News

In less than a year, Mountain View builds and opens new 100-unit homeless housing complex

Individual homes have locked doors, families have their own bathrooms

A row of homes at LifeMoves Mountain View, a homeless housing complex officially launching this week. Courtesy LifeMoves.

Calling it an innovative new approach that can swiftly reduce the Bay Area's growing homelessness problem, Mountain View city officials announced Thursday the opening of a new homeless housing project that went from an ambitious idea to a reality in just nine months.

The location of LifeMoves Mountain View at 2566 Leghorn St., an industrial area north of the Monta Loma neighborhood.

The project, called LifeMoves Mountain View, is an interim housing facility at 2566 Leghorn St. that can house about 124 people at a time, stabilizing homeless residents and putting them on the path to permanent housing. The lean project banked on the cheap and quick use of modular, prefabricated homes, bringing the costs down to just $100,000 per unit.

Leaders of the Menlo Park-based nonprofit LifeMoves, which runs the site, said Mountain View doesn't have to be an anomaly either. The virtual ribbon cutting of the project Thursday marked not only the introduction of 100 badly needed homeless housing units, but also a proof of concept. LifeMoves has essentially created a road map for replication, and the hope is that more cities will follow suit.

The origins of the project date back to August, when city housing officials worked with LifeMoves on a way to tap into state funding through California's Homekey program. Though Homekey largely revolved around the concept of cities and counties buying up hotels and motels and converting them into homeless housing, Mountain View took a different tack. Instead of buying a motel, the city found an industrial lot used to store vehicles, razed the site and packed it with small, modular homes.

Though not intended as long-term housing, the LifeMoves housing complex is a big step up from homeless shelters. Individual homes each have locked doors and provide privacy and security for residents, and families living in the complex will have their own bathrooms. Rather than completely pack the site with units, the goal was to create a community with plenty of space for residents to thrive, said Mountain View Mayor Ellen Kamei.

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"We are introducing an inviting community that has a playground, a dog run, and individual modular units for households including families and their pets," Kamei said.

Giving props to Mountain View for the new homeless housing project during the Thursday ribbon-cutting event was California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who said in a prerecorded statement that the city and LifeMoves have created a "shining example" of what can be done to solve homelessness. He noted that the Homekey program has been used to create more than 6,000 homes for tens of thousands of people, and that Mountain View was expeditious in turning the state funding into a real project.

"Like so many other Homekey projects, this one came in on time and under budget," Newsom said. "We're doing what they said couldn't be done — to unlock thousands of homes for the homeless at a lower cost and a faster pace than ever before."

A family unit at LifeMoves Mountain View. Courtesy LifeMoves.

Dozens of people have already been identified to move in starting next week, said Joanne Price, vice president of real estate and operations for LifeMoves. Once there, clients will have far more than a roof over their heads — they also will have access to case management, an on-site nurse, mental health care, parenting resources and education programs. The goal is to swiftly get residents stabilized, back on their feet and into other housing in under 120 days, which can be done with a comprehensive suite of services.

By her estimate, about one-third of those who "graduate" from LifeMoves interim housing get qualified for permanent housing, one-third move in with relatives and one-third relocate to a place that's more affordable.

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Bolstering LifeMoves Mountain View has been Santa Clara County, which provides ongoing funding to operate the site, along with hefty philanthropic donations. LinkedIn is providing the money to sponsor a full-time employment specialist to help residents find stable work, while Google's foundation pitched in a $1.5 million grant. Jacquelline Fuller, president of Google.org, said in a prerecorded video that LifeMoves has worked tirelessly to help those facing homelessness, and praised its approach to stabilizing its clients.

"The LifeMoves team is very importantly pairing the housing together with vital wraparound services," Fuller said. "Things like counseling and employment support and health care to really meet the needs of the people that they're serving."

While the ribbon cutting largely focused on the Mountain View project, LiveMoves CEO Aubrey Merriman made clear that this was just the beginning. He said the same formula — from finding land to the speedy six-month construction — can and must be replicated 10 times over in order to stamp out the homelessness problem in its entirety. He described the Thursday celebration as a call to action for cities, counties and businesses to pitch follow in the footsteps of Mountain View, with a goal of raising $250 million for the effort.

"We know that Silicon Valley has a big heart, and we also know that Silicon Valley has a big collective wallet," Merriman said. "So now is the time for people to step up and really allow us to attack homelessness in a real significant way."

LifeMoves' blueprint closely mirrors what happened in Mountain View. In looking for suitable land, the nonprofit recommends a roughly 1-acre site — preferably with industrial or commercial zoning — that's close to transit and amenities and at least 500 feet from schools. It also requires a willing city or county to expedite the process, flying through the approval process in just a few months rather than one to two years.

The community area at LifeMoves Mountain View, which will be shared by formerly homeless clients living in interim housing. Courtesy LifeMoves.

Price said there isn't time to be sluggish while the problem gets worse, pointing to the rapid increase in homelessness in Mountain View. The problem can quickly get out of hand, she said, but right now it can be solved.

"If we don't act now, when are we going to act? If we let this problem expand and multiply any further, it's going to be harder to manage," she said. "If it's business as usual and we're going to follow the three to five-year project timelines, how are we going to get out of the situation today?"

More information on the project can found on the LifeMoves website. Anyone looking to donate or volunteer can contact [email protected]

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Kevin Forestieri writes for the Mountain View Voice, a sister publication of PaloAltoOnline.com.

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In less than a year, Mountain View builds and opens new 100-unit homeless housing complex

Individual homes have locked doors, families have their own bathrooms

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Mon, May 10, 2021, 4:30 pm

Calling it an innovative new approach that can swiftly reduce the Bay Area's growing homelessness problem, Mountain View city officials announced Thursday the opening of a new homeless housing project that went from an ambitious idea to a reality in just nine months.

The project, called LifeMoves Mountain View, is an interim housing facility at 2566 Leghorn St. that can house about 124 people at a time, stabilizing homeless residents and putting them on the path to permanent housing. The lean project banked on the cheap and quick use of modular, prefabricated homes, bringing the costs down to just $100,000 per unit.

Leaders of the Menlo Park-based nonprofit LifeMoves, which runs the site, said Mountain View doesn't have to be an anomaly either. The virtual ribbon cutting of the project Thursday marked not only the introduction of 100 badly needed homeless housing units, but also a proof of concept. LifeMoves has essentially created a road map for replication, and the hope is that more cities will follow suit.

The origins of the project date back to August, when city housing officials worked with LifeMoves on a way to tap into state funding through California's Homekey program. Though Homekey largely revolved around the concept of cities and counties buying up hotels and motels and converting them into homeless housing, Mountain View took a different tack. Instead of buying a motel, the city found an industrial lot used to store vehicles, razed the site and packed it with small, modular homes.

Though not intended as long-term housing, the LifeMoves housing complex is a big step up from homeless shelters. Individual homes each have locked doors and provide privacy and security for residents, and families living in the complex will have their own bathrooms. Rather than completely pack the site with units, the goal was to create a community with plenty of space for residents to thrive, said Mountain View Mayor Ellen Kamei.

"We are introducing an inviting community that has a playground, a dog run, and individual modular units for households including families and their pets," Kamei said.

Giving props to Mountain View for the new homeless housing project during the Thursday ribbon-cutting event was California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who said in a prerecorded statement that the city and LifeMoves have created a "shining example" of what can be done to solve homelessness. He noted that the Homekey program has been used to create more than 6,000 homes for tens of thousands of people, and that Mountain View was expeditious in turning the state funding into a real project.

"Like so many other Homekey projects, this one came in on time and under budget," Newsom said. "We're doing what they said couldn't be done — to unlock thousands of homes for the homeless at a lower cost and a faster pace than ever before."

Dozens of people have already been identified to move in starting next week, said Joanne Price, vice president of real estate and operations for LifeMoves. Once there, clients will have far more than a roof over their heads — they also will have access to case management, an on-site nurse, mental health care, parenting resources and education programs. The goal is to swiftly get residents stabilized, back on their feet and into other housing in under 120 days, which can be done with a comprehensive suite of services.

By her estimate, about one-third of those who "graduate" from LifeMoves interim housing get qualified for permanent housing, one-third move in with relatives and one-third relocate to a place that's more affordable.

Bolstering LifeMoves Mountain View has been Santa Clara County, which provides ongoing funding to operate the site, along with hefty philanthropic donations. LinkedIn is providing the money to sponsor a full-time employment specialist to help residents find stable work, while Google's foundation pitched in a $1.5 million grant. Jacquelline Fuller, president of Google.org, said in a prerecorded video that LifeMoves has worked tirelessly to help those facing homelessness, and praised its approach to stabilizing its clients.

"The LifeMoves team is very importantly pairing the housing together with vital wraparound services," Fuller said. "Things like counseling and employment support and health care to really meet the needs of the people that they're serving."

While the ribbon cutting largely focused on the Mountain View project, LiveMoves CEO Aubrey Merriman made clear that this was just the beginning. He said the same formula — from finding land to the speedy six-month construction — can and must be replicated 10 times over in order to stamp out the homelessness problem in its entirety. He described the Thursday celebration as a call to action for cities, counties and businesses to pitch follow in the footsteps of Mountain View, with a goal of raising $250 million for the effort.

"We know that Silicon Valley has a big heart, and we also know that Silicon Valley has a big collective wallet," Merriman said. "So now is the time for people to step up and really allow us to attack homelessness in a real significant way."

LifeMoves' blueprint closely mirrors what happened in Mountain View. In looking for suitable land, the nonprofit recommends a roughly 1-acre site — preferably with industrial or commercial zoning — that's close to transit and amenities and at least 500 feet from schools. It also requires a willing city or county to expedite the process, flying through the approval process in just a few months rather than one to two years.

Price said there isn't time to be sluggish while the problem gets worse, pointing to the rapid increase in homelessness in Mountain View. The problem can quickly get out of hand, she said, but right now it can be solved.

"If we don't act now, when are we going to act? If we let this problem expand and multiply any further, it's going to be harder to manage," she said. "If it's business as usual and we're going to follow the three to five-year project timelines, how are we going to get out of the situation today?"

More information on the project can found on the LifeMoves website. Anyone looking to donate or volunteer can contact [email protected]femoves.org.

Kevin Forestieri writes for the Mountain View Voice, a sister publication of PaloAltoOnline.com.

Comments

Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on May 11, 2021 at 5:10 am
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on May 11, 2021 at 5:10 am

Kudos to Mtn View and the organizations that achieved this.


PA Homeless Advocate
Registered user
Mountain View
on May 11, 2021 at 7:41 am
PA Homeless Advocate, Mountain View
Registered user
on May 11, 2021 at 7:41 am

Mountain View is stepping up to the plate and constructively addressing the homeless problem.

Palo Alto could do something along the same lines if it had the active support of both the PACC and its residents.

The citizens of Palo Alto apparently do not care one iota as a sizable number of them seem more concerned about their residential property value appreciation-depreciation, gastronomic endeavors, and upscale retail shopping diversions.

Even Oakland is taking a novel approach:

Web Link

^ Palo Altans would be aghast at such dwellings in their fair city but this is more a reflection of an elitist and pseudo sophisticate mindset that serves humanity no actual benefit.

Step up to the plate Palo Alto and count the dandelions among your roses.

Maybe you will even come to feel better about yourselves.


Lorne Gerhardt
Registered user
another community
on May 11, 2021 at 9:53 am
Lorne Gerhardt, another community
Registered user
on May 11, 2021 at 9:53 am

Amazingly the City of Bakersfield now has ZERO homelessness having taken the measures to house their homeless population with the assistance of Kern County Social Services and various outreach programs.

Why Palo Alto cannot ease its miniscule homeless population speaks volumes.

Santa Clara County has the resources but lacks either the brainpower or initiative to take the appropriate measures.


Ethel Steinman
Registered user
Professorville
on May 11, 2021 at 11:07 am
Ethel Steinman, Professorville
Registered user
on May 11, 2021 at 11:07 am

Providing temporary housing for the homeless is a low priority in Palo Alto as some residents would rather complain about RVs parked along ECR while simply suggesting that transient individuals move elsewhere.


jr1
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on May 11, 2021 at 11:43 am
jr1, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on May 11, 2021 at 11:43 am

This is a wonderful program by Mt. View. The city should be complemented. Since people are being housed, they need to give back to the community. Residents here should be given the opportunity to help the community. Residents living in their units should be given the opportunity to get an education or learn a trade fee. Anyone living in these facilities needs to pay back society. The residents of Mt. View enabled the city to build their units, and residents need to pitch in and help the community.


Andrew Clark
Registered user
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 11, 2021 at 1:01 pm
Andrew Clark, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
Registered user
on May 11, 2021 at 1:01 pm

If the county and Palo Alto can subsidize a run-down trailer park in the middle of desirable Barron Park residential real estate, they can easily do the same as MV in a commercially-zoned area (i.e. the Charleston Road or Ventura sections) in Palo Alto.

The difference is that the city of Palo Alto and most of its residents could care less about humanitarian endeavors.


vmshadle
Registered user
Meadow Park
on May 11, 2021 at 1:03 pm
vmshadle, Meadow Park
Registered user
on May 11, 2021 at 1:03 pm

As a 24-year resident, I agree that Palo Alto lacks both excuses and good reasons to provide similar infrastructure. Help get the homeless off the street and into transitional housing with appropriate support services, and we ALL win. It is that simple.


Robbie B.
Registered user
Downtown North
on May 12, 2021 at 6:58 am
Robbie B., Downtown North
Registered user
on May 12, 2021 at 6:58 am

"Palo Alto could do something along the same lines if it had the active support of both the PACC and its residents."

"Why Palo Alto cannot ease its miniscule homeless population speaks volumes."

"If the county and Palo Alto can subsidize a run-down trailer park in the middle of desirable Barron Park residential real estate, they can easily do the same as MV"

Makes sense.


anon
Registered user
College Terrace
on May 12, 2021 at 10:35 am
anon, College Terrace
Registered user
on May 12, 2021 at 10:35 am

Great News ! and Palo Alto should try to add more BMR housing.
It may interest readers to know that currently Palo alto has about twice as much BMR housing
than Mt View, expressed as a % of total housing Per a 2021 study By Silicon Valley at Home, [email protected]:
. Web Link


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on May 12, 2021 at 11:40 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on May 12, 2021 at 11:40 am

PA Homeless Advocate - you live in MV - you should know that the project was funded by the Gov. and it was not thought up by MV but a regional board that was picking sites based on other transactions going on in those cities. It did not step up to the plate - it was a compromise based on other transactions going on in that city.

MV has a different tax base than PA due to the presence of Google.
MV has a different configuration on the bay due to Moffett Field which is currently working through EPA clean-up.
MV is going through a large number of real estate transactions as Google creates it's village east of 101 and has a requirement as part of it's growth to contribute land which was on the downside and was expendable - commercial auto repairs and storage vaults.

Bakersfield is farm and oil country. It has an immense amount of open land.

PA _ The big business in PA is SRP - the land is owned by SU and leases it out to companies. Any action in that arena needs SU cooperation.
PA is built to the borders with homes - the number of expendable commercial entities in PA are minimal and are not on the manufacturing side of the business.

All of these comments are false equivalencies which are stove piped as to intent.
Where is your business brain - rants with false equivalencies are just that - rants. Money is not handed out without a sound configuration of business transactions and evaluations. Also trade-offs as Google is building on Moffett Field and is interacting with the state and federal government concerning building projects. These are trades based on monetary transactions.

MV Housing advocate - your real bet should be on Sunnyvale since it has a large number of hi-tech businesses and also shares the bay view of Moffett field. It also has a large amount of land in the Moffett business Park which is now cleared and new buildings planned - but wait - those are Google buildings. Self serving at it's worst. What great business brains.


RV Mama
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2021 at 3:00 pm
RV Mama, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on May 12, 2021 at 3:00 pm

>>"some residents would rather complain about RVs parked along ECR while simply suggesting that transient individuals move elsewhere."

Agreed. We are looking for a place to park our trailer and cannot leave it unattended along ECR for fear of it being towed.

If Palo Alto and Santa Clara County can subsidize a run-down trailer park in Barron Park, they can easily arrange a KOA-style parking lot for mobile trailers.

And as far as vacating Palo Alto, we will do so only when forced to by the police.
Our children will be returning to school shortly and we do not want to disrupt their education and social lives.

Telling others less forunate to either get lost or settle elsewhere is both morally and ethically depraved especially when one has far more in life.

And unbecoming of anyone who considers themselves an adherent of a true Christian spirit

On the other hand, there are many immigration pearls in Palo Alto.


It.is.what.it.is
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 13, 2021 at 3:52 pm
It.is.what.it.is, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on May 13, 2021 at 3:52 pm

What happens when these are all full and we still have homeless? No doubt this will occur. This is the result of having good weather in CA.

My husband and I sacrificed a lot to reach financial stability and he has worked 17 hour days at least for the last 25 years. Why can't the homeless people work 3 jobs? Too much pride?


Lost In America
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 13, 2021 at 4:10 pm
Lost In America, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on May 13, 2021 at 4:10 pm

- Why can't the homeless people work 3 jobs? Too much pride?

A sizable number of homeless individuals have either mental health problems or substance abuse issues which precludes them from holding steady or gainful employment.

As a homeless person who wanders between Mountain View and Palo Alto, I have been diagnosed with both.

My bipolar condition stems from PTSD which makes it difficult for me to interact with others and I have sought drug rehab twice, unable to kick my regular habit of using methamphetamine and fentynal.

So you can perhaps understand why many homeless individuals cannot procure three steady jobs let alone one.

Most just want to be left alone, relying on disability stipends, panhandling, and charitable organizations to provide for their basic needs.

It is even more difficult for homeless women suffering from these drug and alcohol predispositions along with varying degrees of mental illness.

Self-meducating with illegal substances is our CVS as we do not possess the same options that wealthy Palo Alto residents living in their private world of upscale amenities do.

So try to get off your high horse.


Elly Needham
Registered user
another community
on May 13, 2021 at 5:33 pm
Elly Needham, another community
Registered user
on May 13, 2021 at 5:33 pm

>"Why can't the homeless people work 3 jobs? Too much pride?"

This comment implies lazyness on the part of the homeless and arrogance on the part of the commenter.

Homelessness in America is a complex social dilemma that many well-to-do and upwardly mobile types simply cannot understand because they are living in their own plastic world of keeping up with the Jones and contrived outward appearances.




Hank You
Registered user
Charleston Gardens
on May 13, 2021 at 9:19 pm
Hank You, Charleston Gardens
Registered user
on May 13, 2021 at 9:19 pm

There are people that have been parked on the streets in RVs for so long that you can use Google Earth Timeline to see them parked in the same spot in Street View year after year. Some RVs have been in the same spot 5, 6, even 7+ years back with the same cars parked around them. It's either real homelessness that need help or people taking advantage of a foolish community and saving money by not paying rent, a mortgage or taxes while businesses loose parking.

In either case: every counsel talks a good talk and makes promises but Google Maps is and will always be a testament to their failing for all the future to see and point back on. This effort may be a good step to helping the homeless who need help, but I suspect that Google will be circling back next year to take yet another picture of the same people parked in the same place because they aren't willing to give up their tax free, tree shaded parking RV spots...


Phil Stien
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 13, 2021 at 9:47 pm
Phil Stien, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on May 13, 2021 at 9:47 pm

With all the revenue they generate, Google could help ease the homeless problem by providing the homeless with a nice section of land to park their RVs and to set up a tent community for those without vehicles.

Since Mountain View has already made strides with their pre-fab homeless tract, perhaps Palo Alto and Google could team-up in a concerted effort.

Time for some creativity people!


Me2 Jose
Registered user
Barron Park
on May 14, 2021 at 7:24 am
Me2 Jose, Barron Park
Registered user
on May 14, 2021 at 7:24 am

When the wealthy learn to overcome their inherent greed and narcissism we will have a more level playing field and adequate housing options for those less financially fortunate.


eileen
Registered user
College Terrace
on May 14, 2021 at 9:06 am
eileen , College Terrace
Registered user
on May 14, 2021 at 9:06 am

Me2 Jose, instead of constantly bashing people, it would be more helpful to suggest realistic solutions that can help solve the homeless situation. Turning empty office buildings into shelters is a great idea but requires the approval of the landlords. Many property owners are LLCs, not individual owners. Building homeless shelters require private and city funding. This is something Palo Alto should work toward.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on May 14, 2021 at 9:18 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on May 14, 2021 at 9:18 am

The base of funding for this county is San Jose - the major city of Santa Clara County. The city of San Jose has many state, county, and city owned buildings. They should be working the issues on government owned properties.

It is not realistic to think that a company owned property in Palo Alto is a target for housing. The end result of the thought process has to be a realistic and workable solution. Palo Alto does not have the same resources as any other city in the county - each city is working issues based on their specific resources.

We have a navigation center and other contributions - the safe parking area.


Open Range
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 14, 2021 at 9:36 am
Open Range, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on May 14, 2021 at 9:36 am

That old downtown medical building that is slated to become some sort of PA museum (of sorts) could be retrofitted and used as a homeless shelter.

Some guy reputedly rescued a mechanical monkey from a now defunct dive bar in Palo Alto for future enshrinement at this proposed museum

With these kinds of frivolous priorities, it's no wonder that Palo Alto is doing absolutely NOTHING to ease its homeless population.

For some of these homeless people in PA, simply relocating to an encampment along the Guadalupe River or sleeping at St. James Park in San Jose is not a viable option.

Until some degree of pro-active in-house measures are taken on the part of the city to alleviate this matter, I could care less if 100 RVs are parked along ECR or if Lytton Park becomes a downtown haven for the downtrodden.


M. Zhiang
Registered user
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 14, 2021 at 11:43 am
M. Zhiang, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
Registered user
on May 14, 2021 at 11:43 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on May 14, 2021 at 4:09 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on May 14, 2021 at 4:09 pm

I went by the Leghorn MV homeless center. It is not visible from the street. You would never know it is there. It is not a Drawing Card.

If PA was to put people in a park it would be a big drawing card and we would end up with a growing number of people. That is not good planning and we are not a drawing card. What ever we do needs to be in a building so that people have a roof over their heads with bathrooms.

Quit with the park idea. No one else is doing that. Every one else knows what will happen if they do that.

And yes we have a Navigation Center so shaming on that point is mute.


ferris young
Registered user
Downtown North
on May 14, 2021 at 4:32 pm
ferris young, Downtown North
Registered user
on May 14, 2021 at 4:32 pm

Some of those vacant office buildings and parking lots along the 101 frontage road leading from Middlefield to Charleston could easily be used to accommodate the homeless.

Not sure if Original Joe's is even there anymore.

Plenty of room available and away from Resident-1 Adobe Meadow's vantage point!


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on May 14, 2021 at 4:44 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on May 14, 2021 at 4:44 pm

Gee Ferris - also not in your view. Still trying to drive this issue out of the north PA neighborhoods. T&C's parking lot is looking better and better.


It.is.what.it.is
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 14, 2021 at 5:51 pm
It.is.what.it.is, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on May 14, 2021 at 5:51 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on May 15, 2021 at 8:20 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on May 15, 2021 at 8:20 am

Lead article in the SFC 05/15 is "Homeless camps meet backlash in reopening". This article discusses a homeless camp in Santa Cruz in a park then lays out the legal issues of a city approving a camp in a park, then trying to remove it. If a city allows a park then they are trapped into a legality that requires them to fund the people they then try and remove. So we have all of these advocates from other cities trying to shame us into setting up a camp knowing that we are then trapped into housing people when we try and remove them.

I suspect that Phil Stein, PA Homeless advocate are very aware of this legal issue. I am sure that the city of San Jose has their big boy pants on and can handle this. Santa Cruz does not have the money to handle this. And PA does not have the money to handle this. So the best legal approach is to not condone or allow camping in parks. And try to get funding from the state for a in-house shelter similar to the Navigation Center for a contingent of permanent residents.

Side note 1- had a van with Santa Cruz stickers on it that decided to make our street their "location". However we asked it to leave for the street sweeper.

Side Note 2 - EPA has signs on all residential sections advising of street cleaning days and no parking on those days. EPA has figured out their legal approach to this problem and proved smarter than PA.


Point Break
Registered user
another community
on May 15, 2021 at 9:03 am
Point Break, another community
Registered user
on May 15, 2021 at 9:03 am

>> If a city allows a park then they are trapped into a legality that requires them to fund the people they then try and remove...Santa Cruz does not have the money to handle this. And PA does not have the money to handle this.

Being a Santa Cruz resident, I am well aware of this issue having witnessed the changes once the homeless park was closed.

With no where else left to go, the homeless began proliferating along Ocean Street and the downtown area resulting in countless public disturbances and nuisances including public urination, large numbers of shopping carts filled with personal belongings scattered about, and addicts sharing suspected pipeloads of crystal meth in office doorways and beneath overhangs.

Santa Cruz merchants and motel owners complained of these incidents and there was very little that the SCPD could do to alleviate the problems because there were so many homeless people to contend with.

Tourists and visitors were advised not to talk to the homeless and to ignore their presence given the potential danger of an altercation or misunderstanding as many of these homeless people are suffering from mental delerium and/or substance abuse issues.

A homeless park is a viable municipal option providing it is properly maintained and not prematurely closed.

Recent CA legislation now mandates that the police cannot tell the homeless to vacate unless the city provides a certain % of temporary housing (i.e. motels, hotels, shelters) to accommodate them.

In North San Diego County, some of the older motels along I-5 will begin being used to house some of the 1,500 counted homeless from the Oceanside and Vista areas.

I suspect that the number of street homeless in Palo Alto is not as high (no pun intended) and given some of those older and mundane-looking motels along El Camino Real in Barron Park, perhaps a few of them can be subsidized by the Santa Clara County to provide temporary shelter.

Every city needs to step-up regardless of the public outcry.


Rock The Boat
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 15, 2021 at 10:35 am
Rock The Boat, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on May 15, 2021 at 10:35 am

"given some of those older and mundane-looking motels along El Camino Real in Barron Park, perhaps a few of them can be subsidized by Santa Clara County to provide temporary shelter."

* Good idea. Most of them are CSAAA 'two star' lodgings at best and hardly in the same league as the Ritz-Carlton.

Since Covid-19 restrictions severely impacted their revenues for 2020, it would make sense for them to provide these services at least temporarily and then bill Santa Clara County and the City of Palo Alto for the homeless-related accomodations.

Just imagine...with all of the rooms available at all of these Barron Park motels, the majority of the homeless would simply sequester themselves inside and the city will have met its state mandated obligations towards providing housing for indigent Palo Alto residents.


It.is.what.it.is
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 15, 2021 at 12:20 pm
It.is.what.it.is, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on May 15, 2021 at 12:20 pm
Miriam Zhao
Registered user
Charleston Meadows
on May 15, 2021 at 1:01 pm
Miriam Zhao, Charleston Meadows
Registered user
on May 15, 2021 at 1:01 pm
Holy Toledo
Registered user
Professorville
on May 15, 2021 at 2:43 pm
Holy Toledo, Professorville
Registered user
on May 15, 2021 at 2:43 pm
It.is.what.it.is
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 15, 2021 at 3:04 pm
It.is.what.it.is, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on May 15, 2021 at 3:04 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on May 15, 2021 at 3:51 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on May 15, 2021 at 3:51 pm
Philomena
Registered user
College Terrace
on May 15, 2021 at 4:23 pm
Philomena , College Terrace
Registered user
on May 15, 2021 at 4:23 pm

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


Sally Ryder
Registered user
Crescent Park
on May 15, 2021 at 5:39 pm
Sally Ryder, Crescent Park
Registered user
on May 15, 2021 at 5:39 pm
Jefferson Daniels
Registered user
Barron Park
on May 16, 2021 at 8:28 am
Jefferson Daniels, Barron Park
Registered user
on May 16, 2021 at 8:28 am

Given the exorbitant cost of residential rentals in Palo Alto and other surrounding communities, the Buena Vista Trailer Park is an excellent example
of the city and county working together to provide affordable housing for seniors living on fixed incomes and below poverty level families.

For approximately $700.00 per month, the trailer park provides a haven for Palo Alto residency and since its management is overseen by the county, Section 8 vouchers can be applied reducing rent to less than $500.00 per month!

Now where else can one reside in Palo Alto for that price?

And along with supplemental SNAP benefits (food stamps), participation in CalWorks (welfare + job sourcing assistance), Aid to Dependent Children (child welfare assistance) and if applicable, Supplemental Social Security (early disability) one can get by in Palo Alto.

Providing the economically depressed with basic subsistence provisions is a step in the right direction and Palo Alto (along with Santa Clara County) could do much more including the establishment of a second mobile home park for RVs and the development of a homeless community comprised of either dome tents or pre-fab housing with full amenities.

Federal funding is also available for such an endeavor and instead of trying to make life easier and cost-effective for the
more welthier and established residents of Palo Alto, efforts should be diverted towards those truly in need of housing and basic living assistance.

As a resident of Barron Park, it disturbs me to finally acknowledge that most Palo Altans are self-serving, self-important NIMBYists living in a private world of self-centeredness.

All this talk about about PA diversity should also include considerations and acknowledgements towards promoting economic diversity as well.

Not everyone's world revolves around the trivial life and times of an upscale community that prefers to look the other way and ignore harsh realities.


Larry Montrose
Registered user
Downtown North
on May 16, 2021 at 10:08 am
Larry Montrose, Downtown North
Registered user
on May 16, 2021 at 10:08 am

Despite what others might say, Palo Alto has a social and moral responsibility to alleviate the homelessness within its own city.

It is interesting to note that a certain poster vehemently claims that Palo Alto cannot afford to do so.

If so, where does all the municipal money go? To overpriced utilities and administrative salaries + retirement benefits?

The city has received $12M in federal grant money so why not put some of it to better use and also seek a chunk of that $12B Governor Newsome is allocating towards homeless relief?

As others have mentioned, consider housing the homeless in some of those motels lining ECR.


Laci Peters
Registered user
Palo Alto Hills
on May 16, 2021 at 11:53 am
Laci Peters, Palo Alto Hills
Registered user
on May 16, 2021 at 11:53 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on May 17, 2021 at 5:38 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on May 17, 2021 at 5:38 am

What we discovered in the Santa Cruz story is that there are legal issues involved in establishing dedicated homeless locations - especially in parks. Those legal issues are short term and long term. And if you establish such a location then you - the city - are now legally compromised. PA is built out to the borders with HOMES - people's homes. You cannot legally compromise people's homes so quit trying.

PA has a Navigation Center which is a home for people that we are subsidizing. As to the motels on ECR the companies that own those motels have to make the call. My bet is that they want to sell to someone who will tear the two story buildings down and build new, expensive 5 story buildings like the FRY's site. If you look at RWC they are tearing down and rebuilding with new owners at a very rapid rate.

Advocacy groups would do better focusing on San Jose. I have been down there checking out the train station - a huge amount of open land all over the city. And it is industrial land ripe for some type action.


Melissa Gorman
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on May 17, 2021 at 4:04 pm
Melissa Gorman, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on May 17, 2021 at 4:04 pm

In Santa Ana (the county seat of Orange County) nearly all of the motels along 1st Street are inhabited by the homeless when they have the monetary resources to do so.

Since both Santa Ana and Palo Alto are not tourist cities, the motels along El Camino are best suited to providing shelter for the homeless.

The same concept is being practiced in the outskirts of north San Diego which in many ways, has far more tourist appeal than either Santa Ana or Palo Alto.


Priscilla
Registered user
Portola Valley
on May 17, 2021 at 4:41 pm
Priscilla , Portola Valley
Registered user
on May 17, 2021 at 4:41 pm

I have driven through that part of Santa Ana and yes, there are about four transient-inhabited motels situated song First Street as you approach Flowers Drive where the civic center and county court are situated.

And I would never want to stay in any one of those fleabag motels.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on May 17, 2021 at 4:42 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on May 17, 2021 at 4:42 pm

The motel owners are the ones to make the call on how their buildings are used. They will probably sell them so that a new owner can tear them down and build a new 5 story facility. That is what is happening in RWC. All new buildings going up in downtown.


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