News

Palo Alto to lean on churches for help with vehicle dwellers

City Council committee supports relaxing rules for churches that want to host 'safe parking,' exploring city-owned sites

Rob Schulze, a pastor at Peninsula Bible Church on Middlefield Road, is well acquainted with Palo Alto's growing homelessness population.

In August, his church had hosted Hotel de Zink, a homeless shelter than rotates between area congregations every 30 days. The prior winter, it hosted Heart and Home, a program that provides shelter over a 45-day period.

Schulze said he was a bit surprised to learn during the recent Hotel de Zink experience that several residents have grown up in the city and had graduated from Palo Alto schools.

"Many have moved into the Palo Alto community over the last few years and many have grown up here, and that's where they are in their life stage right now," Schulze told the City Council's Policy and Services Committee on Tuesday night.

The committee's conversation focused on the latest proposal to address the city's growing homeless population: a "safe parking" program that would allow residents who live in vehicles to park overnight night at designated lots equipped with bathrooms and other amenities. The committee agreed Tuesday that the city should continue exploring such a program, both for public or private lots. The program would borrow elements from those that had recently been adopted in Mountain View and in East Palo Alto. In each case, the city is working with nonprofits to offer services and case management to people in the program.

While that process of hashing out the rules and identifying the proper site is expected to take months, the committee also recommended a more immediate fix: leaning on churches like Peninsula Bible Church to provide parking for vehicle dwellers.

By a unanimous vote, the committee directed staff to take a tiered approach to the creation of a "safe parking" program. First, the city will modify zoning rules to make it easier for local congregations to host up to four vehicles during the night. Concurrently, the city will discuss with large landowners (such as Stanford University) about using their parking lots (including ones at Stanford Research Park) for overnight parking.

The city will also continue to explore two publicly owned sites that staff had identified as potentially viable: an 0.9-acre lot at 2000 Geng Road, in the Baylands Athletic Center, and the former Los Altos Treatment Plant site at 1237 San Antonio Road.

Each site has its challenges. The 13.27-acre San Antonio site includes marshland, elevated fill and a 2.6-acre area that is currently used for storage by the city's trash hauler, GreenWaste. Given the prevalence of protected wetlands, the only part of the site that staff deemed available for a "safe parking" program is an 0.9-acre piece in the middle of the site, which happens to also include six former wastewater treatment ponds.

The Geng Road site, meanwhile, is adjacent to the Baylands Athletic Fields and local sports teams have been looking forward to seeing the site converted to sports fields. Neal Aronson, operations director for Palo Alto Soccer Club, told the committee that while his group wholeheartedly supports the "safe parking" effort, it would prefer to see the lot established elsewhere.

"We just don't think Geng Road is the right site," Aronson said. "There's a competing use that's been in planning for quite a while and we'd like to see ... the area dedicated to youth sports and youth playing fields."

While the debate over whether to use public land is expected to extend well into next year, the committee urged staff to move quickly on granting local congregations more leeway to launch their own programs. This could be achieved by changing the zoning code to designate parking lots for up to four vehicles as "incidental use" for local congregations.

By focusing on churches, Palo Alto is following in the footsteps of Mountain View, which has two churches currently participating in a "safe parking" program called Lots of Love.

Dave Arnone, a board member at Move Mountain View, a nonprofit that has helped churches set up "safe parking" programs in Mountain View and Sunnyvale, told the committee that his organization is ready to help Palo Alto launch its own program. Move MV has the needed funding and insurance to work with the city, he said. All it needs to find a case-management provider that can operate in Palo Alto.

Arnone urged Palo Alto leaders Tuesday to make it clear to local congregations that parking lots are an allowed use for housing vehicle dwellers overnight.

"I'd love to see safe parking happen in the churches," Arnone said. "The churches that are doing it feel like it's a pretty easy thing for them to do. Once the lots get up and operating, there's very little that's required of them."

Palo Alto's elected leaders agreed on Tuesday that relaxing rules for churches is the easiest thing to do in the near term. They also agreed that for the program to succeed, the city will need to do extensive outreach to residents in areas where the program would be established. Neighbors should be sufficiently notified so that they wouldn't be surprised if an RV parking lot is planned near their homes, Councilman Greg Tanaka said.

This isn't the first time Palo Alto's elected officials are looking to churches for answers. In 2012, the city reached out to dozens of local churches to explore a possible vehicle-dwelling program and only First Presbyterian Church agreed to participate. Committee Chair Liz Kniss recalled at the Tuesday meeting that the program quickly fizzled under opposition from nearby residents.

"I think we'll have to get very creative with finding a parking lot that doesn't in some way impact the neighbors," Kniss said. "That' what happened previously. The neighbors began by being comfortable and after a few weeks of it—it didn't work for that particular situation."

The idea of exploring a "safe parking" program came out of a memo that was drafted in June by council members Tom DuBois and Lydia Kou. The memo notes the recent rise in Santa Clara County's homeless population, which according to a recent census increased by 31% between January 2017 and January 2019.

"We don't know who lives in the vehicles now, but certainly we want to make sure families are addressed, especially people with children. And of course, there are people who are sick and (there are) seniors," Kou said Tuesday. "But the goal is to move them toward more stable housing."

The council is also hoping to address a barrage of citizen complaints about RVs parking along El Camino Real and inside the neighborhoods. The city's Police Department has logged 1,500 complaints annually for abandoned vehicles, with the list of concerns including sanitation, safety, parking impacts, blight and impaired visibility due to RV. Some of these vehicles may be used for habitation for individuals and families, according to a report from the Department of Planning and Community Environment.

The department had also surveyed the streets on Aug. 13 and saw 126 motor homes, recreational vehicles or conversion vans on city streets, the report states.

Staff noted that people live in vehicles for a variety of reasons, including rent increases, sudden life events that lead to financial challenges or job opportunities that prompt people who live far from the area to sleep in their cars rather than make the long commute home.

Despite the city's shaky record with "safe parking" for vehicle dwellers, some residents urged the committee to give the program another shot. Resident Winter Dellenbach noted that even if the city is able to identify space for a few dozen vehicles, that would amount to helping about a quarter of the city's vehicle dwellers based on the police survey.

"This isn't just another thing we can do. This is another thing we desperately need to do because these people desperately need to have safe harbor for them to live in their dwellings," Dellenbach said.

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Comments

18 people like this
Posted by Good Idea
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2019 at 7:23 am

This is a positive move in the right direction. Obviously Palo Alto needs to step up and do what several other towns in the County have done and provide and/or organize safe places for a good number of RV dwellers to park. This is a reasonable response to an obvious unmet need in our town.

According to the information from the City and other sources, this seems doable and and not costly. One doesn't have to re-invent the wheel given surrounding towns have experience in successfully doing this.

What doesn't need to happen is a lot of irrational fear being generated of the very people who already live here. If that scares anyone, then we are becoming really pathetic.

I just hope this doesn't get bogged down now or at City Council. Just get on with it. Well done Lydia Kou and Tom DuBois who took the initiative on this.


15 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2019 at 7:28 am

It should be underscored that this is overnight parking, not 24/7 parking for vehicles that are not roadworthy.


20 people like this
Posted by Billy
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 11, 2019 at 7:49 am

Please just pick up your trash. I see a lot of people who live in their car's around town that leave so much trash. Check 24hr fitness parking lot for example.


19 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 11, 2019 at 9:38 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

If you all are not aware a church is a business with a corporate office often times in a different state. Each location has to pay for utilities, insurance, and all of the expected expenses of any other "commercial" location including upkeep of the interior and exterior of the building - including all of the required safety elements - concrete that is not falling apart. Which under heavy use will tend to do.

Having people living in cars in the parking lot then has the requirement for the building to be open all night for the use of the bathrooms and kitchen, and if raining probably sleeping inside.

You also have the offices of the people who work in the church and conduct many meetings there for their programs. Given all of that then the "city" should consider using it's vast multi-tier garage space for car sleepers. Then it can open the doors of all of the conference rooms for times when it is cold outside. Maybe also have a location for hot coffee, etc.
Not doable? For all of the reasons stated above. People make wild assumptions about other people's property with no consideration as to the cost of maintenance of the property.
Bad idea unless the specific church can get a handle on all of requirements.


24 people like this
Posted by Sjw
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 11, 2019 at 10:23 am

Really folks isn’t this a place where Stanford could come to the plate. They have the land and resources. Many of the RV residents work at Stanford. Is there some reason that Stanford can’t bear some of the burden? It would be great if Stanford could participate in the solution to the housing crunch in a way beyond students and professors—so that the thousands who serve food, made beds, maintain he grounds and support everything that goes on at the university have a place to live.


6 people like this
Posted by senor blogger
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 11, 2019 at 11:02 am

Stop fooling around. just open up the sacred baylands. there's already water and sewer connections.
What better use than this?


15 people like this
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 11, 2019 at 11:26 am

Yet again . . . why is Palo Alto not looking at local industry with parking lots that are empty at night for "safe parking"? There are acres and acres of parking lots around the HP buildings on Page Mill, and many more lots in the industrial/business areas of Palo Alto. If there are concerns or issues (trash,etc.) about having these overnight parking spaces in residential areas, having the spaces in an industrial lot with very likely large trash containers would take care of that.


23 people like this
Posted by Megan's Law
a resident of Fairmeadow School
on Sep 11, 2019 at 11:27 am

Will someone be running a Megan's Law check on the dwellers to let neighbors know if there is anyone with a record? I am not saying vechicle dwellers are child molesters, I am just pointing out that I can do a search and see all the addresses of registered sex offenders in my neighborhood. My children play outside every day after school and on weekends- out on our street and at our neighborhood park, which is across the street from a church. I would very much like to know who my new neighbors are going to be. Will the same dwellers stay every night or will it be changing daily? Will someone be monitoring the parking lot while they are there?


12 people like this
Posted by What Will They Do Next
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 11, 2019 at 11:34 am

@ Sjw....SOME of the RV dwellers work at Stanford. MOST of the RV dwellers do not work.


12 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 11, 2019 at 11:36 am

It is so disturbing to hear of long time Palo Alto residents living in vehicles on Palo Alto streets. Palo Alto senior affordable housing is being overrun with non-citizens from other countries taking up slots which in all rights should go firstly to citizens of this country and secondly to long time residents of Palo Alto.


19 people like this
Posted by BGordon
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 11, 2019 at 11:47 am

BGordon is a registered user.

How can a safe parking site manage toilets and showers and trash?


32 people like this
Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 11, 2019 at 12:11 pm

Horrible idea. The full minded council is yet again trying to fix homelessness on the back of regular citizens.

They will fail this time just like the last because no one wants these problems in their front yard.

Time for us to vote them out and ensure a new "residents first" board.


19 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2019 at 12:37 pm

Once again, another thread with the unstated assumption that RVs are special and RV dwellers deserve more consideration than somebody living out of a shopping cart. I disagree 100% with that. RVs, that is the ones that are actually RVs and have operational transmissions, should go home to Yuma, where all homeless RVs belong. In the meantime, lets start working on a statewide plan to house the homeless. IMHO, housing for the homeless should be weighted towards communities that want and need growth, which pretty much excludes SF and the Peninsula. We can discuss that important issue, since many homeless seem to be drawn to this area.

Regardless, RVs are not special.


10 people like this
Posted by Marc
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 11, 2019 at 1:07 pm

@Resident Do we know that "...long time Palo Alto residents living in vehicles..." is true? Do we know for a fact that any of the people living in vehicles was a resident (owned a home or paid rent)?

/marc


26 people like this
Posted by Just Say NO To Homeless Bums
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 11, 2019 at 1:09 pm

> Palo Alto senior affordable housing is being overrun with non-citizens from other countries taking up slots which in all rights should go firstly to citizens of this country and secondly to long time residents of Palo Alto.

^^^ how do the foreigners accomplish this?

> How can a safe parking site manage toilets and showers and trash?

^^^ they can't. many of these RV dwellers are major league litterers. what they cannot recycle, they simply dump.

toilet necessities could probably be accomplished via porta-potties...showers are another story.

> Will someone be monitoring the parking lot while they are there?

^^^ a key consideration given the transient RV lifestyle.

> why is Palo Alto not looking at local industry with parking lots that are empty at night for "safe parking"?

^^^ the voice of reason

> Regardless, RVs are not special.

^^^ unless they are a Mercedes Sprinter but RV transients don't drive/own those...
no class.

Perhaps best to simply run the transient RVers & homeless street people out of Palo Alto as they don't belong here...period.





13 people like this
Posted by City Act Now
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 11, 2019 at 1:38 pm

We need to remove vehicle dwellers from their current overlooked status in residential communities, and we need to clean up our streets before the situation gets gravely worse. Unsanctioned vehicle dwelling is already a problem, so it’s beyond ironic to see Greg Tanaka say, “Neighbors should not be surprised to see an RV parking lot suddenly go up next to their homes.” We bear the brunt of the City’s inaction on this issue in Ventura (and there are other pockets around the City who are severely impacted as well), but we’re continually surprised to see more and more RV and vehicle dwellings suddenly appear on our residential streets with absolutely no response from the City to our complaints. Lydia Kou ("We don't know who lives in the vehicles now, but certainly we want to make sure families are addressed, especially people with children.”), please come down to Boulware Park and meet some of those people for yourself who live in vehicles on the surrounding streets. We absolutely do know who many of these people are, and they deserve attention, not the pretense of ignorance without any conviction behind the stated compassion coming from our elected officials. To Liz Kniss who is looking for parking “that doesn't in some way impact the neighbors,” I say that we are already being impacted, so you must do something about the impacts that are already being felt! We’ve been asking for years now to at least:
1. Set up the safe and sanctioned area for these vehicle dwellers to go, somewhere within Santa Clara County as Joe Simitian suggested; and
2. Ban vehicle dwelling near all residential areas.

The City was wrong to repeal the vehicle dweller ordinance that it had passed. But it has behaved with near criminal negligence in letting families raise their kids in shame and near squalor on our streets, in letting sex offenders live in cars mere steps from where children play in parks and live in homes without telling residents, and in letting the increased density, use of park facilities, sanitation issues, drugs, alcohol, mental illness, and noise go unchecked rather than confronting the issue head-on. We are past time to act, but act we must! Thank you Winter Dellenbach for stating it so clearly: “This is another thing we desperately need to do because these people desperately need to have safe harbor for them to live in their dwellings.”

As to this specific proposal, I would have some initial thoughts:

A. If this proposal allows only “overnight” parking, where are these people supposed to go during the day? Having them living on residential streets during the day is not a good answer. The safe space should be 24 hour parking, not just overnight. Most of the really problematic dwellers need permanent parking, not just a place to sleep overnight.
B. The program won’t have the intended positive impacts unless it is accompanied by an ordnance to ban vehicle dwelling in places that are not specifically sanctioned for it.
C. Vehicle dwelling is a significant enough problem in Palo Alto that it deserves a dedicated resource commitment on an ongoing basis so that regular reports and updates can be given to the City Council and citizens, and so that liaisons can create synergies with other local programs (like the ones mentioned in mountain View and East Palo Alto).
D. Don’t automatically discount receiving help from the Trump administration who has a task force on the West Coast looking to help clean up cities in ways that could include programs like this. Few of us are supporters of all things Trump, but that does not preclude shutting down a potentially promising and deep-pocketed partner who is willing to help us achieve our goals.
E. Asking churches to bear the brunt of the responsibility smacks of passing the buck. The City needs to get this done and will bear responsibility in my eyes if it doesn’t, so it cant’ just absolve itself by saying, “The churches have failed us.” Churches, synagogues, mosques could all be potential partners, but let’s look to the entire community, not just the theists amongst us.


4 people like this
Posted by City Act Now
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 11, 2019 at 1:45 pm

@Marc
>> Do we know that "...long time Palo Alto residents living in vehicles..." is true? Do we know for a fact that any of the people living in vehicles was a resident (owned a home or paid rent)?
Yes, I know for a fact that some long time Palo Alto residents who owned a home are not living in vehicles on our streets. To me this doesn't really matter, though (maybe it would for some like the other commenter who'd like to dismiss all vehicle dwellers as "homeless bums"). The people themselves need assistance, and the answer is not to just let them dwell unregulated in vehicles on residential streets where the permanent houses are subject to zoning and code enforcement that are ultimately grounded in health and safety concerns. Being thoughtful about creating a space for these people to go legally and safely with coordination to appropriate social services should be a priority.


1 person likes this
Posted by City Act Now
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 11, 2019 at 1:46 pm

@Marc [CORRECTED]
>> Do we know that "...long time Palo Alto residents living in vehicles..." is true? Do we know for a fact that any of the people living in vehicles was a resident (owned a home or paid rent)?
Yes, I know for a fact that some long time Palo Alto residents who owned a home are now living in vehicles on our streets. To me this doesn't really matter, though (maybe it would for some like the other commenter who'd like to dismiss all vehicle dwellers as "homeless bums"). The people themselves need assistance, and the answer is not to just let them dwell unregulated in vehicles on residential streets where the permanent houses are subject to zoning and code enforcement that are ultimately grounded in health and safety concerns. Being thoughtful about creating a space for these people to go legally and safely with coordination to appropriate social services should be a priority.


14 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2019 at 2:05 pm

Posted by City Act Now, a resident of Ventura

>> Yes, I know for a fact that some long time Palo Alto residents who owned a home are not living in vehicles on our streets. To me this doesn't really matter, though

It matters to me. Otherwise, anyone can go buy a junk RV and park it on city streets anywhere they like and be a "resident", but, not actually be a "citizen", a part of where they live. A truly bad idea, which makes a mockery of any concept of citizenship and neighborhood civility. You aren't a homeless advocate, you are actually advocating homelessness. An actual vagabond would hoist their backpack on their back and move on; the RV dweller squats on other's property.

>> The people themselves need assistance

I'm in favor of assisting all people who are mentally ill, regardless of whether they do or do not own RVs. That doesn't mean that RVs should be allowed on city streets, and, I know for a fact that some are just making an economic choice at other's expense.

>> Being thoughtful about creating a space for these people to go legally and safely with coordination to appropriate social services should be a priority.

Except that RVs don't actually make sense as urban housing.


21 people like this
Posted by Casey Jones
a resident of Nixon School
on Sep 11, 2019 at 3:21 pm

I favor a driveway parking ordinance for homeless vehicles. It would mandate that all city council members open their personal driveways to these vehicles.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 11, 2019 at 4:50 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

I think Fry's parking lot fits the bill here for a large location that is in transition. Good place for RV's and car people. Bathrooms and food available during the business hours. During the day magazines on the racks to read. If computer literate then get some games. That is a huge piece of property and the RV's can be on the back side of the parking lot - not interfering with the parking for the people who are shopping at the store. Car dwellers fill in during the evening hours. There is an Urgent Care office on ECR in that vicinity.
Since no decision has been made on this property - so it is said - then it is a temporary location at best until the city can come up with a resolution that does not involve RV's and car dwellers in residential areas.

Yes - I know that Mt. View is pushing the idea of use of residential properties - worst idea ever. They have allowed Google to run free and now it is coming back to bite them. PA - don't even go there.


7 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 11, 2019 at 5:17 pm

Not a well-reasoned plan. Will attract persons from afar. Will drain our police time and resources. Whose Liability when a child passing by is attacked? No sense putting this in an upscale suburb. Apparently, live and let live to the detriment of streets, drains that flow to the Bay, parking, nearby residences, nearby businesses. I strongly oppose this. Able bodied young men wave panhandling placards in the center median of ElmCamino Real (border of MP and PA).
We belong to a civilized society with numerous services and jobs. Housing, right here, is very expensive and always has been. There are thousands of other places near and far to live with easier cost of living.
Please give to an established charity of your choice, instead.
Absolutely NO to impacting the Baylands!
We already support an Opportunity Center on El Camino Real which I read about frequently in the police blotter.


1 person likes this
Posted by Marc
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 11, 2019 at 7:17 pm

How about making it legal for me to charge to allow an RV to park in my driveway and in front of my house? $1000 a month with electric and fresh water. No sewage dumping. The city can open a black water waste dumping facility out at the baylands. Can park between 5:00pm and 8:00am each day and must be at least 3 miles away during other hours.

All vehicles must be in working condition and no leaks. Will tow any vehicle after 8:01am, no squatters rights.

I can get 2 in my driveway and 2 in front of my house. $4,000 a month I would do it.


/marc


11 people like this
Posted by BrodoFraggins
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 11, 2019 at 9:46 pm

I think you'll find that the more parking you create, the more RVs will come here. Sigh. We had an RV across the street. After 4 days we finally asked police to get them to move. They constantly spewed trash and when they left, they dumped items like an attachable chair, plastic bowls and a pile of trash. Our own house doesn't produce a quarter as much trash as they dumped.

Prior to that, Cubberly slowly became a large sleep in car lot. After drug dealing and a stabbing we organized and put a stop to it. Never again.

At some point, you just have to say we have some ordinances. We clearly need to build some cheaper high density, maybe "dorm like' dwelling for workers and newcommers. That should be the focus.

I'd be in favor of letting RVs stay in some areas if they can show that they work in Palo Alto. I think a contractor who is working on houses here but has their own house elsewhere -- fair enough for example. Anyone doing service work, fine. Just hanging here? No.


11 people like this
Posted by not Baylands
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 11, 2019 at 9:53 pm

not Baylands is a registered user.

Please, please do not let this go into effect at Baylands. I hike in this area and do not want to deal with cars/rvs parked there when I go there for peace and tranquility.


16 people like this
Posted by PA Native
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 11, 2019 at 11:57 pm

Look at Google map of all the available land in Los Altos, Portola Valley, Saratoga, and Atherton. The places where the rich people live.
They have lots of land for RV dwellers, but I guess they don't as many options for free food and services that we have here in lowlands of Palo Alto.
say let them take on some of these RV dwellers.

Many churches have been supporting the homeless on a regular basis for more than a decade. Helping them with many things. Mine church has. I personally have put in hundreds of hours working to help the less fortunate over the years.

If people can't afford to live here. Move. It's as simple as that.
I'm old and just took a new job out of the area.
It's scary doing this since the only place I know is here.
I'm leaving the first week of October.
My commute from my rental home to where I will be working is less than 10 minutes. The pay is low, but the cost of living in my new area is also low, so I won't need to make over 100K a year and live happily.

It's all a matter of choice really.

Choose a career or take a position at a company where you can afford to live =
not where you feel entitled to live.
Good-bye Stanford - there are teaching jobs elsewhere which allow me more time to spend with my research and family. I made that decision. I will resume packing as I finish this post.

Good-by all




12 people like this
Posted by The Homeless
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Sep 12, 2019 at 8:02 am

[Portion removed.]

Palo Alto is too lax on homeless [portion removed] & RV dwellers.

[portion removed]

It is not the church's responsibility to provide sanctuary although a free meal from time to time is OK.

This is the responsibility of the Santa Clara County Social Services Department to provide sanctuary services for transients & the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department [portion removed].

Homelessness due to economic hardship is one thing & can be remedied.

Homelessness due to substance abuse and/or mental illness is another & these individuals need to be rounded up and detained somewhere for treatment or observation to ensure community safety & resident quality of life concerns.

While I have sympathy for those who have lost their jobs and/or are working & trying to make ends meet...I have absolutely NO SYMPATHY for substance abusers & the mentally ill who oftentimes refuse to take their prescription meds.

[portion removed]


1 person likes this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2019 at 11:12 am

Posted by The Homeless, a resident of Los Altos Hills

>> Palo Alto is too lax on homeless [portion removed] & RV dwellers.

True. RVs are completely irrational as urban housing.

>> Homelessness due to economic hardship is one thing & can be remedied.

Agreed.

>> Homelessness due to substance abuse and/or mental illness is another & these individuals need to be rounded up and detained somewhere for treatment or observation to ensure community safety & resident quality of life concerns.

For some reason, there is always funding to lock people up in jail but never for treatment. Perhaps you are too young to remember when successive Democratic, Republican (specifically Reagan), and Democratic administrations closed mental hospitals and literally pushed the mentally ill out onto the sidewalks, and then, expressed surprise when the sidewalks and parks filled up with homeless mentally ill. Community mental health funding that was supposed to be plentiful was always scarce, and, didn't really replace many of the functions of state hospitals anyway. Hence, jail. Sometimes, done in the spirit of "humanitarian arrest". Often, uglier and more neglectful, and without treatment in jail, very likely to become a revolving door. Pragmatically, what we as a society have done is criminalize mental illness.

>> While I have sympathy for those who have lost their jobs and/or are working & trying to make ends meet...I have absolutely NO SYMPATHY for substance abusers & the mentally ill who oftentimes refuse to take their prescription meds.

People don't choose to be mentally ill. They really don't. Do you really have NO SYMPATHY for the mentally ill? Really?


14 people like this
Posted by Portion Removed
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Sep 12, 2019 at 1:07 pm

> Do you really have NO SYMPATHY for the mentally ill? Really?

Sympathy in general...yes. Sympathy towards those who go around annoying others in public with their incoherent babbling & dervish-like movements...no.

These individuals DESERVE proper treatment and sequestering until CURED.


1 person likes this
Posted by Gregory G. Campbell
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 13, 2019 at 10:24 am

Parking for RV Dwellers Requires Proper Management-Any proposal to allow RV dwellers on property to live must have a proper micro management style of oversight. This is a group that if left to their own have demonstrated a lack of self control and community standards awareness. FACT: They will F up the surrounding area. I have worked one on one with this group in my area of California and if your authority does not completely dominate administration of each and every RV space it will become a dump. FACT: It is very expensive to manage a cluster of RV Dwellers in this group. A solution that works is one on one mentoring in groups of one on private property. I have two parcels with 4 RV spaces and management is easy and economical. Give that a look!


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 14, 2019 at 8:19 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

If we assume that everyone has a life to lead and each has a list of priorities to deal with in their lives then comments above somehow assume that everyone can now direct their energies and focus on uninvited cars and RV's in their vantage point. That includes churches that already have mandates as to how their space and energy are directed. The "city' has now decided that your control over your space is irrelevant and people will now direct their agendas onto your space. And most do not even know you or care what your agenda is. And that is the State of California - do not look to direct your concerns any where else. This state thinks it is the 6th nation in the world - so it keeps telling us.

People bought homes here for work and a "quality of life" that is eroding at a quick pace. Now there are reams of comments about the education system which has been our pride and joy. Time to rethink who is directing this total disruption - that is the SF assembly people who can't stop meddling in everything and can't manage their own neighborhoods so need to spill all that is not working onto every one else's neighborhoods.

Churches, school systems and Community Colleges run on a very thin margin of survivability and the state somehow thinks that it can preempt their budgets for their own use.

Can't wait for the next elections when we can dump out the local California assembly people who keep stirring the pot with wrong approaches. We used to have mental health locations - Agnew - in which the funding has been removed. We used to have Redevelopment - Jerry Brown took that money for HSR. We use to have resources directed at problem areas that has been pre-empted by who ever is in charge on any day for their own agendas.


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 14, 2019 at 10:33 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Reading this article in the SJM comes across as "the city" using guilt and public pressure of the press as offloading a problem onto groups and organizations that function on a very narrow budget of survivability. At no pint is it coming across as using the same tactics against the deep pocket organizations that are running this county and peninsula area.

How about the developers who have deep pockets and can produce good, livable dwellings for BMR residents. How about the Silicon Valley Leadership Group that can influence it's members to create satellite locations in lower cost areas - like Los Banos and cities off highway 80 so they are not commuting into the peninsula. How about SU taking more control of the people who are working on their property and allowing them to park on the back side of the property - put of site. So the legislators keep letting the big fish off the hook and go after the little fish. Start pushing back. Going after little fish as a tactic of influence is not going to keep working.


4 people like this
Posted by Eradicate The Street Homeless First...Then Talk RVs
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 14, 2019 at 3:46 pm

[Post removed.]


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