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Homeless residents pan car-dwelling ban

Original post made on Jul 18, 2011

Homeless residents and advocates pleaded with Palo Alto officials on Monday night to rethink their plan to ban vehicle dwelling on city streets.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, July 18, 2011, 10:11 PM

Comments (107)

Posted by Sympathetic, a resident of Community Center
on Jul 18, 2011 at 10:57 pm

"Palo Alto would cease to be the only city in the area that allows homeless habitation..... the new law would ban vehicle habitation on city streets, parks, alleys and parking lots."

This law is unquestionably a good thing. Why should Palo Alto stand out compared to its neighboring cities? I feel sorry for those poor PA homeowners who have to deal with homeless car dwellers living in front of their house day-after-day, peeing on their lawns and using their garbage cans.

At the same time, Palo Alto might consider establishing a central location where the homeless car dwellers can park for long stretches of time. Does the government own a big parking lot somewhere in town suitable for this purpose?


Posted by Not on the fence, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 18, 2011 at 11:04 pm

I am not on the fence with this issue. I support the new ordinance and place my vote to BAN.


Posted by Jay, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 18, 2011 at 11:11 pm

If a homeless person has a car, they should be allowed to occupy it at any time. Don't discriminate any further to this population of people.


Posted by PA cannot save the world, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 18, 2011 at 11:19 pm

If we could not pay our mortgage, we would move to a less expensive city rather than ask for handouts and sympathy from those who have more. These homeless people should drive to Los Angeles or elsewhere to live since they cannot afford to live in Palo Alto. We pay high mortgages here so we can live in a pleasant city. If City Council does not vote for the ban, they are not protecting their tax-paying citizens. Instead of helping the majority, they would be helping the minority.


Posted by PA cannot save the world, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 18, 2011 at 11:21 pm

@Jay: Please post your address so the homeless in cars can park on your driveway and in front of your house.


Posted by AramJames, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 19, 2011 at 1:39 am

7/14/2011


Hi Molly (Palo Alto City Attorney Molly Stump):

Thanks so much for returning my phone call this afternoon; it was good to speak with you. As promised, here is my CPRA request. Essentially I am requesting the entire paper trail--start to finish--of any and all documents relating to the initiation--and subsequent discussions--re the current proposal to ban people from living in their vehicles in the city Palo Alto (see below this request a copy of said proposed ordinance).

If you decide that my request lacks focus and or the necessary specificity needed for your response I would be delighted if you would contact me ASAP--to remedy this issue. I will do whatever I can to assist in making certain that this CPRA request is as narrowly focused on the relevant issues as possible. I have no intention of making this CPRA overly burdensome on you-- or your staff-- in these times of limited resources. It is with this in mind that I make the current CPRA request.

(1) Pursuant to the California Public Records Act (CPRA) I am requesting any and all documents ( the entire paper trail), e-mails, copies of snail mail, etc., re the party or parties (person) or (persons), (organization) or (organizations) or other entities--- that requested drafting of the below proposed ordinance.

(2) Any and all other documents--no matter how memorialized, touching on or relevant to this current issue.

Sincerely,

Aram James

State-bar # 80215

(415) 370-5056

*NOT YET APPROVED*

110518 dm 0120511 1

Ordinance No. ____

Ordinance of the Council of the City of Palo Alto Adding

Section 9.06.010 (Human Habitation of Vehicles) to the Palo

Alto Municipal Code

The Council of the City of Palo Alto does ORDAIN as follows:

SECTION 1. The Council hereby finds that the following addition to Title 9 of

the Palo Alto Municipal Code (Public Peace, Morals and Safety) is in the interest of public

health, safety and welfare.

SECTION 2. Chapter 9.06 of Title 9 (Human Habitation of Vehicles) of the Palo

Alto Municipal Code is hereby added to read as follows:

Chapter 9.06

HUMAN HABITATION OF VEHICLES

9.06.010 Human Habitation of Vehicles Prohibited

(a) It is unlawful for any person to use, occupy or permit the use or occupancy of any

vehicle for human habitation on or in any street, park, alley, public parking lot or other

public way. For purposes of this section, "human habitation" means the use of a vehicle

for a dwelling place and does not include temporary use of a vehicle for alleviation of

sickness or physical inability to operate the vehicle.

(b) The following uses are exempt from the provisions of this section:

(1) Any mobile living unit used for human habitation allowed by another provision

of this code or required procedure of the city;

(2) Guests of city residents for up to forty-eight consecutive hours when parked

adjacent to the resident's dwelling.


Posted by Aram James, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 19, 2011 at 1:42 am

July, 20, 2011
To: Palo Alto City Attorney Molly Stump

From: Aram James

Re: Issues to consider re why the city should reject the proposed ordinance banning people from living in their vehicles

(1) When you have a few free minutes I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss the implications of the city actually moving forward with this ordinance---in light of the pending judicial crisis (budget issues) -- and in light of the very strong likelihood that potential defendants charged with violating this ordinance will assert their right to a jury trial and their right to be represented by appointed counsel.

(2) My experience as a many year –now retired –public defender–is that trying such cases to a jury will be complicated, time consuming and very expensive. In my view cases involving the assertion of the "Defense of Necessity" are often mishandled by trial judges—(who seem to frequently misconstrue the legal elements/standards necessary to assert the defense –along with misconstruing the evidentiary showing necessary to allow the defense to go to a jury). As a result time consuming appeals, writs of habeas corpus, etc., are almost predictable.

(3) In addition –cases of this sort—will draw much public attention to Palo Alto—and I predict—juries and the criminal justice system at large –will be hostile to prosecutions of this type. This is particularly so if juries understand that the city had less restrictive ways to handle the underlying issues of poverty and homelessness—and instead decided to use--or from my perspective misuse--the criminal justice system to criminalize conduct that that could have and should have been dealt with from a restorative justice perspective.

(4) I believe a careful reading of the case law re the application of the "defense of necessity" will support my contention that these cases are eminently defensible and very costly to the city and the judicial system.

(5) Bottom line: Juries have a long time honored history of refusing to enforce morally indefensible laws—this proposed law –banning often hard working, but down on their luck—folks/people/citizens from sleeping in their vehicles – is just that type of law—one that citizen abolitionists and others--called upon to sit on a jury—will reject with the words, "Not Guilty."

(6) If I can provide other legal citations re the "defense of necessity" or related issues please let me know.

(7) Finally, at least for now—even if a judge refused to allow a "defense of necessity" to go to a jury—cases of this sort ---always have the unspoken back-up defense of jury nullification:
(8) Here is the text from a poster I co-produced (2004) on the subject of Jury Nullification. The piece is titled: Justice Trumps Bad Law and reads as follows: "Based on the knowledge that kings and governments often pass oppressive laws, the Founding Fathers designed our Constitution to ensure that the final say as to whether a particular law is just always rests with the jury. The Jury is the conscience of the community and may reach a verdict of "not guilty" even when it finds the defendant has committed a crime, but concludes the law is immoral or unjust. This is known as the power of jury nullification. History is full of heroic examples of jurors refusing to enforce bad laws. Before the abolition of slavery, jurors routinely acquitted those assisting runaway slaves, thereby nullifying the unjust Fugitive Slave law. Similarly, jurors found striking workers "not guilty' when striking was against the law. Current day juries, recognizing their constitutional power to nullify, are standing up to judges by saying "not guilty" to nonviolent drug offenses, acts of civil disobedience and a variety of unjust laws. Ironically, today, if you advise the judge of your knowledge of jury nullification and express a willingness to apply it, you will not be allowed to sit on a jury. So what do you say to the judge? Very little.
Sincerely,
Aram James


Posted by RT, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 19, 2011 at 7:25 am

Re: Mr. James' "scare tactics"....
It would be very simple (and I'm sure our City Attorney has done this research) to determine the success rate of such cases in our neighboring cities. If the rate is near 0%, then I doubt she would recommend that the Council move forward with an ordinance that could not be enforced. However, if the rate is near 100%, then Mr. James' scare tactics are just that....scare tactics.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2011 at 7:34 am

This has to be said.

For anyone who is temporarily down on their luck, forced out of their home due to foreclosure, or even just between accommodations due to reasons beyond their control, I think it is true to say that the majority of Palo Altans think they should be left alone while sleeping in their cars for a couple of nights provided they are not causing any type of disturbance.

However, it is the likes of Victor Frost who perpetually lives in a car and causes a nuisance by his lifestyle, that needs to be banned. It is not incompassionate, but realistic.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2011 at 7:55 am

So .. how big a problem is this? Are there a hundred people living in their vehicles here in Palo Alto? A thousand? or is this another of those problems that no one knows the scope? It's a shame that the local papers have become so useless that they just cover a few public meetings .. and pass off their notes as "news". What a concept -- a little investigative reporting .. like counting the vehicles where people are thought to be living on the street, here in Palo Alto.

No doubt this is a spinoff problem of the suit brought by the guy who was "tased" for not cooperating with the police. Presumably the thinking at City Hall is-- "if this guy were not here, then we would not have problems with the police" .. or some such. We also don't have much information about crime that can be associated with folks living in their vehicles--which would put a more interesting slant on this matter than we have now.

People would like to feel secure in their homes, and communities. Having transients living in a vehicle in front of their homes, who have no permanent roots, or even an identity, gives permanent residents a reason for being unsettled. Certainly local government should be able to make rules for residency that are intended to promote "the common good". Restricting people from living in their vehicles would seem to be a clear example of the proper execution of that power.

As to Aram James suggestion that this is more of an enforcement problem for the City than it is a solution to "homelessness", he might be right. However, as a previous poster has pointed out, a review of any cases brought in California in other cities should provide an answer as to how defensible these statutes have been in the past. While Mr. James might not be willing to research this matter, the City Attorney should be expected to research it before advancing this matter to the Council for a discussion.

Mr. James is clearly fighting for the "underdog" here .. but he seems to be oblivious to the problems these people bring to a community like this one, at the same time.


Posted by Ken, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 19, 2011 at 7:55 am

"In addition, a record may be withheld whenever the public interest in nondisclosure clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure." (CPRA).


The request by Mr. James seems to be, primarily, to harass those who have participated in the process. Therefore, I would advise that the request be denied.

It is strange, to say the least, that a good reason to avoid making a law is that a given jury may not agree to enforce it. I came from a small town where it was next to impossible to get a DUI conviction by a jury, if the defendant was well-connected...but that is no reason to get rid of DUI laws.

This proposed ordinance is a good one. It is long overdue.


Posted by Toady, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 19, 2011 at 8:12 am

Hey Aram James, if you're so compassionate, how about opening up your house and letting them in?

Something to be said about glass houses.

How ironic he cites cost as an issue when he is causing increased cost for the City.


Posted by Turn This into a POSITIVE, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2011 at 10:47 am

"Resident" said Victor Frost is living out of his car. Not true. He has a nice studio provided for him in Redwood City, rent free.

Mr. Frost only uses a Palo Alto telephone pole as his address, when he wants to run for City Council, so he's not 'homeless'. But Mr. Frost once said it's hard for him to drive to Redwood City, then get back to Palo Alto to sit at his Whole Foods Market panhandling spot, so he uses his nice apartment studio for "storage space".

How about this as a solution to the car-dweller issue:

1) Palo Alto has a census of people now living in their cars,
determining exact locations on the day of the census.

2) Palo Alto then does a survey of all those residents willing to host one car dweller in front of their homes. (Neighbors need not approve.)

3) Then each of the nine members on City Council now, and each staff member in the City Manager's office that live in Palo Alto are automatically expected to host one car-dweller, the purpose is to get a feel for all aspects of needs of people in the City they serve.

This would be a win-win. Palo Alto retains its reputation for being more tolerant and charitable towards those not as fortunate as other residents, setting itself apart from any other community that already has a ban. There may be a wait-list to host a car-dweller, and as word spreads about this plan, newcombers would be referred to specific locations. It would give the children of more wealthy residents an excellent lesson in civics.

If there are 50 car-dwellers in Palo Alto, why should ONLY College Terrrace residents, people that did not sign up for this, have to put up with the entire problem? Spread this around the City and instead of a negative, this could become a positive.


Posted by JustMe, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 19, 2011 at 11:11 am

"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." Anatole France, The Red Lily, 1894, chapter 7
French novelist (1844 - 1924)

I have a problem, conceptually, with forbidding people from living in their cars in that it feels an awful lot like people are being legislated out of existance. Some people have no other way to survive, and it would seem wrong to make their few methods of survival illegal. I have never felt comfortable with the bans on sleeping in vehicles.

On the other hand, I am also not comfortable with having random people, many of whom may have dubious histories, sleeping in their vehicles outside my house where my children play, where we like to have street parties, where kids pass on their ways to school.

It would seem we have a problem in need of a creative solution, not a crude ban. (Hitting a homeless person with a $1000 fine or throwing them in jail just seems wrong and counter-productive and wasteful.)

I like the idea of setting up safe places where people CAN sleep in their cars and encouraging them to go there. Such areas can be more easily partoled to keep them safe than if they are scattered all over the city. But I suspect we need more than one of these places, both due to the number of people who will need them and due to the fact that many will want to be sleeping close to where they need to be in the morning, not across the city.

I am also wary of being the only city to arrange such a thing, as we would quickly become a magnet for people who know they can fins a safe place to sleep if they come to Palo Alto. We need neighboring cities to join in the concept and participate in the solution.


Posted by Marie, a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2011 at 11:22 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Observer of the homeless, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2011 at 11:35 am

There are a few "car people" in a large city owned parking lot near my home.
I suspect the draw is the availability of restrooms and running water.
I am sorry for those who are down on their luck. Why not have a place where folks like this can park without harassment? The car people I have observed are not creating any problems that I see, and I see the area daily. Most are intent on keeping a low profile.
I understand the concern of residents who have car people in front of their homes. I'd be similarly concerned.
So Palo Altans, have a heart and can we have a designated area for overnight parking for these unfortunate folks? At least they have a car for shelter and are not out under a bush or a bridge somewhere.

Take a cue from Wal-Mart which invites those in campers and RVs to overnight in their lots across the nation. (It's good business for them.) But wait, Palo Altans would not know this as most would not be shopping at a Wal-Mart; not PC.


Posted by Lincoln Ave, a resident of Professorville
on Jul 19, 2011 at 11:43 am

There are 3 homeless men that live in vans on our street, and sometimes a block or two over. They have been here for over 4 years. One of them has helped himself to our out door pool shower and bathroom on multiple occasions. Another man is unstable and shouts profanities at our children if they make too much noise riding our bikes to/from school- which now causes them to hastily cross to the wrong side of the street when they see his van window down-sometimes crashing into bushes in their fear. The third is quiet, but has lots of garbage.

The "car campers" defecate in whatever bushes they find convenient, even under or on fruit trees. They use our garbage cans, sometimes rest under the trees in front of our house near their vans. They cannot be registered under Megan's law! They take up precious street parking for weeks at a time, streets that are already full of city workers that don't want to pay for parking. There is absolutely no justification for allowing them to live in their cars in our neighborhoods. If you aren't allowed to stay in your car all day and night downtown, why are you allowed to do it in front of tax payers homes.

At least two campers in our neighborhood are not mentally sound, I have no idea if they have a record. They frighten me and my children- they have no respect for our property and feel entitled to trespass. When I have called the police, they come and talk to the camper and say that if I want to press charges they will issue a citation, but I will have to appear in court, and most likely the trespasser or defecator will not show. The police say that their hands are tied because it is not illegal to live in your car in Palo Alto, and it is only a misdemeanor to defecate in public and scream profanities.

I think that after one warning and info on where they can go for help, they need more than a citation after 30 days, as I have seen them tear up their tickets and toss them on the ground. Their vehicles should be towed, fines issued, and possible jail time for repeat offenders. I applaud the council member behind this initiative and will support him or her whole heartily. I want to know if someone listed under Megan's Law is living in my neighborhood and that mentally unsound men are not walking into my yard uninvited.


Posted by Palo Parent, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 19, 2011 at 11:49 am

"I like the idea of setting up safe places where people CAN sleep in their cars and encouraging them to go there. Such areas can be more easily partoled to keep them safe than if they are scattered all over the city."

Yes, this exists already. It's called Cubberley Community Center. There are easily 10-15 car sleepers there every night. Some have been fixtures for years and years.


Posted by Concerned Retiree, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 19, 2011 at 11:57 am

Enough is enough. We already have the Opportunity Center and yet there are still people panhandling at popular street corners.

I support the ban on people living in their cars in Palo Alto.

We could also do like some enlightened cities do elsewhere and buy these people a bus ticket to their former hometown...


Posted by Regional solution, a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Difficult situation. I once heard an idea that would have placed a truck with water supplies (including portable showers, and nearby portable latrines) on vacant PA property. One person I spoke with some years ago suggested that train station parking lots be used (don't know if that makes sense). This could be one way to deal with the problem, but it's far from perfect. It still doesn't address the problem of where to sleep, if one has no other place to go.

I have experienced first hand someone parking in front of my house for days on end and it is not a pleasant thing. The person who did this was not in the least communicative.

Essentially, this is a regional problem, calling for regional solutions. These are hard times. Charity is called for, but we must organize to find the most efficient and humane ways to deal with this problem. As for anyone defecating on a lawn, strict penalties shold be enforced because it's a public safety hazard.

For now, it's not at all outrageous to insist that there be no sleeping in cars on the street. These poor souls do have cars, which implies that they can simply move on to places where it's OK to sleep in one's car, or where one cannot be detected (certainly not in front of someone's home).

Last, Aram James is a publicity hound and fear monger. I don't think he really ever wants to help anyone, other than his own overinflated ego. Many have heard him in the past make public, thinly veiled homophobic attacks on former public officials, and sadly/disingenuously instigate and foment fear and racial prejudice (jacking up reverse-racism among our black brothers and sisters) while disingenuously claiming he was fighting for "civil rights". He talks a slick walk, but no matter the rhetoric, it's all very self-serving.


Posted by College Terrace Resident, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 19, 2011 at 12:14 pm

People like to frame issues like this one in terms of absolute principles (see all of the quotes in the article as an example of this). But any decision needs to reference the facts of what it's like to live on or near a street populated with permanent car dwellers.

Here's an example of one such fact... A few years ago I walked by a VW van permanently parked by JJ&F and watched two men cooking heroin in their van. The door was wide open and I was with my 4 year old daughter.

I don't care where you sit on this issue as a matter of principle, that was a bummer and shouldn't be allowed in Palo Alto or anywhere else.


Posted by Eileen Wright, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 19, 2011 at 12:17 pm

This is Palo Alto. If you're down on your luck, go somewhere else.


Posted by member, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 19, 2011 at 12:33 pm

It's about time Palo Alto begins to play hardball. I'm amazed P.A. is displaying a little backbone. Have you ever been in Jack in the Box when the homeless are there? They feel the bathroom is there personal shower and laundry. They make it smell awful and stink flows off of there body. They have bugs orbiting them and they infest that restaurant. They want everything for free. To all you bleeding hearts: Leave your name and address for them so they can come and stay with you. You will become a San Francisco or a Berkeley if you don't deal with the homeless. They do not want a shower.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 19, 2011 at 12:38 pm

To Lincoln Ave: I know the area where you live, as I used to live nearby. I also have seen those vehicles there day after day. I am so sorry that you are going through this. It's not that people are "down on their luck" as we like to think (eg, a temporary situation). It has become a lifestyle for them and they have forced that lifestyle on you.

I am friends w/a formerly homeless woman who now owns a business and rents a home for herself and her kids. At the time she lived in her vehicle, she was bottoming out on drugs. She lost all of her pets, her previous business and many friends. My boss and I helped her out after she sobered up and I've never regretted it.

Then, some years ago, I let a different coworker stay one night w/me. She living in a homeless shelter and saving to get her own place. She drove me nuts! She was a smoker, left doors open so that my dogs could escape, was incredibly erratic, noisy & inconsiderate. So I decided to tell her, at work, that she couldn't stay w/me again. On the way to work, I'd brought some of her stuff she'd left behind, and I turned on the air conditioner in the car. Wouldn't you know it, but I smelled something funny. I pulled over, looked in her stuff and found a good sized bag of pot. Oh, I see, you're *homeless*, but employed, so you manage to buy pot w/your hard-earned dollars?!

Continuing to work, I pull back out in front of a cop, who pulled me over because he thought I was driving strangely (not really, it was his cop instinct, as he later told me). Luckily, I knew him, so in a few I was on my way. When I got to work, I was shaking in fear. Can you imagine being an adult, working 2 jobs, renting a home, having pets, and nearly getting busted for a baggy of weed that wasn't yours? It's funny now, but I was furious then.

I learned that many of these folks are NOT like my formerly homeless friend and that putting myself at what had seemed like a minor risk wasn't worth it, because given the lifestyle differences, it turned into a larger risk to help her. There are other ways to help.

But in your situation? They've invaded your neighborhood and are inflicting their values on your and your property. This has nothing to do w/someone going through a rough patch or a hard time.

I am amazed that here in EPA we actually have more recourse for this issue than you all do.


Posted by Creative Compassion, a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 19, 2011 at 12:47 pm

In every instance mentioned above, the specific bad behavior of specific car dwellers was illegal--trespassing to use the private facility of a private home, threatening children, possession of illegal narcotics. We need to work with the police to report and press charges on the criminal behavior of those car dwellers who are breaking the law. PAD non-emergency number ot report such incidents is 329-2413. Log it in your cell.

However, some car dwellers are good people who really are just temporarily down on their luck and deserve some compassion. Should we really be lumping them together with criminals and treating them as though we expect the worst from them? I hope we can do better than that.

I realize this is a sticky problem, and it would be easy to simply "Throw the bums out." but given the status of our current economy we might remember what my college-educated grandmother (who had to farm out her starving children to relatives during the Depression)often said, "There but for the grace of God go I." Sometimes life is not fair to people. After the Depression she and her husband built a successful publishing business and their children came home to them. All of those children achieved high levels of education, and grew up to be productive citizens. Thank God for the compassion of the people who helped to carry my ancestors through that difficult time.

I hope we can find it in our hearts to look for a compassionate solution.


Posted by Deep Throat, a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2011 at 1:18 pm

"We already have the Opportunity Center and yet there are still people panhandling at popular street corners."

Parking is prohibited at night on Encina Avenue, the street where the Opportunity Center is located.


Posted by rodney, a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 19, 2011 at 1:28 pm

you get the feeling it will pass. too much fear going around. all these laws are being pushed. there is never any caring about people who are percieved as ''different''. prove me wrong, but they will cave into fears.to quote jerry garcia, ''everyone is more afraid than anything else these days''.


Posted by Ken, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Creative Compassion,

You are, of course, already housing a formerly homeless person or two, in your South Midtown residence, right? Do your neighbors understand this?

Compassion starts at home, .


Posted by bkenny, a resident of Meadow Park
on Jul 19, 2011 at 3:36 pm

`To all who posted the viewpoint that Homeless people should go elsewhere, I am a skilled individual and have tried to land a job
in this area. I have paid income taxes for 40 years and sales taxes, and business taxes. I am not some ignorant bum that you may look down your snobbish nose at, in fact I have a higher education than most of you do. So I am down on my luck simply because I grew too old to be employable in your elite perfect society of who knows who. You may suffer the same fate someday that I now am experiencing and may you reap all the judgement that you are now dishing out to me.
This attitude of "not in my backyard" only shows what rich snobs are truly made of! God hates hypocrites!


Posted by Ann, a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 19, 2011 at 4:16 pm

"Turn This into a POSITIVE," I have a few questions for you or for anyone else who can answer:

1. Have you visited the studio that Victor Frost is supposed to be living in? How did you like the area? Did you feel safe over there?

2. If you were Victor, would you live there or would you prefer to spend most of the days living in a car? Maybe you would use it just as a deposit and live in you car... that would not be a bad idea, would it be?

3. Do you think Victor has enough means to drive from Redwood City everyday to his panhandling spot here in Palo Alto? Or do you think he has to sleep in his car because he may not have any other choice?

4. How many times have you talked to Victor? Do you know if he needs special help or do you think he is happy living in a car?

5. How do you think the city will be helping homeless people by telling them not to live in their cars? The city wants them to just park somewhere and sleep in the parks, is that a good idea?

6. Why don't we have a shelter in Palo Alto?


Posted by Ken, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm

bkenny,

I will take you to task.

Please tell us where you lived when you paid your 40 years of taxes. Be specific. Did you also pay property taxes, directly? In Palo Alto? Who did you work for in the area?

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Finally, what does "down on my luck" mean (to you)? I have had many bad things happen to me, but I always came up swinging. What is your pity pot about?


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm

There is a huge difference between poor people who live in cars but otherwise take care of themselves, don't contribute to crime or cause problems in the area in which they are dwelling and those who do things like defecate and urinate in public or in the yards of residents, commit crimes, even if they're petty crimes, or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, harass people. While compassion is important for these folks, compassion for those w/more but who are dealing w/the nasty reality of the car dwellers who care for no one but themselves is also important.

If a ban doesn't pass, why not have a designated area for car dwellers, and that's it? It's certainly more than other cities offer.

And once again, I ask - What makes a car dweller a resident of Palo Alto? Does anyone know the answer?


Posted by marry, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Posted by Joe, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, 6 hours ago
People would like to feel secure in their homes, and communities. Having transients living in a vehicle in front of their homes, who have no permanent roots, or even an identity, gives permanent residents a reason for being unsettled.

Obviously Joe, these people are not transients if they are there every day, year in and year out.



Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, 7 hours ago
However, it is the likes of Victor Frost who perpetually lives in a car and causes a nuisance by his lifestyle, that needs to be banned. It is not in-compassionate, but realistic.

Kind of like how we banned the lifestyle of the Native Americans.


Posted by Ken, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, 6 hours ago
The request by Mr. James seems to be, primarily, to harass those who have participated in the process. Therefore, I would advise that the request be denied.

Ken does not want to be identified for inflicting his will upon those who have no recourse.

Posted by JustMe, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, 5 hours ago
"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." Anatole France, The Red Lily, 1894, chapter 7

That's not true. The law allows people to live out of their vehicles for the enjoyment of it, camping, but not the necessity of it. There are dozens of laws that apply to ordinary citizens that do not apply to citizens who work for the government.



Posted by Lincoln Ave, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, 3 hours ago
The "car campers" defecate in whatever bushes they find convenient, even under or on fruit trees. At least two campers in our neighborhood are not mentally sound, I have no idea if they have a record.

We have no idea if you are mentally sound and if you have a record. Where's the evidence of them defecating in the bushes, I think you're lying.



Posted by Concerned Retiree, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, 2 hours ago
We could also do like some enlightened cities do elsewhere and buy these people a bus ticket to their former hometown.

Then you will be giving them a bus ride to Palo Alto, for this is their hometown.




Posted by College Terrace Resident, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, 2 hours ago
Here's an example of one such fact... A few years ago I walked by a VW van permanently parked by JJ&F and watched two men cooking heroin in their van. The door was wide open and I was with my 4 year old daughter.

I live in vehicle next to an upscale house in College Terrace. I actually had to call the cops once because the residents were smoking crack cocaine and I could smell it even though I was about 150ft. away.


Posted by Eileen Wright, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, 2 hours ago
This is Palo Alto. If you're down on your luck, go somewhere else.

This is the United States, everyone has the right to own and protect their property, including those who only possess a vehicle. If you hate people to the degree that you would steal from the poor because you don't like seeing them I suggest you buy 40 acres and put your house in the middle of it so that you won't be exposed to anyone who offends you.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]




Posted by Ken, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 19, 2011 at 6:05 pm

marry,

That was quite a rant. Where do you live in College Terrace? Surely, you must have homless living with you, right? Do your neighbors know what you are doing? Have you checked out their criminal records, and mental health records? Are they parolees or sex offenders?

Or are you just on a rant?


Posted by Downtown Resident, a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm

I am tired of the homeless/transient population in general as well as the city of palo alto. I am tired of seeing these transients/child molesters in places like Borders and the plaza. I am tired of seeing people panhandle on the street and refuse any kind of food instead of just handing over change or whatever cash you have on hand.

Palo alto is going down hill and fast. What once used to be a nice city is now a **** hole.


Posted by ernest, a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2011 at 6:44 pm

How EXACTLY are the police going to be determining who to question/investigate in their car? I sense an onslaught of police violations of search and seizure laws. And given PA's track record, if you're homeless & non-white, you'll need to be twice as careful.

What an irrational law. If someone is living out of their car, then they most likely do not have the money to pay a $1,000 fine. In this situation, they will be sentenced to 6 months in jail?? Many county jails are already overcrowded. And the ones that aren't yet, surely will be when the CDCR begins to release prison inmates to the local jails for reentry (see recent Brown v Plata 2011, U.S. Supreme Court decision). Palo Alto will be not be exempt from this.

For those of you who are reporting your bad experiences with folks living out of their cars:
(1) Take a minute and think about how many experiences you have had... Count it..
(2) Now, think about the total number of people living out of their cars in Palo Alto. Hundreds? Maybe more.
(3) If that's the case, then there's no way that you have encountered all of these people. And therefore, there is no way that you have had BAD experiences with all of these people.
(4) A lot of folks living out of their car are good, hard-working, intelligent, courageous, kind, honest people. Why are you supporting a law that seeks to punish all of them??

There should AT LEAST be a discussion on compromise.


Posted by Anna, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 19, 2011 at 9:40 pm

All the people who want people to sleep in their cars should be required to offer their driveways and bathrooms to these people, including any City Council members who vote for car-living.

If all the nearby cities ban car-sleeping, why does Palo Alto think the ban won't work, and shy all the hand-wringing?

Palo Alto should stop being enablers for Mr. Frost. He needs serious psychiatric treatment, and rather than dealing with the causes of his behavior, people just go on enabling him to be sick and never get better, plus annoying the hell out of everybody.


Posted by marry, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 20, 2011 at 12:52 am

Your not very bright Ken. If you had clearly read my post, I already live in a vehicle, I am one of "those people." I guess we ought to perpetually punish all parolees according to you so we can continue to pay billions of dollars You sure are uptight. I think you need someone to polish you off, you know what I mean.

Why is it that the PA Weekly allows you residents to state, "They have bugs orbiting them and they infest that restaurant." but won't allow me to point out the bugs flying around fat people?


Posted by subway, a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 20, 2011 at 1:12 am

when i was riding subways in a non-us city,there was one time a begger asking for money,obviously he was living in it and he was crawling on the floor because he could not stand,i am sure the policemen were aware of him,but he was still there,folks,mercy,mercy.


Posted by Judy, a resident of Community Center
on Jul 20, 2011 at 7:07 am

I fully support the ban on people living in cars parked on city streets in Palo Alto. I think that allowing ongoing car residency raises problems with sanitation, privacy for homeowners as well as a diminishing the quality of life (which we pay for dearly in Palo Alto) for all residents. It also troubles me that surrounding communities have banned this practice which means that Palo Alto winds up with a disproportionate number of car residents while our neighboring towns remain untouched, unaware and largely untroubled by this issue.
In my view, this a matter that should be addressed by the county (state?) and not just one relatively small city like Palo Alto.


Posted by Mike, a resident of University South
on Jul 20, 2011 at 7:48 am

How can someone who lives in their car vote?

"'I'm homeless and I live in my car and I'm not a criminal,' resident Vickie Boone told the council. 'I've lived in Palo Alto all my life and voted for most of you.'"


Posted by JQP, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 20, 2011 at 7:48 am

Perhaps PA can apply its zoning code to car-dwellings to regulate their size, shape, color, condition, etc.

And if the car-dwelling does not comply with the code, compel the owner to demolish it. Or move it out of town, their choice.


Posted by Peter K. Mueller, a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 20, 2011 at 9:50 am

Dwelling in vehicles should definitely NOT be criminalized. There must be better options to consider.


Posted by PA Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 20, 2011 at 10:44 am

I see in this mornings papers that Jim Keene is withdrawing this item from next Monday's City Council Meeting agenda and possibly placing it back on in September.

When I was listening to all those opposing the ban at oral communications last Monday I asked myself where are all those College Terrace residents who support the ban and why aren't they at City Hall speaking in favor of it? Now they will not be given the opportunity because the item has been withdrawn from next Monday's Agenda.

I suggest those in support of the ban use this time to get their group together and organized so they can put their opinions before Council next September collectively, just like the car dwellers.

This is a City where whoever shouts the loudest very often gets their way.


Posted by Concerned Citizen, a resident of Professorville
on Jul 20, 2011 at 10:50 am

for all of you that don't like vehicle dwellers near your home, easy solution, move somewhere else. Los Altos or Saratoga are nice.


Posted by Jan, a resident of Fairmeadow School
on Jul 20, 2011 at 12:08 pm

For the Grace of God, and my Mom's prayers, we were always protected from outside evil, while living in our vehicle. 'Twas in-between houses, was extreemely difficult to find a house in Palo Alto, having 3 children, 2 dogs, and one adult, even though credit was excellent, employment was full time, long term, and lucrative (we had what we needed). We did not advertise our living situation, used our next address for school registration (next house was not vacated). We did not litter. We used service station restrooms and park facilities, and the shower at my workplace. My vehicle did have a water flush toilet and a fresh water sink with grey water holding tank. We parked after dark, and moved out early morning. I ask all to look in the mirror and tell yourself that you will never need anything! You will always have your home, food, water, toilet, shower, then, go watch the news. Wake Up!
I see the crime here as littering, indecent exposure, defecating before circling to find the correct spot, disturbing the peace, possible parking longer than the 48 hour law, illegal drugs, alcohol consumption in a motor vehicle. I say, drag the offenders to the dungeons, tow the vehicle to storage. Leave the folks alone that are sleeping in their cars.
As for the freeloader/beggars, stop giving them money. Nada! They would not be out there if they did not receive money.
Let me end by thanking God that I am sitting in my home, payed in full. Today, I have a roof, tomorrow................really do not know. 'Gonna enjoy the Day.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 20, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Menlo Park has a no overnight street parking law. If this were the case in Palo Alto it would curb the problem without being discriminatory.


Posted by Ken, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 20, 2011 at 12:19 pm

"I suggest those in support of the ban use this time to get their group together and organized so they can put their opinions before Council next September collectively, just like the car dwellers."

PA Resident,

I have a good friend who lives in CT. That neighborhood has had it with the car campers. CT has already organized, signed petitions, organized through their residence association (CTRA), presented to the city...to no effect, thus far.

It is time for Barron Park to step up to the plate, and invite the car campers over there. Also, the mayor should nominate his neighborhood, as should the rest of the councilmembers. At a minimum, those councilmembers who oppose the ban, or refuse to step up and announce their support of the ban, should be asked to take in one or two homeless persons into their own driveways/homes.


Posted by ban cars not people, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 20, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Ban all cars from being parked on the road overnight. Simple to enforce and non-discriminatory.


Posted by enough is enough, a resident of Stanford
on Jul 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm

"I have a good friend who lives in CT. That neighborhood has had it with the car campers. CT has already organized, signed petitions, organized through their residence association (CTRA), presented to the city...to no effect, thus far."
College Terrace has had it with anything that does not fit their selfish desires. It is about time that the city stop kowtowing to CT's demands on everything that they demand of the city. There are other neighborhoods in the city that need things as well. ENOUGH OF COLLEGE TERRACE AND THIER SELFISH WAYS


Posted by Car4Driving, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 20, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Sorta enjoying Jan's holier-than-thou attitude. I know many people whose new homes weren't ready and guess what? They stayed in motels, acquired short term rentals and/or stayed with friends. It's great her family didn't litter or defecate in public, but that doesn't mean she gets to point the finger at those who don't like the car dwellers. In fact, since she's been one, it'd be great if she invites some of them to stay in her driveway.


Posted by Ken, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm

"College Terrace has had it with anything that does not fit their selfish desires."

For somebody from Stanford to call CT residents selfish is truly remarkable. Stanford is, in effect, a gated community, with private security guards, and its residents actively seek to park their cars in CT, so that they do not have to pay their own parking fees.

The word hypocricy does not begin to describe the quoted statement.


Posted by danny, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 20, 2011 at 1:33 pm

A College Terrace resident writes:

"Here's an example of one such fact... A few years ago I walked by a VW van permanently parked by JJ&F and watched two men cooking heroin in their van. The door was wide open and I was with my 4 year old daughter."

--

Do you remember the color and other description of the VW Van?


Posted by PA cannot save the world, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 20, 2011 at 1:49 pm

I don't believe Jan's story at all. If they could afford a PA home, then they could have afforded to stay at a motel.

Any neighborhood with car dwellers has the right to protest. I hope College Terrace is successful. We are paying premium prices to live in a nice town. The car dwellers can drive elsewhere.


Posted by enough is enough, a resident of Stanford
on Jul 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm

"For somebody from Stanford to call CT residents selfish is truly remarkable. Stanford is, in effect, a gated community, with private security guards,"
Where are the gates thatyou speak about? Entry to Stanford is open to all. Like any university, there are parking rules and people need parking permits or can park in garages. However after 4PM and on weekends, most parking is open to anyone.
All universities have campus police--Stanford is no different.

"and its residents actively seek to park their cars in CT , so that they do not have to pay their own parking fees.""
Probably not the residents of Stanford, but most likely the people that work during the day at Stanford. However (and I am sure that this is much to the dismay of College Terrace residents) the streets of CT are public property and open to all. There is now a permit parking system in CT---the only neighborhood in town to have one, despite other areas needing it as well (CT gets what they want),

"The word hypocricy does not begin to describe the quoted statement."
Come back with some actual facts, Ken.


Posted by cash cows, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 20, 2011 at 3:28 pm

"(CT gets what they want)"

Not really. CT get's what it can from Stanford's.
Even now CT can't afford their RPPP and so takes a subsidy from a Stanford account that is supposed to be held in escrow and/or used for RPPP studies in other impacted neighborhoods.

CT doesn't want to pay for the mess on their its doorstep so petitions the city to pay for it. Until they can get Standford to pay for it that is...


Posted by Ken, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 20, 2011 at 3:52 pm

"Where are the gates thatyou speak about? Entry to Stanford is open to all."

Yawn. If homeless people, including those who live in their vehicles, try to camp under the oak trees, on Stanford lands next to El Camino, they would be kicked out in under 10 minutes. Stanford's gates are very real, even if the naive cannot see them.

If Stanford wants to open its gates to to the homeless, that would be up to them. I haven't heard that they do, because they don't want to end up with the issues that CT has. I would particularly like to hear from the professors who live in the hills of Stanford lands...are they willing to take a homeless person, or two, into their homes or driveways?

enough is enough, since you are from Stanford, where do live on the campus? Are you willing to have the homeless live with you, personally?


Posted by enough is enough, a resident of Stanford
on Jul 20, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Ken--let's stick to some facts

"Yawn. If homeless people, including those who live in their vehicles, try to camp under the oak trees, on Stanford lands next to El Camino, they would be kicked out in under 10 minutes."
You forget that Stanford is private property. Go to any shopping center and you will see signs that restrict parking to shoppers. Palo Alto streets are public property. Big difference. Your comparison is irrelevant.

"Stanford's gates are very real, even if the naive cannot see them."
You would be naive to believe that Stanford has gates.

"If Stanford wants to open its gates to to the homeless, that would be up to them. I haven't heard that they do, because they don't want to end up with the issues that CT has."
why should Stanford have to solve another one of Palo Alto's problems?

"enough is enough, since you are from Stanford, where do live on the campus? Are you willing to have the homeless live with you, personally?"
I work at Stanford. Why do people have to have the homeless live with them if they are against the ban on car dwelling? Why do you hate the poor and downtrodden and those that are forced to live in their vehicles?


Posted by Ken, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 20, 2011 at 4:32 pm

"Palo Alto streets are public property. Big difference. Your comparison is irrelevant."

Not really. Menlo Park and other surrounding cities prohibit car camping. That's all that Palo Alto is asking for. Such a ban would be completely legal...and long overdue.

If Stanford wants to allow the homeless onto their private lands, that is a choice they can make. Some Stanford students showed up the other night at the city council meeting, apparently thinking that they have some say about PA issues. It's very obvious: Stanford can agree to assume the homeless issues. Perhaps those same students can invite a homeless person to live in their dorm rooms with them.

enough is enough, if you love the homeless, then you should step up to the plate and invite them into you own home, instead of being content to see them dumped over at CT (how convenient!).


Posted by Why ken?, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 20, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Ken seems to think that stanford should step up and solve palo alto's problems again. He also feels that if you are against the ban, you need to house homeless people. Faulty reasoning. Ken lacks compassion for those led fortunate than himself. This is nour about stanford nour is it about what other cities do. Since ken hates the homeless he feels that he need not work toward a solution to this problem. His comments about how everyone should house the homeless are irrelevant, immaterial and display a lack of a basic understanding off the issue.


Posted by YSK, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 20, 2011 at 9:26 pm

All of those who don't mind people living in cars just a few feet from their front window's and doors and in front of their homes, create a website and post your address, invite the people living in their vehicles over to live in front of YOUR homes....please. Prove your impassioned defenses on this site...put your street parking where your posts and insults are.


Posted by Fred Smith, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 21, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I'm currently homeless living in my vehicle. I've been a resident of Palo Alto for over 30 years. I've paid rent, roughly $500,000 over the years. I have a degree in physics and a few years of graduate school. I'm an out of work software engineer with 25 years experience. I lost my job a couple of years ago, went through my savings, exhausted my unemployment and lost my apartment last year. I borrowed some money from a friend and bought a old RV off craigslist which I now live in. I park either on El Camino Real or in industrial areas. I do no urinate, defecate nor bother my environment in any way. I have no criminal record. I keep a low profile. I cost the city nothing. I've now been out of work a couple of years and I'm considered old, both of these things making it difficult to find work but I continue to send resumes out looking for work. I survive on a small social security check. I cause no one any problems that I know of. It is no "fun" living in my vehicle but until I find work it's the best I can afford. Yet this proposed ordinance will at the least make me a minor criminal through no fault of my own as the economy is bad and seemingly getting worse. When I become a criminal by virtue of this new ordinance it will become even harder to find work. Palo Alto for many years has been a compassionate and liberal place but the proposed ordinance as it's written is heartless and ill thought out. Many people supporting the ban seem to say to those of us unfortunates ... "go away, I don't want to see you around here". How many of you live pay check to pay check? What if the economy continues to get worse and worse? Please be compassionate.


Posted by Ken, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Fred,

What a sob story. Do you currently have your computer technician A+ rating? If not, why not? There is a ton of work out there for private computer technicians, you know the ones that actually show up at a person's home and fixes their computer problems. Are you willing to get your hands dirty and actually do some manual labor? Or are you still waiting for that dream job, that you seem to feel entitlted to, to come along?

In the meantime, your days are numbered, in terms of you sleeping on our streets. Time to get off your pity pot, Fred.


Posted by Fred Smith, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 22, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Ken,

"Your streets"? As I mentioned I've lived here in Palo Alto over 30 years, spent over a half million on rent not counting all the rest of the money I've spent in Palo Alto. They aren't "your streets".Sob story? It's the truth. My point is there are many different kinds of homeless people. Too many people think we're all bums, crazies, dregs or criminals. I've been a software engineer for over 25 years, earning 6 figure salaries most of the time. Now that I'm out of work a couple of years and old no one is interested in hiring me. I don't have the money to get training for a technician A+ rating whatever that is. In the past I've held that "dream job" many times. The jobs have been outsourced. "Pity pot"??? That's BS on your part. And you don't know what you're talking about referring to a "ton of work out there for private computer technicians". A smart friend of mine tried that and couldn't find enough work to survive on. You're the problem Ken ... your heartlessness and no compassion for the people who've suffered misfortune of various kinds in this economy. Palo Alto would be improved if you moved out.


Posted by To Fred , a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm

I have a neighbor who got an under the table job doing a low-risk security gig. You're more educated than him. Suggestion: Approach local businesses with parking lots to see if any of them would let you camp there in exchange for keeping an eye on the area. If you have trusted references who understand your position and a resume, it might work. I know it's not optimal, but it might work. You might want to be less Palo Alto-centric. WalMart lets people camp there. There's a startup in Sunnyvale called BioCurious (845 Stewart Drive/N Wolfe Road, Sunnyvale) or try the Hacker Dojo at 140 South Whisman Road in Mountain View. Who knows? Maybe they need a tech person for some help. There is life beyond Palo Alto!


Posted by Bob Jacobsen, a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 30, 2011 at 10:55 am

If we make it legal for people to sleep in their cars we still have the same problem, homelessness. The homeless should take action to improve their lives. I do help to feed the homeless and I have learned one lesson. The homeless want to eat but most of them will not volunteer to help in the kitchen.


Posted by PA cannot save the world, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2011 at 3:30 am

Agree with Ken.

If these homeless people are not hopelessly addicted to any substance, they can find a job but are plain lazy. Immigrants who cannot even speak English can find jobs and appreciate the opportunities of America. It's those Americans with too much pride to find a job that is pathetic. If they cannot afford to live in Palo Alto, they need to move to the East Bay or elsewhere which is less expensive. Newark, CA and Fremont have motels with $40 rates.

I have had friends who I have tried to help. Paly Alums, in fact. Intelligent people who grew up in North Palo Alto. They were employed for a time and have B.A. degrees and both always claim they'll take any job. For one, I lined up a job for her at Stanford University - handed it over to her on a silver platter. She worked 5 days and then somehow got "fired". She finally married someone and got knocked-up so she would not have to work. Another friend (whom I broke off my friendship with because I could no longer stand the complacency) has been out of work for a decade. Claims all sorts of disabilities (bipolar, etc.) and leeches off the govt. for money and therapy. He is intelligent and quick-witted. I tried to find him a job and even filled out an application for him to a grocery store which had many locations hiring. I told him Panda Express was hiring. I tipped him off on other places which were hiring. To this day, he is still unemployed. Poster above, "Fred", is no different than these people. If he really wanted a job he could obtain one but he really does not want employment. The dream of living in Palo Alto is over, Fred. It doesn't matter how much money you've sunk into Palo Alto rent - you can no longer afford to live in Palo Alto. These people are plain lazy and should be shipped off to Somalia to begin to appreciate America.

There is no way any male with a long vacation on his resume will ever be hired. There is too much competition out there.

Meanwhile, Fred and other vehicle dwellers can pass time at Pastor Greg Schaefer's church since the pastor has compassion for the homeless:

University Church is located at 1611 Stanford Ave., 94303


Posted by Compassionate, a resident of another community
on Aug 3, 2011 at 5:02 am

I would like to piggy back on one of the suggestion that was made. Why can't PAO let the homeless park on a designated vacant lot away from the residential/downtown area. Somewhat like a homeless camp site providing that they all be responsible for making sure that the area are clean daily. Let there be a homeless coordinator for the site.


Posted by bkenny, a resident of Meadow Park
on Aug 10, 2011 at 6:31 pm

We need to Pass laws that directly deal with the perpetrators, NOT the innocent people who have simply been put out of the employment market. The problem of homelessness is widespread. The homeless are not all bums, druggies, alcoholics, lazy people, etc. I know a guy holding down 2 jobs, yet living in a mini van because of the high rents here.
The opportunity center is a social experiment gone wrong. The Ceo and 5 others who run the place all cash in while those who are truly in need still suffer from their ailments. This organization does not SOLVE homelessness, they simply use their position as a poverty pimp
to further the suffering of poverty in our community. We, as a people need to solve a social/economic problem here, NOT instill punishment for simply being poor, or mentally challenged. Those who are doing drugs need to be rounded up and rehabilitated, but those who are simply down on their luck need another chance to get work that will pay enough for apartment, food and clothes. Don't expect us to be a slave class for the wealthy, thats called oppression!


Posted by bkenny, a resident of Meadow Park
on Aug 10, 2011 at 6:33 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Edgarpoet, a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 11, 2011 at 11:00 am

Edgarpoet is a registered user.

Ken and people that think like ken might be more of a problem then
passing some ordinance that simply removes yet another civil right we
Americans used to have!
He insists that anybody that does not agree with him should be labeled a communist and escorted out of HIS town!
instead of seeing that our economy is the real problem here, ken
insists upon attacking individuals who have the nerve to stand up for their rights.
The real perpertrators of this problem are but 1% of the homeless community. Find a way to deal with the actual perpertrators and leave those alone who are actively seeking a way out of homelessness.
And pleas don't pretend that the oppertunity center has some magical answer to homelessness, because they only perpetuate the problem while raking in tons of government grants that just fill up deep pockets of the alreadt wealthy, Maybe Ken is one of them? He seems to have some very personal stake in oppressing the poor!


Posted by Edgarpoet, a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 11, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Edgarpoet is a registered user.

Eileen Wright:
I did not realize that you (GOD) were residing here in Palo Alto!
If I only would have known, why I would have dropped by years ago!
Are you kind folks here in Palo Alto going to contruct tool gates
at the city limits and begin checking our passports upon entering your fine city? Think about your comment if thats at all possible.


Posted by kevin, a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 14, 2011 at 9:48 pm

I'm from Palo Alto and homeless too. I didn't make a rational choice to be homeless. I don't drink, do drugs, litter, steal, or beg. I'm also not lazy and attend college full time while looking for work. To support myself through college I use to do landscaping and help people paint or fix up their house. The natives of this area would hire me but for years no one seemed to want to hire American workers like me anymore so I lost everything. It has been a very painful experience for me overall. It's already shameful enough but I suppose I'm an easy target to scapegoat.


Posted by PA cannot save the world, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 14, 2011 at 10:53 pm

@Kevin:

You would not be homeless if you attended college part-time and worked the rest of the time. There are businesses who hire for alternative hours, such as restaurants. There is no excuse for being homeless in America. If immigrants who speak little English can come here and find work, Americans can find work. But pride gets in the way of Americans born here. They won't just take "any job". It has to be a "respectable" job. I've got no respect for people with such arrogant attitudes.

I know someone who is scamming the government for money and has been unemployed for almost a decade. Claims depression, etc. Truth is, he is lazy. I've filled out applications for him at grocery stores, etc. Can't get him to follow up. So what has he decided to do? Go back to school! To finish his B.A. will take one year, and then grad school - that will use up another few years so he can continue to avoid employment. Very intelligent person - just LAZY.


Posted by Now, what?, a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 15, 2011 at 11:07 am

Aren't you allowed to be lazy in America?


Posted by Edgarpoet, a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 17, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Edgarpoet is a registered user.

To all you Palo Altoians who seem to be living in 1962:
Life is not easy when you hit age 45 and the corporation shows you the back door.
The replacement to your $85,000 job is working at a pizza shack for $8.25 an hour, Can YOU pay your bills on that? This is America
land of oppertunity ( for them who have money to invest)
If your brother steels your inheritance and you are too old to be employed what the heck is left?
Hope it does not happen to you, I would not wish vehicle habitation on anyone!


Posted by Ken, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 17, 2011 at 3:28 pm

It is predictable that the sob stories will start up, again, as we head to the showdown. Nobody knows what the facts of these sob stories are, and cons always use them.

Ban the campers, and then let those, who are taken in by their stories, take them into their own homes and churches, synagogues and (future) mosques...if their neighbors are in favor.


Posted by Edgarpoet, a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 18, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Edgarpoet is a registered user.

If you ban these campers, YOU will support them with YOU tax dollars
because they are NOT going anywhere else! Would you like to make
the United States into a third world country where the rich have slaves to do everthing for them? Instead of Judging those whom you know not, why not use your mind and come up with a workable solution to the cause of poverty and homelessness?Nobody knows what the facts are about those urinating on the flower beds and lawns in College Terrace either, most of this is total HYPE. We have not seen one picture posting of the offenders have we? Until the evidence is in , I will rest this case as a bunch of whinners crying "wolf".


Posted by Margie, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm

To Bob,

Why don't you have a compassion to the homeless? You were homeless yourself, don't you count your blessings that someone helped you? if you are not happy helping in the kitchen feeding the homeless, then you should stay out of the way. God knows our hearts, we cannot be hypocrite.


Posted by Edgarpoet, a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 18, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Edgarpoet is a registered user.

Bob,
Why don't you stop feeding the homeless if it bothers you so much what their attitude is? nobody is forcing you to volunteer right?
Hope you never get kicked out of the FREE place you are living in!
You know, that house where other people pay for your living expenses!


Posted by Ken, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 18, 2011 at 2:50 pm

"where the rich have slaves to do everthing for them?"

EPoet clearly likes to whine a lot. He is too superior to work for a rich person. hen there is the "I don't drink, do drugs..." claims (are they willing to submit to random drug/alcohol tests?).

We are going to see a lot more of this ridiculous stuff, in the next few weeks. Cons are cons, but the rest of us don't have to listen to them.


Posted by Dave G, a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Ken please start answering with facts instead of speculation about a person's character, which is, by the way, an argument besides the point, and character assassination. If you have no valid argument please stop wasting my time with pesudo intellectual nonsense and quit wearing your gonands on your sleeve. I'm not impressed with machisimo retoric especially when it borders on pysco-pathologic uncaring, discompassionate and anti-social comments that foster negativity such as hatred. I think you can do better than this.


Posted by Ken, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 24, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Dave G.,

Since you are from a different community, which community is it?

If you want to wear your 'compassion' on your sleve, then simply invite all of the Palo Alto car campers to move to your town. You surely are not from any town surrounding Palo Alto, because they ban such practices.


Posted by Dave G, a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Ken, I would'nt mind the PA car campers to live by me or in my city. I befriended some and noticed that, unlike many other cities, these homeless came from neighborhoods better than mine. They are very clean, respectful, informed and helpful. You see them all the time and don't even know they sleep in their cars because their cars/RV's are clean, also. Many are the "working" homeless. They make enough money to sustain themselves and little more. They are stupid either, as you can see, they banned together for mutual protection to ward off an assault on their right to live or be stamped out.


Posted by Dave G, a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Ken, to listen to your diatribes, one would think that a platoon of homeless tresspassed across your property and deposited 5 lbs. of manure on your front lawn. Then raped your parakeet.

You color yourself as the besieged law abiding home owner protecting home and hearth. Please get off your pity pot. In todays economic/political environment, every home in America is under assault. Quit worrying about imaginary bunnies jumping over your hedges and leaving brown easter eggs on your lawn. In other words, quit whinning. My mother once told me, "If you can't help the poor, at least don't hinder them".


Posted by Ken, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 25, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Dave G,

OK, no problem...just let us all know where you live. We will gladly direct the car campers to yoour neighborhood, wherever that is. That way, you can demonstrate your "compassion".

Just the facts, Dave: Town and neighborhood. That should be be easy for you, right?


Posted by Edgarpoet, a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 26, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Edgarpoet is a registered user.

he fact is Ken,that you feel entitled to be little others that do not agree with you.You have taken this issue very personal for some reason.
Did some unsheltered person harm you? Has your house been burned down? OR... as i suspect,you just think that your daily output don't stink because you are higher up on some contrived social scale?
You stand ready to attack anybody that has a different opinion.
Who is pushing your button Ken? If its the fellow with 10 vehicles
who caused this hostitaly in the first place, why not work with the city to get him moved instead of creating criminals out of unfortunate people who are NOT bothering you and were never parked in YOUR neighborhood. You seem also to have some territorial instinct like a pit bull dog.. Whats this about Ken?
Do you own the entire Palo Alto area? I was unaware that we had royalty here in our fair city! God Bless the Queen!


Posted by headrolling, a resident of Palo Verde School
on Aug 26, 2011 at 2:37 pm

And the queen says:"off with your head."


Posted by Edgarpoet, a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 26, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Edgarpoet is a registered user.

PA can not save the world,
Alright brother, when shall we start the round up?
Do you know of the concentration camps of Germany during WW2?
Would you support such a camp right in this south Bay area?
Would you like to be the warden of the homeless camp?
I am homeless, and I never begged, I do not live off of taxpayers
I simply can not afford the steep rents here on the pay that I receive. YOU shop at the business where I work, You bennefit from my cheap wage. You have probably seen me walking down the street and guess what?... never would you even guess that I am homeless!
I spend most of my paycheck in YOUR community to support stores here so why do you hate me? whats the real issue here?


Posted by Ken, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Epoet,

As soon as Dave G. announces his "another community" and his neighborhood, you will be welcome to live next to him. Right, Dave?

Please help out the poet, Dave...show your compassion. Where do you live? Are there any rich people there? If so, make sure that poet is not forced to become a "slave" to them by taking a paying job from them.

It's a win-win: Dave and poet can mutually support each other.

I am completely immune to con jobs, but I am quite willing to put the compassionate folks, who want to volunteer, in touch with the cons....

Town and neighborhood, Dave...still waiting. Very simple.


Posted by Edgarpoet, a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 29, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Edgarpoet is a registered user.

I am still waiting for an untelligent reply from Ken
but I guess that will come when hell freezes over!
Ken, your car stuck in reverse and your human compassion is non existant, Thanks for proving that to all the readers.
We pity you ken!


Posted by Ken, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 29, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Epoet,

I beg to disagree! My comments have been very straight-forward and understandable. I don't want anybody camping on our streets in Palo Alto. I want the same restrictions as Menlo Park and other surrounding cities have in place. That is an intelligent response. There is no need to wait for hell to freeze....

Your main issue, it appears, is that Dave G. has not responded back to you, with a place to stay. You should direct your invective towards him.


Posted by Dave G, a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Hello Ken, I see you missed me. How sweet.....
Now, here are you "facts".....
FACT #1 I'm not an invalid so I don't need a proxy to administer my desire to see the poor and homeless given a "hand up" and not a "hand out". If you have that much and clout to steer them to my, or any other neighborhood, then why don't you use that same energy towards positive ends and steer them towards the centers and organizations that would assist them to get back on their feet. At the very least they would be out of your hair and you could feel good about doing your Christian duty.

FACT #2 As for my address and community - I'm not sure I'm ready to share my town with yet another bigot flailing his appendage all around the neighborhoods. Put your sword back in its sheath and zip it up. Now put on your gloves and focus on getting America back to work. It may do wonders for your waistline. It won't do anything for your yellow, gringy toenails, however.


Posted by Dave G, a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Hello Ken, I see you missed me. How sweet.....
Now, here are you "facts".....
FACT #1 I'm not an invalid so I don't need a proxy to administer my desire to see the poor and homeless given a "hand up" and not a "hand out". If you have that much and clout to steer them to my, or any other neighborhood, then why don't you use that same energy towards positive ends and steer them towards the centers and organizations that would assist them to get back on their feet. At the very least they would be out of your hair and you could feel good about doing your Christian duty.

FACT #2 As for my address and community - I'm not sure I'm ready to share my town with yet another bigot flailing his appendage all around the neighborhoods. Put your sword back in its sheath and zip it up. Now put on your gloves and focus on getting America back to work. It may do wonders for your waistline. It won't do anything for your yellow, gringy toenail, however.


Posted by Dave G, a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Hello Ken, I see you missed me. How sweet.....
Now, here are you "facts".....
FACT #1 I'm not an invalid so I don't need a proxy to administer my desire to see the poor and homeless given a "hand up" and not a "hand out". If you have that much and clout to steer them to my, or any other neighborhood, then why don't you use that same energy towards positive ends and steer them towards the centers and organizations that would assist them to get back on their feet. At the very least they would be out of your hair and you could feel good about doing your Christian duty.

FACT #2 As for my address and community - I'm not sure I'm ready to share my town with yet another bigot flailing his appendage all around the neighborhoods. Put your sword back in its sheath and zip it up. Now put on your gloves and focus on getting America back to work. It may do wonders for your waistline. It won't do anything for your yellow, gringy toenails, however.


Posted by Ken, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 30, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Dave G.,

You need to contact EPoet, not me (in triplicate!). He is waiting for your help and compassion, if that is what you are offering.


Posted by Dave G, a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Well, Ken. I ssume you closed and locked your mind so not even light can penetrate your dark sanctum. Tell me Ken, is that a sign of strength?

If so strong, why so weak?


Posted by Ken, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 30, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Dave G.,

Have you offered an invitation to EPoet yet? I keep hearing about this compassion stuff, from the so-called compassionate, yet I have yet to see a specific example of it!

Time to step up, Dave. Just provide your town and neighborhood. I don't buy your con job, but you could prove me wrong.


Posted by Edgarpoet, a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 31, 2011 at 10:31 am

Edgarpoet is a registered user.

Mr. Ken
I don't want a hand out you idiot!
I want a decent job, I was a self supporting citizen for
my entire lifetime until my job ( like 4,000,000 other jobs)
was exported to a cheaper labor country! This happened while
24 million illegals were encouraged to enter the United States
and "GIVEN" housing, medical care and food to eat at no cost to themselves, supported by MY tax dollars. All this was done
and encouraged by people of YOUR mentality so that YOU could
get cheap lawncare, cheap carwashes and cheap domestic services.
This has created a new American slave class, acceptable to YOU.
Therefore YOU are the crinimal , Sir Ken, NOT me and Not a respectable person like Dave G.
You , Sir Ken are a traitor and embarrasment to mankind!
I rest my case!


Posted by time, a resident of Southgate
on Aug 31, 2011 at 10:35 am

Yes,it is about time to have some rest.


Posted by me, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm

To those that have compassion on here, thank you very much. I currently live in an RV. I have a job (I work 6 days a week). I have had a job since I was 16 years old. By no means am I a lazy person. I was not born into wealth or affluence. I worked a full time job as an engineer, I worked a part time job as a telecommunications lab manager at the same time, and I also put myself through school. I currently owe about 120 thousand dollars in school loans. I can't afford to pay the gas that it would take to commute from my parents house which is 4 hours away. I am a clean person. I go to the gym and shower every day. I have never stolen or cheated my fellow man. I do not have a drug or alcohol problem. I am just trying to get by. A studio apartment in palo alto costs about 1300 per month plus utilities. I'm not trying to whine or complain. I have never taken public assistance or welfare. I make about 70K a year, but the truth is that I owe so much for school that I am living as I do out of necessity. I understand if you do not want me to be a part of your community to those that would like me to leave. I am sorry, but I will not leave, and you criminalizing me for trying to claw my way out of the lower class is not going to do any of us any good. I am thankful for what I do have. Please remember that someday, no matter how high you climb; you might still end up in my shoes. And if you do, I will still extend my hand in welcome and friendship to the little that I have. Thank you guys for reading.


Posted by Kevin, a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I live in San Francisco and am currently researching the Palo Alto ban on human habitation in vehicles and the recent CA Court of Appeals case which deemed it unconstitutional.

I found the PAFP article entitled "U.S. Appeals Court Rules Palo Alto's Vehicle Habitation Ban Unconstitutional" from Feb. 8, 2012, but the author did not include a citation to the case, and I can't seem to find it online. Does anyone have a citation for this case?

You can email me directly at LASTWORLDHOPE(AT)YAHOO.COM

Many thanks.

Kevin


Posted by Ken, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 27, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Kevin,

You have me interested on this one. Does Palo Alto have an exisiting "Vehicle Habitation Ban"? If so, it is NOT enforcing it, as it should be doing. Could please provide a link to the "PAFD" (whatever that stands for) article that you site?

Palo Alto definitely needs to ban overnight car camping, just like most of the cities that surround us do.


Posted by bkenny, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 19, 2012 at 11:00 am

Ken,
Now you get your chance at the community forem on Tuesday June 26th
at city hall first floor. 7:00 P.m.
Come on over so I can take you on in a debate
I doubt that I would see you there because cowards never actually
stand up for themselves!


Posted by Greg, a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 31, 2013 at 7:49 am

Most of the comments support this travesty? Sometimes folks are just down on their luck and have to live in their cars. [Portion removed.]


Posted by palo alto parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 31, 2013 at 10:05 am

Greg - Mountain View has banned living in a vehicle since at least 2005.

Web Link


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 1, 2013 at 11:29 pm

[Post removed.]


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