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  1. TopTop #1
    Farmer Lynda's Avatar
    Farmer Lynda

    Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    Reposted from Lynda Hopkins facebook page from Monday, Dec 30th, by Barry


    TL;DR SUMMARY: County is investing $11.6M in solutions to the Joe Rodota Trail encampment to get residents off the trail and into alternative housing and shelter ASAP, and I will keep pushing for solutions to be implemented as quickly as possible.

    Of the three years I’ve been in office, more than 90% of my time has been spent under a local disaster declaration. We’ve faced down flood, fire, flood, and fire — with some corporation-caused power shutoffs and school lockdowns thrown in for good measure. (At the County offices, we joke that we’re still waiting for the locusts and the plague... and then we laugh nervously, and then we knock on wood.)

    I’m not sorry to see 2019 in the rearview mirror. It was a tough year for many of our communities, and many of my friends and family members struggled as well.

    2019 ended, as it began, with a declared local emergency. But the final emergency was different than the others: it was a humankind, manmade disaster. In December, the County of Sonoma declared a state of emergency due to the 200+ person encampment on the Joe Rodota Trail (JRT).

    I have been pushing the County of Sonoma to address the deteriorating situation on the JRT for months. In fact, I’d requested that the encampment be agendized for public discussion by the Board of Supervisors in mid-October, and was urging staff to come up with creative solutions to address the growing crisis — but then the Kincade Fire hit, and staff was forced to turn their attention to emergency operations, sheltering, and short-term fire recovery. (It’s worth noting that we did actually make progress on addressing the encampment during the Kincade Fire; we were able to move dozens of residents into alternative housing with very low recidivism. The camp actually shrank down to under 40 residents during the Kincade Fire.)

    But that’s the past. Here we are, on the cusp of 2020, with more than 200 people camped along a public trail inside the city limits of Santa Rosa. The City of Santa Rosa is now broken into political districts, just the way the County is, but we don’t yet have any locally elected representatives for the area of southwestern Santa Rosa that includes the JRT, so I have been meeting with Mayor Tom Schwedhelm to discuss solutions since early October.

    We ask ourselves the multi-billion-dollar question throughout California, which is home to one out of four of the 550,000 homeless people living in the United States. That question is: how do we end homelessness? And more immediately, what do we do about the JRT?

    Some residents have suggested that we should simply arrest all of the homeless people. I do not agree with criminalizing homelessness. Arresting people is the wrong answer to unaffordable housing, poverty, low wages, inadequate healthcare, mental illness, and addiction, which are just some of the causes of homelessness in Sonoma County. In addition to that, criminalizing homelessness is a bad use of taxpayer dollars. Jail is one of the most expensive forms of housing we have in Sonoma County. As Sheriff Essick told me at a recent meeting, jail costs nearly $200/day per inmate. Oh, and the jail is full. (So, if you want to suggest arresting homeless people, you should be prepared to advise on who you’re going to let out of jail in order to let them in.)

    Finally, it’s actually now illegal to arrest people for living on public property unless they have been provided with an alternative place to go. And while we are working on it every day, we currently don’t have alternatives identified for the 200+ residents camped on the JRT. The County of Sonoma is under a court injunction dictating how we can address encampments; we are also held to the outcome of a legal case in Boise.

    You know what’s criminal? Crime, and it should be treated as such. Law enforcement should absolutely address those making a living selling illegal drugs; people engaged in human or sex trafficking; thieves and anyone perpetrating violent acts. Whether someone is homeless or housed, they should be arrested for these crimes. Unfortunately, the JRT has become a magnet for crime — and in many instances, it’s the homeless residents themselves being preyed on by criminals who see them as an easy target. Some of the people living on the JRT sleep during the day because they are too afraid to sleep at night.

    It’s clear to everyone that the JRT is not a good place for people to live. The current situation is unacceptable for the unhoused residents who are living in inhumane conditions, for the residents living in houses nearby, and for the cyclists and pedestrians who would like to have an open trail to commute on. It’s a disgrace and a symptom of governmental failure at all levels — from the feds, who fail to provide an adequate number of housing vouchers and fail to offer an adequate mental healthcare safety net; to the state, which has not yet committed to an ongoing funding source to allow local government to meaningfully address homelessness; to the local level, where we have failed to build adequate affordable housing for our residents.

    So what DO we do? How DO we move forward?

    Over the past few months, I have fought hard for governmental resources and solutions for the JRT. That work has culminated in some substantial action:

    One week ago, the Board of Supervisors declared a state of emergency regarding the Joe Rodota Trail that includes some “teeth” to streamline the permitting process for developing solutions. More importantly, at that meeting, we also put our money where our mouth is.

    We approved funding for an $11.6M suite of solutions to address the JRT encampment. We invested $4M in coordinated care for JRT residents, which includes 15 detox and residential treatment beds for addiction. We earmarked $2M to stand up two “outdoor shelters” — an alternative location to camp which would have running water, sanitation facilities, electricity, and wraparound services. We are also adding master leases of apartments to provide permanent supportive housing, and are purchasing six houses which will serve as “congregate housing” (meaning people will share a house, but have their own bedroom). Two of those homes will come before the Board of Supervisors for approval on January 14.

    In addition to serving on the Board of Supervisors, I also serve on the Home Leadership Council of Sonoma County. Through that entity I was able to secure, with Supervisor Susan Gorin’s support, nearly $400,000 worth of funding for community based organizations to help address the Joe Rodota Trail crisis. (By the way, if there is any silver lining whatsoever to the current crisis, it is in the hundreds of volunteers who are spending their own money and time to care for the residents of the camp, and to try to advocate for solutions on behalf of those residents. The kindness and generosity of the community has amazed me.)

    So. That’s what local government has been up to. Will these solutions be enough to solve all of the homeless problems in the County? Absolutely not. Will these solutions be fast enough? No — but please know that I am working with staff each and every day to accelerate the implementation of solutions. Are these solutions expensive? Yes, until you look at the completely unacceptable alternative.

    I will continue to fight for solutions, and continue to fight for their speedy implementation. It’s time to get people off the trail, and into a better place to call home. In fact, it’s well past time.

    For additional information on the Board action, and for updates on the JRT situation, please visit:

    Homeless Emergency on the Joe Rodota Trail (JRT)
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  2. TopTop #2
    Stuart's Avatar

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    Ms Hopkins, a reply to your note....

    "Finally, it’s actually now illegal to arrest people for living on public property unless they have been provided with an alternative place to go"

    If someone were to take a dump in the middle of the Santa Rosa Square, maybe shooting up, selling drugs, lighting a fire, you are saying you haven't done anything because that person said if you don't have shelter for me, I will continue my dangerous and anti social actions?

    This is your flimsy excuse? Really?
    Are you saying the legal staff WE pay for advises none of the following are eligible for arrest?
    Is is legal to defecate in the bushes for months on public property?
    Is it legal to urinate for months on public property?
    Is it legal to have open fires and generators on public property?
    Is it legal to shoot up and sell drugs on public property?
    Is it legal to have many many dogs poop for half a year and leave it on public property?
    Is nudity legal on public property?

    Ms Hopkins, your excuse of allowing The Occupation is worthless. Any and all of the above are sound legal grounds for removal, so do not hide behind the cloak of 'we can't do anything', "blame the courts" whining for your failure to prevent and stop this growth to its current size.

    And which will grow because Santa Rosa is now a beacon to homeless around the state and country.
    We now pay for them!

    You, as the highest elected official with jurisdiction, allowed this to become the official "emergency" it now is.
    How can you not have noticed a few tents, then maybe a dozen, then more and more along Rte12?
    Why did you not call in the resources and say fix this now?
    BEFORE it becoming an official "Emergency"?

    YOU are the boss, you permitted this to expand, you are all talk except for the recent official actions:
    Just some of your City and County proposals, I guess from the $12 million:
    -"protect the well being of the occupants" NOT our community, The Occupation, NOT our "well being"
    -"private security for occupants" Who are you protecting and from whom?
    - "establish disposable needle bins"

    These actions are out of Kafka or Alice in Wonderland! This is real? Unfortunately, yes.
    With our tax dollars.

    Boy, don't do us any favors. A neighbor commented "WHY DO THEY HAVE MORE RIGHTS THAN US?"

    We ask you how many homeless are within one mile of your farm? What is the answer? 2,10, 20 100?
    Or, none?

    Well, our community is within "30 feet", "40 feet" of The Occupation you have allowed to happen.
    You want to do something other than talk and give services away to The Occupiers?
    Then YOU take in how many on your property, or 30 feet away?
    How many will you allow to crap and pee and light fires for months and the fires going to this day?
    How many Ms Hopkins? Ten, fifty, 215?
    Or none?

    You are the boss, you should be visiting The Occupation every day and observing the fires and health hazards.
    You are the captain and you have to be recalled for dereliction of duty for public health and safety.

    You serve US. NOT the "occupiers"
    You have failed at the $200,000 yr taxpayer paid salary you are collecting.
    You say it is complex, we say it is very simple: our safety and well being is at risk
    And you and your colleagues are more concerned about the "well being" of the occupants.
    You have failed and must be recalled, removed or resign. You have not protected us.

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  3. TopTop #3

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    Ok, I think I found the place that triggered your Kavanaugh-esque purple-faced outrage. It's this [ QUOTE ] from me:

    Quote Posted in reply to the post by podfish:

    True, it uses Ascii-34 but only the most literal-minded reader would miss that it's paraphrasing your post that, for anyone who cared, could be found inches above on their screen. I used the paraphrase to extract the essence of your post, which was completely selfish and inward-focused, showing no concern for the welfare of anyone else involved and being totally dismissive of sincere efforts at dealing with the problem for everyone involved. It was that uncharitable and inhumane perspective that drew my attention, not the complaint about ineffective government which has some merit.

    I was kinda done with it until this morning's post doubled-down on the worst aspects of your viewpoint. Maybe I didn't point out the frankly evil part of your views clearly enough before: it's the continual use of "THEY" (which is a real quote, this time) vs. "US", and the ludicrous statement that "You serve US. NOT the 'occupiers'". Wrong, wrong, un-American, un-Christian at Christmas, inhumane completely. Check 'm out, since apparently they're hanging over your fence. Don't they resemble people at all to you? ... yeah, your post pisses me off a lot, I notice that more as I type...

    Quote Posted in reply to the post by Stuart: View Post
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  5. TopTop #4
    Imagery's Avatar

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    Quote Posted in reply to the post by Stuart: View Post
    I'll be praying that WHEN you are condemned to eternity in hell, Someone shows you 10x the amount of mercy and empathy you've shown to your fellow man. To me, you're simply a worthless waste of DNA, and have less value to me than the homeless you rail against.
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  7. TopTop #5

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    This thread is out of control and has no bearing on the facts.
    I refuse to see any more of this ignorant, hateful rhetoric from twisted individuals who have absolutely no idea what they're talking about.
    I'm outta here.
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  9. TopTop #6

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    I think Stuart has it right. When he challenges us, do we want this in our backyard?, he is attacked. Because we are afraid. Recent court rulings declare housing as a constitutional right. This is big, way bigger than citizens United. You might think of the homeless population as a symptom of policy choices, I think of it as the first wave of refugees. Cities and county's are now responsible for providing homes for people camping in public parks, how far away are you? This is the 2020s. What we know, will change.
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  11. TopTop #7

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    Quote Posted in reply to the post by rossmen: View Post
    sorry, but I completely disagree. When he shows the ugliest most defensive side of our society, he's attacked. If there'd been the slightest display of empathy or interest in solving the problem (ok, that's impossible, in addressing the problem effectively) this thread would be vastly different.

    I do agree that this is way bigger than campaign finance reform, though. It's an issue that's been building for decades, that our economic system is inadvertently designed to create, and one that our political system is designed to treat with avoidance. Favelas and their equivalent are nothing new to the world. Camping-style homelessness isn't new to Sonoma County - it was a big part of the depression and never really went away.

    What's new is that there really aren't enough places where people who make little or no money can find lodging, not enough SROs and no cheap apartments at all. Those were part of the solution before. Sorry to say, it is indeed that simple. The thing that's not simple is what can be done. I don't claim to have the statistics on what people earned thirty years ago, how many of them were here and what the various housing arrangements cost. Lucky for all of us, then, I'm not responsible for anything more than an opinion.

    But FWIW I'm confident enough of it being close to the facts. People used to be able to live in a cheap place near their minimum-wage jobs. Most higher-end housing had people living in them and working in the community. Now, there are lots of the higher-priced homes owned by part-time residents, either using them as investments or planning to someday retire here.

    None of the people with higher priced properties, resident or not, want development near them. People with housing in general appreciate the open space, and don't want housing either. People who earn low wages have housing and commute expenses way disproportionate to their income. I work with people who commute from SF and get their bridge tolls paid by the company. Someone working at McDonalds driving in from Vallejo doesn't get that help - and if their car dies, they're probably out of work. And there aren't adequate social services for mental health. People who may have been able to hang on to a low-wage job and pay a low rent if they had some help are now on their own, and they probably pay for any lapse in keeping their shit together by ending up as neighbors to our sensitive friend, sleeping out on the bike path with others who provide at least some semblance of a support group.

    The only fix is for there to be (I won't say 'for us to provide' because that's a triggering phrase apparently) housing that even those who used to be called 'indigent' can pay for. It would really help if some effort was made so that it didn't cost so damn much to be a resident of this country, much less this particular county. We ask those least able to do it, those with the least resources, to deal with a ton of stress while trying to meet their daily needs. What could go wrong with that?
    Last edited by Barry; 01-01-2020 at 10:16 AM.
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  13. TopTop #8
    Thad's Avatar

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    "We can't do something that works because we don't want it to be too attractive and bring in more people."

    It was said before to other purpose but its as true now for this

    "It takes a village"

    It needs a place to be and and a reasonable chance to be. It always happens like this, low rents collect the creatives, they do their thing it attracts the money, the money comes in and buys everything then forces out those who made the place cool. Who now can't afford to be there.

    Then when those people who own everything, try to run everything the talent that was there that could fix everything had been priced out of the decision making. So the small minds are trying to tackle a large problem and all they can do is throw money around, $125,000 for a portapotty, they could rent a building to do the same and even provide showers and create a small business with it to pay for itself, but they're too used to big dollars and the prestige of administering it when smaller monies could do larger things if they just would get out of the way.
    Last edited by Barry; 01-01-2020 at 10:06 AM.
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  15. TopTop #9
    BEE KIND's Avatar

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    I am with you. This is why I stopped using Nextdoor, because of all the hateful insults and arguing among neighbors. And we wonder why we are always engaged in endless wars. SMH

    Quote Posted in reply to the post by finnie: View Post
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  17. TopTop #10
    spam1's Avatar

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    So at the risk of being called a racist xenophone:
    Quote Posted in reply to the post by podfish: View Post
    But there are also a LOT of illegal immigrants (yes, no human is illegal so please just put your favorite euphemism for undocumented people who don't have a legal right to be in the US) in Sonoma county: PD says 28,0000. so about 10 times the number of homeless. I can't help but think that they are more of a cause of lack of housing at the low end than second home owners, but I haven't the stats to prove either. However, let's assume they are willing to live four-times as dense as homeless people (more people sharing houses), that would still be many thousands of housing units. And a lot of them would be in converted illegal garages, etc.
    But I haven't heard any discussion about how illegal immigrants affect housing; and I will point out that Sonoma county picks up roughly 1500 additional residents based on our share of illegal immigrants migrating into the country each year. So, we need at least 1500 new housing units for that.
    Not that I'm against illegal immigration, but it does have at least some negative effects on low-end housing in the county.

    Quote Posted in reply to the post by podfish: View Post
    In fact, I really wonder if a majority of those camping on JRT haven't the where-with-all for any rent at all. I would guess that we are really talking providing free housing as they probably can't afford really any rent at all.

    Quote Posted in reply to the post by podfish: View Post
    Thus, we have to provide barely adequate housing at almost no cost, and figure out how to keep SSU students (and as a student I stayed in some pretty bad places, just to get cheap, cheap, cheap), homeless from other counties, and people in poor housing now from consumeing every housing unit provided, leaving nothing for those on JRT.

    The only solution I can think of is a kind of "curry cabin" approach, with common bathrooms/showers. On a platform, out of the rain, and the cost should be reasonable. And they can't be that bad, people pay a lot for them at Yosemite. Should be cheap to construct, at least as good as camping on JRT, and not so great that it brings in even more homeless to the county.
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  19. TopTop #11

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    I think Stuart has it right because we are afraid of what's coming, and we know it. I rent homes to working class people. When I tell someone they need to go, I worry that I will kill them. Like they won't be able to find another home, and homelessness kills. My biggest challenge in providing affordable housing is permit sonoma. They want money from me right now for an old shed. Neighbors are the second biggest challenge. I deal with homeless and housing pressure all the time.

    Housing as a constitutional right is a game changer. In the past when I heard people advocate for it I snickered because I knew the truth, it was not. Now that it is l know, as a housing provider at the low end of the scale, how fundamentally unprepared local government is to do shit. So yes, county bike trails are it. One way to think about it is as emergency shelter. Camp and be on the waiting list for greater government services. There's a lot of capacity to build the waiting list.
    Last edited by Barry; 01-03-2020 at 12:34 PM.
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  21. TopTop #12
    Farmer Lynda's Avatar
    Farmer Lynda

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    Reposted from Lynda Hopkins Facebook page

    I am grateful to my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors for supporting a homeless emergency declaration regarding the Joe Rodota Trail in December, and also for unanimously approving a $11.6M suite of solutions. This enabled us to finally treat the Joe Rodota Trail like the emergency that it is, and to have the financial capacity available to address that emergency effectively.

    In fact, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and Department of Emergency Management staff have taken the unprecedented step of utilizing the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and an incident command protocol in order to quickly, effectively analyze alternative outdoor shelter locations and plan logistics for the emergency shelter implementation and encampment closure.

    What this means: The County of Sonoma’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is in full swing, and today we had staff liaisons present from the City of Santa Rosa as well. This is helping us to mobilize the massive effort needed to offer services and solutions to the 200+ camp residents and to move forward with clearing the camp and reopening the trail.

    We will also be holding a TOWN HALL this Friday at 6pm at the Roseland Library to share the results of the EOC planning process, and offer a timeline for what residents can expect, and when they can expect it.

    Brief notes regarding current operations:

    Emergency Operations Center
    · This EOC is developing proposals for the Board to consider, including a plan to move occupants from the Joe Rodota Trail (trail) and develop a temporary shelter by January 31, 2020.
    · The intent of the EOC is to address the immediate health and safety concerns and return the trail to its intended use.
    · If the Board moves forward with this approach, resources and services will be available at the temporary shelter that support the health and wellbeing of individuals.
    · The work of the EOC is occurring parallel to the work staff is doing to address the long term solutions with regard to shared housing, master leasing, indoor-outdoor shelters and support services.

    ACCESS Interdepartmental Multi-Disciplinary Team (IMDT)
    · The IMDT intensive care coordination on the JRT is scheduled to begin on Wednesday January 8, 2020.
    · The IMDT has a comprehensive plan for outreach and engagement and housing placement.
    · The ACCESS IMDT addresses the behavioral health, medical, and social service needs of this population through coordinated care.

    Master Leases
    · RFQ released on January 7, 2020. RFP is now an RFQ for a quicker timeline and ability to partner with landlords with available units.
    · We are moving quickly to get individuals placed into housing.

    Indoor-Outdoor Shelters
    · RFP released on January 7, 2020.
    · A community stakeholder engagement meeting for specific design elements of the indoor-outdoor shelter sites occurred January 3, 2020 at the Veteran’s Hall in Santa Rosa from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    · A number of design needs and solutions were discussed and staff will incorporate this feedback in its request for proposals (RFQ).
    · The meeting was well received by those who participated and included homeless services providers, advocates, occupants from the trail, and community members.
    · The RFP process parallel processes to allow those who are ready to submit to do, while we evaluate other proposals.

    Town hall:
    Friday, 6PM, Roseland Library
    Learn about plans to move campers off the trail by the end of the month, and share your questions, concerns, and ideas.
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  23. TopTop #13
    Dorothy Friberg's Avatar
    Dorothy Friberg

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    The JRT Community Meeting will probably be still another do-nothing bureaucracy that sucks up time and money. How about using county land and buildings up at Chanate for "relocation". Many of the addicts/alcoholics will be accessible to care as well as many other displaced persons. Buildings are already in place. We already have the land, let's use them. Yes, that neighborhood thinks THEIR shit doesn't stink but it's about time that they see that indeed a third world country does exist in Sonoma County.
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  25. TopTop #14
    sealwatcher's Avatar
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    Notwithstanding my gratitude to Dorothy for her post, I do not agree with her summation of today's meeting being a suck. Many good people are at this, predominantly Lynda Hopkins and outside government, many people coming to the aid of the people at the encampment.
    Quote Posted in reply to the post by Dorothy Friberg: View Post
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  27. TopTop #15
    wisewomn's Avatar

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    Here's an encampment in Oakland that seems to be working for everyone:

    Good News Network: Oakland Residents Transform Abandoned Lot into Sanctuary for Camping Homeless Women
    Last edited by Barry; 01-11-2020 at 02:54 PM.
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  29. TopTop #16
    tommy's Avatar
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    I was at the meeting on the JRT, Friday night, at the Roseland Library. It was coordinated by Supervisor Hopkins, with Supervisor Gorin, SR Mayor Schwedhelm, and Councilman Tibbets in attendance.

    Supervisor Hopkins said the Trail would be cleared by Jan 31. This was well received by the 200-300 people in attendance. CDC Manager Robinson spoke, explaining that beginning on Jan 8, County staff has been meeting with each individual on the trail, and determining their health and housing needs... and that this would guide their move off the trail. The implication was that all people on the trail would be offered another place to live. Supervisor Hopkins said 30 large tents have been ordered. County Parks manager spoke, that the trail would be cleaned, restored where necessary, and suggested that security would maintain the land as a park and not an encampment.

    Most of the meeting was in the format of World Cafe, with 8-10 people sitting at each round table. Each person got 2 minutes to speak to their table, of their concerns and solutions regarding the homeless in Sonoma Co, and the JRT in particular. Then a representative from each table addressed the room, for 1 minute, regarding the table's concerns and solutions. Then there was a Q&A with Supervisor Hopkins.

    It was said that 20% of the people on the JRT are happy living there, and would likely not want to move. However, it was implied, tho not directly stated, that they would have to move off the JRT. The legal consent decree evidently allows homeless to be moved if they are given an alternative place to live.

    A few outspoken people favoring the recall of Supervisor Hopkins were there. They were repeatedly requested to observe the meeting guidelines of good respectful communication. There were a few people who spoke on behalf of the homeless. There were many people from the W SR community attending, who related the problems associated with the JRT encampment, of drugs, crime, rats, bad behavior, mental illness, decline of home values, lack of security, and more.
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  31. TopTop #17
    Valet Posting Service's Avatar
    Valet Posting Service
    WaccoBB Valet Posting Service

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    Here is the latest news from the County of Sonoma public information team regarding homeless solutions.


    Hello Sonoma County, we apologize for the long post - hang in there, we have a lot of information to share.
    Sonoma County is planning to move occupants of the Joe Rodota Trail (trail) to permanent supportive housing and sheltering in other locations in the County by January 31, 2020.

    Our ultimate goal is to get the individuals on the trail into permanent housing while providing support services, including medical, behavioral, and social services—such as food assistance, cash assistance, and applications for social security disability benefits.

    According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, permanent supportive housing reduces the impact associated with the use intensive crisis services, including hospitals, jails/prisons and shelters.

    In addition to these emergency actions, the County is continuing to offer shelter beds to people experiencing homelessness, and working to match people experiencing homelessness to available housing, shelter, and services.

    Read on for specifics on shared homes and outdoor shelters.

    Shared Homes
    The Board of Supervisors will consider purchasing three homes for shared housing at the upcoming board meeting on Tuesday, January 14th. The homes are located at:
    • 8190, 8192 and 8194 Arthur Street in Cotati (multi-unit)
    • 811 Davis Street in Santa Rosa
    • 866 Sonoma Avenue in Santa Rosa

    These homes will provide a stable environment with services tailored to each individual, to support their successful transition into their new home. Data shows that 95% of individuals remain housed after one year when they receive permanent supportive housing.

    There will also be rules for residents enforced by professional property management, to ensure that residents can be good neighbors.

    Neighbors have received notification of the County’s plans to purchase the homes, and the County will stay in touch with neighbors to address concerns moving forward.

    We are committed to providing the level of supportive services needed to ensure the success of this endeavor. We consider the individuals who will reside in this home as County residents and part of our community.

    Temporary Emergency Outdoor Shelter

    The Board of Supervisors will consider selecting one location for a temporary emergency shelter at their upcoming board meeting on Tuesday, January 14th. If a site is selected, the emergency outdoor shelter would be managed and supported by an operator. The potential locations are:
    • Los Guillicos Center, 171 Pythian Road
    • County Center, 300 Fiscal Drive

    The selected site will be able to accommodate 60 people. The county is working to establish hardened shelter units, which are secure and private, with locking windows and doors. We've already ordered 30 pallet shelters, image attached to this post.

    Outdoor shelters are not in themselves a solution to homelessness. The outdoor shelter model is designed to help people experiencing homelessness take their first step towards permanent stable housing. Services at the site would be geared to help people move into permanent supportive housing.

    The site will provide shelter units, laundry and food service, sanitation and shower facilities, security measures, on-site parking for residents’ vehicles, secure storage for residents’ belongings, ADA compliance, and other measures to ensure health and safety.

    An operator will be responsible for establishing rules and guidelines for the temporary shelter.

    This temporary emergency shelter is a short-term solution before the County establishes two outdoor shelters, which will be operated for an additional 9 months as a pilot program (12 months total). Once the two pilot sites are identified, the temporary emergency outdoor shelter will be closed and residents relocated. An outdoor operator managed shelter is a new model for Sonoma County, and it has demonstrated positive results in other regions.

    The County will continue to provide updated information as this process unfolds, and will reach out to businesses near any site that is selected and work to address concerns.

    For more information on how the County is responding to homelessness please visit If you have questions, concerns, or ideas please email us at [email protected].
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  32. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  33. TopTop #18

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    I can tell you that the "neighbors" I've seen posting on local media are not very happy with the proposed purchase of the houses on Arthur St. in Cotati. Buying a house such as the one at 8190 Arthur Street ((2638 s/f) appraised at $995,000 seems ludicrous.
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  35. TopTop #19
    Dorothy Friberg's Avatar
    Dorothy Friberg

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    OK, guy, how about YOU make a space for at lest one person where YOU live?
    Quote Posted in reply to the post by cyberanvil: View Post
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  37. TopTop #20
    Valet Posting Service's Avatar
    Valet Posting Service
    WaccoBB Valet Posting Service

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    At tense town hall, Sonoma County announces plan to clear Santa Rosa homeless camp by end of month

    January 10, 2020, 10:31PM

    At a tense town hall meeting Friday night, Supervisor Lynda Hopkins announced Sonoma County’s plan to clear the sprawling homeless encampment along the Joe Rodota Trail in west Santa Rosa by the end of the month.

    In front of hundreds of county residents who came to Roseland Library to learn about the county’s plans, Hopkins called the trail a “symbol of failure,” saying that she and all other government officials had to take responsibility for the homeless crisis.

    “We all have a part and piece of that failure,” Hopkins said. “We need to do more to address this encampment.”

    The town hall came as county leaders have proposed a nearly $12 million suite of measures to address growing safety and sanitation concerns over the camp, which has increased to 220 people during the past several months. Among those measures is $5 million the county will use to buy six large, multibedroom homes — three of which already have been identified — to house up to 60 people currently living on the trail.

    The county also has considered creating sanctioned encampments, and announced two possible locations just before Friday night’s town hall: the first on Administration Drive, next to the county courthouse; and the second at the Los Guilicos campus on Pythian Road, in the Oakmont neighborhood.

    The crowd at the town hall was divided. Some were homeowners frustrated by the growing homeless population in their neighborhood; others were angry that people weren’t showing the community more compassion. A few came with signs that demanded Hopkins, who is up for reelection in March, be recalled from office, blaming her for a lack of action on the issue. Others, though, held up signs that said “Humanity & Compassion” and “We Rise By Lifting Others” to show their support for trail residents.

    Facilitators of the town hall broke community members up into groups, asking them to discuss their thoughts about the trail with each other before sharing them with the rest of the room. Many expressed safety and sanitation concerns, citing the rodent infestation in the area, while others complained that the issue was lowering their property values.

    “I can’t sleep at night,” said Julie Lumine, who lives behind the trail. Lumine, 65, said there are rats running throughout her apartment complex, and complained about the smell of campfires.

    Some, though, countered homeowners’ frustrations with the fears of camp residents, stating that many felt dehumanized and criminalized for being homeless.

    Nicholle Vannucci, 41, was one of just a few camp residents who came to the town hall. She said most just didn’t know about the meeting, but even if they had, she doubted they would have come.

    “We’re judged every second for being homeless,” Vannucci said. “It’s rough. I’ve been hearing what people are saying. It hurts.”

    While Hopkins thought the meeting was “very productive,” many in attendance were skeptical of the county’s proposals.

    “There’s no way they’re going to get that whole trail cleared out by the end of the month,” said 66-year-old Jay Birks.

    Birks, who lives one block off the trail, called the county’s proposals “Band-Aid” solutions.

    He criticized the sanctioned encampments, adding that it wasn’t solving the problem, but “moving the problem somewhere else.”

    Continues here
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  38. TopTop #21

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    Quote Posted in reply to the post by Dorothy Friberg: View Post
    Sure. So how many mini houses would 11.6M buy? Quite a few I'd imagine. My house, no need. How about a nice community on Ragle Ranch Park land? Problem solved. But such ideas are too simple for the government eggheads.

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  40. TopTop #22

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    Quote Posted in reply to the post by Valet Posting Service: View Post
    Out of sight, out of mind.
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  41. TopTop #23
    Fortunecookie's Avatar

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    At the beginning of meeting Lynda Hopkins already laid out a plan of what supervisors are planning on voting on and doing. It appeared to me they have already made up their minds as to what they are going to do and how they will spend our money prior to this public meeting.It seems to me this whole meeting was more of a farce just to let the public vent- just like that of courthouse square meetings.
    My suggestion at our table was for a solution and that was "What if the residents of sonoma county were to take in 1 homeless person into their own homes?" They could triage each individual person for proper placement. I offered up my home for 1 homeless person to live with me.If enough people in the community would step up to offer housing, I believe it could help alot. I told our table and a man named Leo who works with Lynda Hopkins my suggestion. Neither our table or Leo's table mentioned my suggestion during there 1 minute speech. I thought Ihad brought a genuine suggestion and partial solution to the table and to Leo of which it fell on deaf ears. I do not think government alone can remedy this crisis- it takes our whole community too.
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  43. TopTop #24

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    I get that many people suffer from homelessness, and I finally had to weigh in on this long discussion.

    Note the facts. Homelessness is growing mostly in Democrat controlled liberal cities and states. Billions are being spent on the problem, most going to "programs" and employing friends, supporters and relatives of elected officials. The problem continues to get worse.

    I ask myself the question, who organized the Ridota Trail encampment? Did it really spring up organically? Who is profiting from this "crisis"?

    Homelessness is a deeply entrenched problem of human suffering with no easy solutions. I offer this thoughtful perspective on the problem from a meta level.

    Please try to overcome any inherent prejudice towards Fox News and watch this analysis with an open mind. It details the problem at a meta level.

    The knee jerk reaction, could be "you have no heart". But going deeper, simply enabling the homeless with an immediate solution to a chronic problem robs them and society of a lasting, true long term solution.

    My two cents, I reserve the right to have my own opinion and draw my own conclusions.

    Thank you,

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  45. TopTop #25

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    Quote Posted in reply to the post by ray50sfo: View Post
    yeah, and opioid addiction and meth cooking is growing mostly in Republican controlled areas.

    Hey, why don't you identify a few rapidly-growing attractive areas where the Republicans are in control? What wonderful right-wing policies are we missing that solve the problem of homelessness in those non-existent cities, that make people pull themselves up by their bootstraps and stop messing around? I'll wait... this is the 'hopes and prayers' school of responses, blaming people for their circumstances because of course everyone who's moral and good has nothing but success. It's those fuzzy Democratic do-gooder instincts that are ruining the moral fiber and probably their precious bodily fluids too.

    The reason people in areas like this one, like SF and LA, and ilike other lefty hotbeds end up homeless is because they're priced out of the kind of shelters where they used to be invisible to most, and because the economic activity generates more inequality. I do blame the Democrats for failing to deal with that, but I certainly don't think that means that you can credit Republicans with doing anything at all. They're the masters of simplistic solutions like jailing the poor; they are the ones refusing to pay for social programs to support people thrown out of institutions that used to help them. Too many Democrats also are reluctant to step up, but somehow I don't think that's what you're blaming them for.
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  47. TopTop #26

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    Right, naneh, naneh nanhe ha. Clearly you're more interested in being "right" and on you team winning than on a real solution to a tragic human suffering. And you wonder why I don't debate you point by point? Pointless.Namaste and Goodbye.

    Quote Posted in reply to the post by podfish: View Post
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  49. TopTop #27

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    Quote Posted in reply to the post by ray50sfo: View Post
    no, I don't wonder at all. Doesn't seem particularly debatable.
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  51. TopTop #28

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    Texas city's are doing way better dealing with the same homeless and housing problems. You might not find them attractive but many Californians do, their voting with their feet. Same kinds of services provided, definitely better coordinated, less tolerance for nasty behavior and more of a top down approach.

    Quote Posted in reply to the post by podfish: View Post
    Last edited by Barry; 01-12-2020 at 09:48 AM.
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  53. TopTop #29

    Re: Homeless Emergency on Joe Rodota Trail

    Quote Posted in reply to the post by rossmen: View Post
    it's been a while since I've been to Texas, and I am curious as to how it feels there now. The two states seem to relish contrasting themselves against each other, so getting an impartial picture is tough from here. For example, the tech hubs seem to be turning Democrat, from what I can tell without direct personal experience. Houston sounds interesting - there seems to be a lot of industry still there, with a lot of working-class jobs, but because of their sprawl and zoning they have kept their prices down and so housing is still available. Is that a good tradeoff, if that's even an accurate appraisal? and to be fair, I haven't even looked up Houston's voting trends on Google, so for all I know it is another lefty hotbed. Kinda doubt it, though.
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  54. TopTop #30
    SonomaPatientsCoop's Avatar

    Re: Roseland Homeless Meeting

    First I'll say I did not attend the meeting (I was not in the area).

    But I'll also say your idea is a non-starter as far as any government is concerned. In our litigious society - the very idea of the government suggesting someone take a homeless person into their home opens up too many potential nightmares. From the host making claims of theft, assault, contracting HIV or Hepatitis from a needle... to the housed individual making claims of assault, unpaid labor, etc... Legal issues if you allow some to use your vehicle (insurance follows the driver not the vehicle). Legal claims by neighbors. Legal claims if the person dies in your home- whether from overdose or pre-existing health issues. It's something that simply is not going to happen... for many more reasons than the few I listed.
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