybe a neighbor of your soon. For the record, I am not a “meth fan” or have a substance abuse issue as the generalization is made by some. Maybe if I was I would have more options.

    Instead I am the worst demographic for help. The services, shelters anywhere there is an intake process I don’t meet the “of imminent danger” criteria to even get on a waitlist services are so impacted. Not my words so please don’t reply with hate mail, I was told in response to being more eligible and if an urgent need that I am not “a Hispanic single mother, a veteran, disabled, a senior, a drug addict, a recently recovered addict, or recently paroled “. Instead I’m a single white 56 year old law abiding female. I had been successfully self-employed for 20 years.

    A series of events including health, economy and yes, the fires of 2017 created the perfect storm for me. I’m here to tell you it’s possible to think you are different or it can’t happen to you, but we are all just an unforeseen event or unthought of circumstance from it happening. Once the avalanche starts it’s relentless. No job or place to live and you’ve gone through what money available. It then becomes like this hamster wheel everyday. You run and work at things as fast as you can and you literally get no where.

    Most days you are just trying to make sure you can get through to the next. This includes the basic daily necessities and it all takes soooo much longer from this side. What may have taken 20 min to do before with ease of resources like to shower, blow dry your hair, FIND a place to charge a phone , takes 3 hours. Sorry if the blow dryer comment seems self indulgent in this situation but like I tell the dog each day, appearances are everything. It’s true. Partly the reason I’ve even barely made it out here is because I don’t “look the part”.

    And yes I have a dog and I’d never consider giving her up. She been with me 15 years and they all of this with me. It does make things more challenging. How do you go on an interview with no place for your dog or work for the day. Hanging out in a public place for warmth or rest is a challenge with a dog. There needs to be day services to help with that. Shelters won’t take a dog and most rentals either.

    I’ve lived here my whole life. I’ve been a career volunteer in my community. Just 2 years ago my son and I spent nearly the whole winter doing our “Soup and socks” route downtown handing out dry socks and homemade soup to those in need. Just something we thought we could help by doing. Ironically we never had leftovers at Thanksgiving because our family tradition was to make sandwich and bag them up and hit downtown on Thanksgiving night and this year I’ll be looking for someone who may be offering just that type of kindness.

    I have no family in a position to help or in the area to stay with. Once you get out here it’s nearly impossible to get back in the fast lane, heck even proceed with caution. Can’t get a job without a place to stay and function from and can’t get a place without a job. I will say the loneliness and the quiet in numbing. It’s hard to stay motivated. But what kindness I’ve been shown, what comfort I’ve received, what little dignity I have left has come from the “homeless “ community that is not sitting in judgement because they stand in your shoes. Yes, where it starts is a home and a place to be for more than a moment or even 30 days. From there everything else is possible.
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  27. TopTop #77
    Mayacaman's Avatar
    Mayacaman
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Quote BlueBayou wrote:
    Thank you for your response. I was only offering the information as something I remembered running across not long ago. I too am homeless and maybe a neighbor of your soon....
    Thank you for sharing your story, BlueBayou. It is true, "There but for fortune go you, or I..."
    None of us has anything we have not received. That's biblical. -And none of us are that far from the street. -Or- from losing every thing that we think we have. We live in a very fragile economic bubble - all of us. And no one should have to bear any onus or blame for these realities, for the simple reason that the System is not working for the People.
    Last edited by Barry; 11-24-2019 at 12:26 PM.
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  29. TopTop #78
    SonomaPatientsCoop's Avatar
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    While not my normal news source there was a good article in the Christian Science Monitor on the successes Houston has had in recent years dealing with the homeless crisis.
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  31. TopTop #79
    tommy's Avatar
    tommy
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Patrick,
    I appreciate your analysis around secondary homes, and your idea to tax the owners to bear the cost of housing the homeless.

    However, I do not believe this is realistic. It'd be difficult to approve, and complex to administer. While I followed your logic in finding secondary homes as the cause of homelessness, the truth is that secondary homes is one of a handful of causes of homelessness. Other causes are reductions in social services, fragmenting of our social web, fewer good jobs, and the myriad factors leading to an increase in the cost of housing... to name a few.

    I think the best solution is for unused govt land to be made available to the homeless. My understanding is that Homeless Action! has contacted the local govts many times, for permission to use unused land for housing the homeless, but they have been rebuffed. I can only think the cause is the stigma around the homeless.

    Quote pbrinton wrote: View Post
    ...Here is my suggestion for housing the homeless.

    First, calculate the total cost of fully housing everyone. Second, calculate the total assessed value of all secondary housing in the country. Secondary housing is any housing that is not somebody’s primary residence. It includes second homes, empty houses, and vacation rentals. Third, calculate the percentage of assessed valuation that will meet the housing costs and impose an annual federal property tax at that percentage rate.

    No doubt an actual implementation would have to be somewhat more complex,...
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  33. TopTop #80
    podfish's Avatar
    podfish
    Supporting Member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Quote tommy wrote: View Post
    ...However, I do not believe this is realistic. It'd be difficult to approve, and complex to administer. While I followed your logic in finding secondary homes as the cause of homelessness, the truth is that secondary homes is one of a handful of causes of homelessness.
    that's true, but there are other reasons to focus attention on secondary homes. Sure, it's a traditional american-dream kind of thing, to have a cabin on the lake or a house in wine country, depending on your class/background. That makes it very difficult to touch as a political issue. In the same way as people worry about taxing the wealthy because they imagine becoming wealthy themselves, they see themselves as affected when you propose regulating/taxing secondary homes.

    But in both cases, times are changing. Things like AirB&B and gentrification (or the rural & ex-urban equivalent) are showing people the costs to their own neighborhoods. The percentage of housing stock lost is significant, and the upward price-pressure when houses go to people who usually earn more than their neighbors who work locally can make is very destructive. Not everyone is forced out of their homes, but only those who cash out the increased values can avoid being hurt. So it may be difficult to approve and complex to administer, but it's good public policy.
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  35. TopTop #81

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    To be clear, I did not intend to give the impression that I believed secondary homes were the sole cause of homelessness, but they are a strong contributory cause. I agree that passing such a law would be challenging, but if something is the proper path it is worth at least fighting for. Other seemingly hopeless causes have succeeded over time I disagree about the difficulty of implementation, though. I believe that all states levy property taxes, and houses are hard to conceal, and all ownership is registered. All that remains is to establish the primary or secondary status of each dwelling. This is not an insuperable task.

    The problem with unused government land is that you cannot just create viable communities anywhere you choose. Homelessness is actually a misnomer: what we are talking about is shelterlessness. What you are suggesting sounds like forced resettlement and separation from the community at large. If this unused land were truly able to support a community (in terms of natural resources such as water) it would not be unused! Unless of course you are referring to land that is already within communities. Homeless people are full fledged members of our communities; they often have strong ties within the community, and living space could and should be made available to them.

    Patrick Brinton

    Quote tommy wrote: View Post
    Patrick,
    I appreciate your analysis around secondary homes, and your idea to tax the owners to bear the cost of housing the homeless.

    However, I do not believe this is realistic. It'd be difficult to approve, and complex to administer. While I followed your logic in finding secondary homes as the cause of homelessness, the truth is that secondary homes is one of a handful of causes of homelessness. Other causes are reductions in social services, fragmenting of our social web, fewer good jobs, and the myriad factors leading to an increase in the cost of housing... to name a few.

    I think the best solution is for unused govt land to be made available to the homeless. My understanding is that Homeless Action! has contacted the local govts many times, for permission to use unused land for housing the homeless, but they have been rebuffed. I can only think the cause is the stigma around the homeless.
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  37. TopTop #82
    Barrie's Avatar
    Barrie
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    I haven't read everyone's posts, so forgive me it this is repetitious. I ride my bike through this section of the trail every week, usually more than once a week. I have never had a problem, no harassment, no danger, no threats, no scary incidents. People have said "hello," people have commented on me feeding the feral cats there, one guy offered to help me deal with a recent dead raccoon. NO PROBLEMS.

    Most of the people appear to be in their early twenties and are heavily in to bicycles. There are guitars, recorded music from some source, dogs. I haven't seen any children. I saw a woman shaving her legs! Brave woman! If you have children in their 20's you might see some of their former class mates or friends among the campers. I hope the city or county soon provide a legal, safe, camp ground with sanitary services.

    Mostly, calm down. Remember how hysterical people were about the hippies when rent was cheaper so drop outs could live indoors?

    Barrie
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  39. TopTop #83
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    The Rochelle in the article below is the "RochelleR" who has been posting on this thread.
    Thanks for your good work, Rochelle (and sister Jillian!)

    Barry



    Sebastopol sisters reach out to the homeless along the Joe Rodota Trail
    By Laura Hagar Rush, Sonoma West Editor, [email protected] Nov 20, 2019

    Like a lot of people who live in west county, sisters Rochelle and Jillian Roberts drive past the homeless encampment along the Joe Rodota Trail and Highway 12 on a regular basis.

    “I go running at Howarth Park all the time,” Rochelle said. “So I drive past it, and in the back of your head, you always think, like, what’s going on there? How can we help? But then you’re way too nervous to do anything.”

    For Rochelle, that’s as far as it went until the Kincade Fire happened. The two sisters and their extended family of nine ended up temporarily homeless during the evacuation. They stayed in a friend’s already over-crowded home, then got a large cabin at a KOA campground, which cost more than they expected.

    It gave Rochelle an inkling of what it might feel like to be homeless on a more permanent basis.

    “It sparked me,” she said. “Last Sunday I was driving by to go take a run, and I just looked over, and I’m like, I need to do something. We need to do something.”

    Rochelle talked to her sister Jillian and her friend Heather, who used to be homeless and is a recovering addict.

    “So we were like, ‘Let’s just get some pizza’ for them,” Rochelle said.

    They bought 10 Costco pizzas and some bottled water.

    “Then we loaded up the kids wagon, and we just went down there,” Rochelle said. “And, yes, we were a little nervous.”

    “But when we got down there, everybody was so nice,” Jillian said. “Our mother always taught us that it doesn't matter if it's a bum on the street or a CEO, you always treat everybody the same. Everybody gets treated equally.”

    They pulled their wagon down the trail, offering slices of pizza to anyone who wanted some. They walked the whole length of the trail, chatting with people they met.

    Driving home that day, they talked about what more they could do.

    “We don’t have a lot of money,” Jillian said — certainly, not enough to make a difference in the lives of the hundreds of homeless people who line the trail.

    Both sisters work for their father’s trucking company, Rio Dog Trucking. Rochelle lives in a trailer on her parent’s property because, after she lost her four-bedroom rental home to the Tubbs Fire (her landlords lost their house in the fire and so had to move into their rental), she couldn’t find a place to live that she could afford.

    The sisters decided that what they could do — in addition to making a weekly Wednesday food run to the encampment — is gather donations from people and distribute them among the homeless the same way they distributed the pizza.

    Last week, they started a Facebook group called Sonoma County Acts of Kindness and were shocked to discover that within three days the group had 300 members eager to donate all sorts of things — clothing, food, tarps, tents. When they put out a call for adult diapers for some of the elderly people they met along the trail and for menstrual products for the women, they were overwhelmed by the response.

    Continues here

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  41. TopTop #84
    Mayacaman's Avatar
    Mayacaman
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail


    Tommy wrote:
    …the truth is that secondary homes is one of a handful of causes of homelessness. Other causes are reductions in social services, fragmenting of our social web, fewer good jobs, and the myriad factors leading to an increase in the cost of housing... to name a few.

    I think the best solution is for unused govt land to be made available to the homeless. My understanding is that Homeless Action! has contacted the local govts many times, for permission to use unused land for housing the homeless, but they have been rebuffed. I can only think the cause is the stigma around the homeless…
    Quite so, Tommy. There are many factors that have led to this present situation, in which we witness the hemorrhaging of the social fabric. And I agree with you that government land should be made available to solve the problem. That is why I advocate the re-institution of the Homestead Act, with amendments.

    Eight nuclear families should be able to share forty acres, and a maximum of sixty-four homeless adults should be able to share forty acres. Everyone would be required to build their own house (with the help of the community at large, working as a team) and if they can stick with it, and get along on the social level, after two years, the land & house should be theirs.

    Patrick Brinton wrote:
    The problem with unused government land is that you cannot just create viable communities anywhere you choose. Homelessness is actually a misnomer: what we are talking about is shelterlessness. What you are suggesting sounds like forced resettlement and separation from the community at large. If this unused land were truly able to support a community (in terms of natural resources such as water) it would not be unused!

    Unless of course you are referring to land that is already within communities. Homeless people are full fledged members of our communities; they often have strong ties within the community, and living space could and should be made available to them.
    Patrick, while you are quite right that “…You cannot just create viable communities anywhere you chose,” I disagree with your declaration “If this unused land were truly able to support a community (in terms of natural resources such as water) it would not be unused!”

    Consider this: the Bureau of Land Management is sitting on over two hundred and forty-five million [245,000,000]
    acres. I would safely wager that over twenty million of those acres are quite suitable for the sort of development that I have suggested over on the other thread. And Patrick, I am referring to BLM (& other government) lands that are outside of currently established communities.

    The water is actually also there, underground, at the depth of the old Devonian Sea – which is sandstone. You just have to drill deep enough to tap into it. It has been done - even out on the desert in Saudi Arabia, and the Sahara.

    As far as this statement : “Homeless people are full fledged members of our communities; they often have strong ties within the community, and living space could and should be made available to them,” I totally agree with you. To build a Homestead and a viable community on the terrain of timbered over & burned over former wilderness in the near wilds of the Pacific Northwest is certainly not for everyone.

    But I have run the Homestead Idea by Adrienne Lauby of Homeless Action, and Reyvon Hill, who is the wheel at the Joe Rodota Trail encampment, and they think that the idea definitely has traction & is workable for a number of people who are currently homeless. I am sure, for many of the young and able-bodied twenty-something element among them, it would be a hit. Indeed, it would be a sort of secular salvation.

    What percentage of the Homeless could take to the hills and endure the rigors of Homesteading for a period of two years? I do not know. Certainly there must also be a solution for those who wish to remain within the perimeter of already established communities, and for those who cannot fend for themselves or endure the rigors of Homesteading in the near-wilderness.

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  43. TopTop #85
    BlueBayou's Avatar
    BlueBayou
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    There’s a very good article by the Los Angeles Times. It addresses creating housing solutions much like the contributions here for consideration. I wonder though, “if you build it , will they come ?” This article describes how other states already have legislation in place that says you cannot make it illegal to sleep outdoors basically if you have not built enough temporary shelter to accommodate all in need. More temporary housing or shelters are needed and then transitional housing all with wrap around services. You can’t just pluck people out of these encampments for example and drop them into permanent housing. It’s a culture shock if you’ve been out here awhile. You have to retrain your way of life. You’ll still need money, so a job, most likely some medical attention and some life coaching, those wrap around services. Perhaps you’re all considering that when describing the homesteading etc.

    I say we need to address the availability of enough immediate space in shelters and next transitional housing. Those are real in need solutions that support the success of these communities we keep talking about building. We are still so many years away from that happening what about the people out there right now. See I know we are capable of providing the immediate shelter needs of thousands overnight. We’ve demonstrated in well “Sonoma Strong “. People immediately dig into their pockets and closets to give to those are in need. So we do live in a compassionate connected community. We just need to educate them about who is in need. I agree it’s not everyone has a right to a home, it everyone has a right to successfully getting a healthy life of independence and choice back.

    I took in two kids in their 20s drenched in a downpour of rain huddled under a wet blanket while walking home last year from the mall. I set up my detached garage for them for 1 night. Hours later I found one of them asleep under the covered patio of my backyard. I asked him why and he said, he couldn’t see anything around him. He didn’t feel safe between the 4 walls because he didnt want to not have the time to protect himself if someone snuck up on him. It felt safer for him to sleep outside where he could look as far as my curb and sidewalk and know he’d see what was coming and he felt to confined with no way out in my garage “bnb”. He was not on drugs or suffering from mental illness. Maybe some would say PTSD but it how you acclimate to your environment over time.

    Going back to the article of The LA times it mentions “Gov. Gavin Newsom’s January executive order identified 1,390 vacant state parcels suitable for development, and that’s a good starting point. We will also need to find ways to reduce the opportunity for endless legal challenges from those who don’t want shelters placed near them. As well as the right to shelter must be paired with the obligation to use it. Living on the streets should not be considered a civil right. And once people are sheltered, they need to receive treatment and support that can help them remain housed”.

    When Sonoma County recently took everyone off their housing waitlist and announced you would have to apply under the new lottery method to be waitlisted. 26,000 applied between the application dates of July 1- Jul 31, 31, 2019. Then it closed It promised to take 500 of those applications lottery style. First anyone that met the priority criteria were automatically placed on the list first and bypassing the “luck of the draw”. You were assigned a point for each priority criteria met. These included Seniors, Disabled, Veterans, Families with Children and you had to already be a resident of Sonoma County. You didn’t need to be one under the previous method of waitlisting. There was no lottery draw, all 500 waitlist spots were filled by those qualified under the priority criteria. Of those 500 it will take 1-2 years to have permanent housing become available. A new waitlist in case you were curious , wont even be available for enrollment again until July of 2022.

    I went to the voahev that says “apply for section 8 housing here”. It takes you no where with no alternative options to help you. I wonder just how many of those living on Joe Rodota Trail applies or even new they could. That’s the other components is being connected and able to navigate through the system. I’d like to think im
    generally capable of keeping networked and am at least aware of what’s available to me but it
    tsjes a ton of time and focus.

    There are are so many components to helping wipe out this epidemic and I support people are working in the community living and homesteading idea. I just need to know someone else is working on where can I go tonite and next week. I’m not sure we will all make it long enough to have the benefit of your hard work unless we declare this a state of emergency and take action in the same Sonoma Strong amazing way.

    My apologies for typos when you only can compose from a tiny phone screen.
    Last edited by Barry; 11-26-2019 at 07:21 PM.
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  45. TopTop #86
    BlueBayou's Avatar
    BlueBayou
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Last edited by Barry; 11-26-2019 at 12:51 PM.
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  46. TopTop #87
    tommy's Avatar
    tommy
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Homeless Action! has access to a $450K grant, most of which is for social services - counselors etc. They'd hoped to use the land next to KBBF, but this fell thru. Adrienne told me the minimum space they need is 1/8th of an acre, for 10 tiny houses, and 10 RVs. It'd be for 18 mo to 2 years. They'd set up a kitchen and shower room/bathroom. They've tried to get local government land to use, but been rebuffed.

    This is not perfect, but it would be a positive step forward, especially for the 20 people in tiny houses and RVs. It echos the comment made earlier about space in European cities designed for homeless people. Consider the migrants from Syria and Afghanistan in Greece - they live in tent cities in and outside of Athens. It's not a perfect solution, but it is a solution!
    Last edited by Barry; 11-26-2019 at 07:24 PM.
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  48. TopTop #88
    Mayacaman's Avatar
    Mayacaman
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail


    BlueBayou wrote:

    "...I say we need to address the availability of enough immediate space in shelters and next transitional housing. Those are real in need solutions that support the success of these communities we keep talking about building. We are still so many years away from that happening what about the people out there right now. See I know we are capable of providing the immediate shelter needs of thousands overnight. We’ve demonstrated in well “Sonoma Strong “. People immediately dig into their pockets and closets to give to those are in need. So we do live in a compassionate connected community. We just need to educate them about who is in need..."
    There are long-term solutions and short term necessities. Right now, Winter is coming. It is getting colder - by night and by day. Those who are out of doors would do better inside, we should all agree. Let us hope that the State and the County dig into their pockets and show us All that they, also, are as compassionate as the "compassionate connected community" at large. They may need a little prodding, however.

    As long as the Sonoma Developmental Center remains empty, the State and the County should devote the space to housing the Homeless. To not do so is a Crime against Humanity.
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  50. TopTop #89
    luke32
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    I started this entry thinking I could synthesize some conclusions from the materials I have listed below. But the subject is too complicated for me - particularly considering the unavailability of relatively low cost housing in Sonoma County, and so I think my contribution will be limited to listing some resources that may be helpful for those interested in the subject.

    First is this article from the Christian Science Monitor on Houston's success in reducing homelessness. The secret seems, from the article, to be FIRST PRIORITY: housing - with coordinated support services and a tracking system.

    A precis (of sorts) :
    "Houston, which has emerged as a national leader in tackling homelessness. The Bayou City has decreased its homeless population by 54% since 2011, by one measure, as well as effectively eliminated homelessness among veterans. ... A few short-term goals were targeted – then achieved. One hundred homeless veterans were housed in 100 days.

    The next step was creating more permanent housing units linked to support services. Since 2011, the city has developed more than 4,300 such housing units, and housed 17,000 people, with 84% of them maintaining that place of living, according to Mr. Nichols.

    Perhaps the most important shift since 2011 is improved organization. In the past, siloed nonprofits would focus on running a shelter, serving food, or providing clothing. Organizations and officials are now in constant communication, including regularly updating a database called the Homeless Management Information System. The HMIS lets the organizations know where an individual has been, as well as the services they have and haven’t received. It has helped the city individualize how it aids people experiencing homelessness, and prioritize the most vulnerable.

    "Houston also aggressively pursued a “housing-first” approach – essentially getting homeless individuals and families permanent housing first, then helping them find stability by addressing whatever other issues they might have. Alternatives to that approach require people to meet conditions, such as sobriety or employment, first before they can “earn” housing.

    "Numerous studies have backed the effectiveness of a housing-first approach since cities began adopting it in the 1990s. One 2015 study found that over a 24-month period, people who participated in housing-first programs in four Canadian cities had stable housing 63% to 77% of the time, compared with 24% to 32% for people who received more traditional care.

    "There is also a cost argument for housing first. Chronic homelessness costs the public $30,000 to $50,000 per person per year, compared with $20,000 per person for supportive housing, according to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.

    Second, here are some sources that characterize the homeless populations in nearby California areas:
    Alameda County 2019


    San Francisco 2017

    Santa Clara County 2019

    San Mateo County

    L
    ast, I will enter a thought about available employment opportunities and the homeless population. It seems to me when the Sonoma County unemployment rate (yes, a very imperfect measure but a good indicator of changes over time and where-are-we-now) is at 2.3% (California 3.7%), and the Graton Day Hire Center people can earn $18/hr for leaf raking and $25/hr for digging, the income generation opportunities are here and the problem is helping the homeless become less dysfunctional. As J. R. Richard, a former Houston homeless man said, "You can’t help nobody that doesn’t want to help themselves,” he says. “If you want to get out of homelessness you can get out the homeless, but it’s in you to get out of homelessness.”
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  52. TopTop #90
    Meinvelt
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Excellent piece. Thank you!!!!
    Quote luke32 wrote: View Post
    I started this entry thinking I could synthesize some conclusions from the materials I have listed below. But the subject is too complicated for me ..
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