News

Council backs plan for transitional housing near the Baylands

Council seeks funds for development east of 101 but will deliberate further on Unitarian church's proposed safe parking program

Steven Hough, an outreach case manager with LifeMoves, leaves his business card at the gate of a tent located in the marshes inland of Bayfront Expressway in Menlo Park on Feb. 12, 2019. The organization helps people move out of homeless encampments. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Eager to strike a blow against homelessness, Palo Alto agreed late Monday night to pursue a transitional housing complex with more than 100 rooms on a San Antonio Road site near the Baylands.

After a broad discussion of strategies to increase services for unhoused residents, the City Council backed a recommendation from city staff to explore a development through the state's Project Homekey program. The project at 1237 San Antonio Road, a 14.4-acre site that once housed a water treatment plant, would be modeled after the project that opened in May at 2566 Leghorn St. in Mountain View.

Consisting of 100 modular units, the Mountain View development was constructed within six months, thanks in large part to more than $14 million in state funding. LifeMoves, the nonprofit group that worked with Mountain View to build the Leghorn project, is now proposing to do the same in Palo Alto.

In voting 6-1 to advance the Project Homekey application, council members generally agreed that the approach that the nonprofit has taken in Mountain View would work just as well in Palo Alto, which according to the county's latest homeless census had about 313 unhoused individuals in 2019. The transitional housing is set up for stays of between 90 and 120 days, giving residents time to find more stable homes.

Because stays are temporary, each room can accommodate about three individuals (or families) per year. This means that the project, at least in theory, would be able to accommodate the vast majority (if not entirety) of the city's homeless population. In practice, council members acknowledged, the effort to address homelessness is bound to be far more complicated. Some unhoused individuals are not eager to accept help, particularly when they are approached by someone with no clinical expertise.

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And even if the city takes care of the existing unhoused residents, the population does not stay flat. Ray Bramson, chief operating officer of the nonprofit Destination: Home, which worked with Santa Clara County to develop strategies to address homelessness, told the council Monday that even with the county's great success in building shelters and transitional housing over the past five years, for each individual who found a stable home, three became unhoused for the first time.

"The reality is — it's difficult to keep up in this community for almost everybody, but if you're making less than 30% of the area median income, every payday is life-saving and every unexpected expense is a financial emergency," Bramson said.

The former Los Altos Water Treatment Plant at 1237 San Antonio Road in Palo Alto is being considered as a site for a new homeless housing complex. Photo taken Sept. 5, 2019 by Magali Gauthier.

With council member Greg Tanaka as the sole dissenting vote, the council agreed to join LifeMoves and apply for the next round of Project Homekey funds. Jo Price, vice president for real estate and operations at LifeMoves, urged the council to support the project, noting that the availability of shelter makes it easier for her nonprofit to provide services to unhoused residents.

"We really cannot continue to let the streets be our waiting room," Price said. "Not only that, it's really challenging delivering our services to people through car windows or on the street, when their primary basic needs are not being met."

Price noted that LifeMoves' success rate in providing services is just 6% when it involves unhoused residents on the streets. At safe parking sites, the percentage goes up to 33%. At brick-and-mortar facilities like the one proposed, the success rate is 86%, she said.

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The council enthusiastically agreed to move ahead with the plan. Mayor Tom DuBois called the Mountain View development "amazing."

"I want one in Palo Alto," he said.

Vice Mayor Pat Burt called Mountain View's project "exemplary."

"The opportunity to do it here and take advantage of what is a rarity of just huge state dollars that are available for a project like this is something that we need to move quickly on," Burt said.

Tanaka suggested that the council consider other options for the San Antonio site, including renting it and then using the proceeds to create some kind of a program to assist the homeless.

"I'm not necessarily convinced that this is going to be a silver bullet because it's going to help a limited number of people," Tanaka said. "But what about everyone else?"

In addition to considering the Project Homekey development, council members weighed other strategies for addressing homelessness. These included partnering with a community outreach worker to contact unhoused individuals and connect them with services, and reconstituting a special enforcement team in the Palo Alto Police Department. The council generally supported both strategies, particularly the former, though they ultimately deferred decisions on these proposals to a future meeting.

Minka van der Zwaag, manager of the city's Office of Human Services, underscored the critical role of having partners who have expertise in reaching out to homeless residents. The recent rise of homeless encampments at parking garages, she said, illustrates the need for outreach workers. The city formerly employed one but no longer does, which made it difficult to address the trend.

"Due to the traumatic experiences that many unhoused individuals have faced, in addition to possible substance abuse or mental health challenges, being able to develop a trusting relationship with a consistent outreach worker who meets them where they are is key to working on solutions together towards a path toward housing recovery and stability," van der Zwaag said Monday.

Appeal of safe parking program heads to public hearing

Christopher Kan discusses Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto's safe parking program on Aug. 3, 2021. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

While the council agreed to move quickly and aggressively on a Project Homekey proposal, they took a slow and cautious approach on another project that aimed to address homelessness: a "safe parking" program proposed by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto. The program, which is administered by the nonprofit Move Mountain View, allows up to four vehicle dwellers to park overnight at the church parking lot. While the city had approved the church's proposal in May, the project faced an appeal from Stevenson House, a nearby housing complex for low-income seniors. Residents and board members of Stevenson House demanded that the parking program conduct background checks on all participants, a request that the church and Santa Clara County have resisted.

"We want to ask for the checking of violent felons, sexual offenders and child molesters as a safety issue," Grace Mah, president of the Stevenson House board of directors, told the council.

Numerous Stevenson House residents, some who spoke Mandarin with a translator, similarly expressed concerns about safety.

"We are not familiar with some of these applicants who are homeless," Stevenson House resident Xiuqun Qu said. "We don't know if they have any previous bad records."

Others, including members of the church, asked the council to reject these arguments — and the appeal — and to let the program move forward.

"The association for poverty and criminality is dangerous," said Linda Henigin, a local resident who is a member at the Unitarian Universalist Church. "People who are poor are not generally criminals. They are much more often the victims of crime than perpetrators.

Christopher Kan, chair of the safe parking program at the Unitarian Universalist Church, said that instituting background checks will deter some people — including women escaping abuse and undocumented immigrants — from accessing the program.

"This will exacerbate our city's troubling racial inequality and will be highly detrimental to people of color," Kan said. "Stevenson House's proposal is not just or compassionate. It will prevent us from helping the vulnerable and perpetuate cycles of poverty."

"Our program will actually improve safety for everyone by helping the needy into professionally monitored paths to permanent housing," Kan said.

While planning staff recommended rejecting the Stevenson House appeal and moving the project forward on the council's "consent calendar," three council members — Lydia Kou, Tanaka and Burt — voted to pull the item off the calendar and to schedule a public hearing on the appeal at a later date.

At the end of the discussion, Mayor Tom DuBois and council member Alison Cormack both said they were disappointed by their colleagues' decision to delay the safe parking program at the church. DuBois called the move a "fear-based tactic that likely will delay and likely discourage other churches from stepping up to offer very modest, four-parking-spot additions to our safe-parking program."

"Pushing for background checks now, when we're ready to start getting people away from the status quo — which is parking anywhere they want on the street — is a disappointment," DuBois said.

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Council backs plan for transitional housing near the Baylands

Council seeks funds for development east of 101 but will deliberate further on Unitarian church's proposed safe parking program

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Aug 10, 2021, 1:52 am

Eager to strike a blow against homelessness, Palo Alto agreed late Monday night to pursue a transitional housing complex with more than 100 rooms on a San Antonio Road site near the Baylands.

After a broad discussion of strategies to increase services for unhoused residents, the City Council backed a recommendation from city staff to explore a development through the state's Project Homekey program. The project at 1237 San Antonio Road, a 14.4-acre site that once housed a water treatment plant, would be modeled after the project that opened in May at 2566 Leghorn St. in Mountain View.

Consisting of 100 modular units, the Mountain View development was constructed within six months, thanks in large part to more than $14 million in state funding. LifeMoves, the nonprofit group that worked with Mountain View to build the Leghorn project, is now proposing to do the same in Palo Alto.

In voting 6-1 to advance the Project Homekey application, council members generally agreed that the approach that the nonprofit has taken in Mountain View would work just as well in Palo Alto, which according to the county's latest homeless census had about 313 unhoused individuals in 2019. The transitional housing is set up for stays of between 90 and 120 days, giving residents time to find more stable homes.

Because stays are temporary, each room can accommodate about three individuals (or families) per year. This means that the project, at least in theory, would be able to accommodate the vast majority (if not entirety) of the city's homeless population. In practice, council members acknowledged, the effort to address homelessness is bound to be far more complicated. Some unhoused individuals are not eager to accept help, particularly when they are approached by someone with no clinical expertise.

And even if the city takes care of the existing unhoused residents, the population does not stay flat. Ray Bramson, chief operating officer of the nonprofit Destination: Home, which worked with Santa Clara County to develop strategies to address homelessness, told the council Monday that even with the county's great success in building shelters and transitional housing over the past five years, for each individual who found a stable home, three became unhoused for the first time.

"The reality is — it's difficult to keep up in this community for almost everybody, but if you're making less than 30% of the area median income, every payday is life-saving and every unexpected expense is a financial emergency," Bramson said.

With council member Greg Tanaka as the sole dissenting vote, the council agreed to join LifeMoves and apply for the next round of Project Homekey funds. Jo Price, vice president for real estate and operations at LifeMoves, urged the council to support the project, noting that the availability of shelter makes it easier for her nonprofit to provide services to unhoused residents.

"We really cannot continue to let the streets be our waiting room," Price said. "Not only that, it's really challenging delivering our services to people through car windows or on the street, when their primary basic needs are not being met."

Price noted that LifeMoves' success rate in providing services is just 6% when it involves unhoused residents on the streets. At safe parking sites, the percentage goes up to 33%. At brick-and-mortar facilities like the one proposed, the success rate is 86%, she said.

The council enthusiastically agreed to move ahead with the plan. Mayor Tom DuBois called the Mountain View development "amazing."

"I want one in Palo Alto," he said.

Vice Mayor Pat Burt called Mountain View's project "exemplary."

"The opportunity to do it here and take advantage of what is a rarity of just huge state dollars that are available for a project like this is something that we need to move quickly on," Burt said.

Tanaka suggested that the council consider other options for the San Antonio site, including renting it and then using the proceeds to create some kind of a program to assist the homeless.

"I'm not necessarily convinced that this is going to be a silver bullet because it's going to help a limited number of people," Tanaka said. "But what about everyone else?"

In addition to considering the Project Homekey development, council members weighed other strategies for addressing homelessness. These included partnering with a community outreach worker to contact unhoused individuals and connect them with services, and reconstituting a special enforcement team in the Palo Alto Police Department. The council generally supported both strategies, particularly the former, though they ultimately deferred decisions on these proposals to a future meeting.

Minka van der Zwaag, manager of the city's Office of Human Services, underscored the critical role of having partners who have expertise in reaching out to homeless residents. The recent rise of homeless encampments at parking garages, she said, illustrates the need for outreach workers. The city formerly employed one but no longer does, which made it difficult to address the trend.

"Due to the traumatic experiences that many unhoused individuals have faced, in addition to possible substance abuse or mental health challenges, being able to develop a trusting relationship with a consistent outreach worker who meets them where they are is key to working on solutions together towards a path toward housing recovery and stability," van der Zwaag said Monday.

While the council agreed to move quickly and aggressively on a Project Homekey proposal, they took a slow and cautious approach on another project that aimed to address homelessness: a "safe parking" program proposed by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto. The program, which is administered by the nonprofit Move Mountain View, allows up to four vehicle dwellers to park overnight at the church parking lot. While the city had approved the church's proposal in May, the project faced an appeal from Stevenson House, a nearby housing complex for low-income seniors. Residents and board members of Stevenson House demanded that the parking program conduct background checks on all participants, a request that the church and Santa Clara County have resisted.

"We want to ask for the checking of violent felons, sexual offenders and child molesters as a safety issue," Grace Mah, president of the Stevenson House board of directors, told the council.

Numerous Stevenson House residents, some who spoke Mandarin with a translator, similarly expressed concerns about safety.

"We are not familiar with some of these applicants who are homeless," Stevenson House resident Xiuqun Qu said. "We don't know if they have any previous bad records."

Others, including members of the church, asked the council to reject these arguments — and the appeal — and to let the program move forward.

"The association for poverty and criminality is dangerous," said Linda Henigin, a local resident who is a member at the Unitarian Universalist Church. "People who are poor are not generally criminals. They are much more often the victims of crime than perpetrators.

Christopher Kan, chair of the safe parking program at the Unitarian Universalist Church, said that instituting background checks will deter some people — including women escaping abuse and undocumented immigrants — from accessing the program.

"This will exacerbate our city's troubling racial inequality and will be highly detrimental to people of color," Kan said. "Stevenson House's proposal is not just or compassionate. It will prevent us from helping the vulnerable and perpetuate cycles of poverty."

"Our program will actually improve safety for everyone by helping the needy into professionally monitored paths to permanent housing," Kan said.

While planning staff recommended rejecting the Stevenson House appeal and moving the project forward on the council's "consent calendar," three council members — Lydia Kou, Tanaka and Burt — voted to pull the item off the calendar and to schedule a public hearing on the appeal at a later date.

At the end of the discussion, Mayor Tom DuBois and council member Alison Cormack both said they were disappointed by their colleagues' decision to delay the safe parking program at the church. DuBois called the move a "fear-based tactic that likely will delay and likely discourage other churches from stepping up to offer very modest, four-parking-spot additions to our safe-parking program."

"Pushing for background checks now, when we're ready to start getting people away from the status quo — which is parking anywhere they want on the street — is a disappointment," DuBois said.

Comments

Not Good Enough
Registered user
Professorville
on Aug 10, 2021 at 7:30 am
Not Good Enough, Professorville
Registered user
on Aug 10, 2021 at 7:30 am

Very happy for the decision about transitional housing. Not so happy about the 3 on council who removed the safe parking item from the consent agenda, enabling the on-going irrational targeting of poor and low income people by a vocal group of Stenvenson House residents.

A couple years ago a group within Stenvenson House (perhaps many of the same people) tried to block La Comida from moving there to use the kitchen for serving meals to low-income seniors. No matter that some there were part of the La Comida lunch program. This group got a petition to council to block La Comida. I mean, who knows what destruction 70-year olds could bring to lunch! The groups prejudice lost and La Comida is a huge success.

Irony and hypocrasy doesn't seem to occur to these Stevenson House people -after all, they are all low-income tenents living in heavily subsidized housing, some of whom eat La Comida meals, and only a lucky Section 8 housing subsidy away from perhaps sleeping in a car, wishing they had a safe place to park at a Church. Yet they got a delay in providing safe parking to people desparetly in need.

Four cars would be parked at the church next door only at night, leaving early in the morning. The parkers are screened in a selection process. The program is successful at other churches in town. These council members fed prejudice rather than further this good program.



Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2021 at 7:49 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Aug 10, 2021 at 7:49 am

For clarification purposes. Is this proposed housing doing things differently from the Opportunity Center or will it be similar? What are the similarities and what are the differences?


Local Resident
Registered user
Community Center
on Aug 10, 2021 at 9:57 am
Local Resident, Community Center
Registered user
on Aug 10, 2021 at 9:57 am

Great news on Project Homekey.

In terms of Safe Parking, "Christopher Kan, chair of the safe parking program at the Unitarian Universalist Church, said that instituting background checks will deter some people — including women escaping abuse and undocumented immigrants — from accessing the program."

A valid drivers license is required to participate in this program and California issues licenses to undocumented folks including immigrants. Secondly, all the results of these checks should be confidential and this sounds like a trust issue between the applicant and the case worker so the solution should be communication not skipping the checks.


Evergreen Park
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Aug 10, 2021 at 12:07 pm
Evergreen Park, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Aug 10, 2021 at 12:07 pm

Very sorry to hear that the Safe Parking Program was delayed. The Mountain View organization that will be supervising this program is working directly with all individuals who will be participating, and it will oversee security. Additional background checks are not needed, and it amazes me that residents of Stephenson House would assume the worst. It is only 4 RVs at a time. They stay only at night. There will be security. Let's get a grip and get this moving.


birdie
Registered user
Professorville
on Aug 10, 2021 at 12:13 pm
birdie, Professorville
Registered user
on Aug 10, 2021 at 12:13 pm

Given this development, please remove the RVs from our streets.


Jylouise
Registered user
Downtown North
on Aug 10, 2021 at 12:32 pm
Jylouise, Downtown North
Registered user
on Aug 10, 2021 at 12:32 pm

Really? This is the best we an do? Put the housing for the homeless out in the bay lands where there is no transportation, no place to walk to? Oh but now I remember, this the place where single family homes are high on the list!!
What a shame that the safe parking at the Unitarian Church was put off. 4 cars that could have kept folks (maybe a single woman) safe for a few nights.


Consider Your Options.
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2021 at 1:21 pm
Consider Your Options. , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Aug 10, 2021 at 1:21 pm

So far, all of this housing....the car parking at the Unitarian Church and the San Antonio housing are in the east-southernmost part of Palo Alto which is also very close to the new Mountain View homeless housing project. Eden Housing is also proposing a 50-unit project in the same area on East Charleston near Piazza's.

As a nearby resident, I have not opposed any of this housing, but I would like to see this kind of housing more fairly and evenly distributed around the community. That would be better for the community and for the residents we are inviting in.

For instance:
-- the YMCA on Ross Road is a single story building on a large lot that could support housing.
-- the CoPA Arts Center has an enormous parcel that is underused and could be used for low-cost housing. Why not, since Council decided to add affordable housing to Cubberley, a south PA arts and community center?

Where are the affordable projects in north PA and midtown? Instead, the former Council closed at least two large north PA inexpensive hotels that served as affordable housing and approved boutique hotel upgrades, displacing hundreds of residents.

With all of this uniquely affordable housing being provided and built in south PA, Cubberley should be redeveloped as a school and community center. We are going to need SERVICES to support all of the housing for people with special needs that is coming.

When did the good comprehensive planners leave city hall? We need to pay better attention to comprehensive planning that incorporates planning for services and infrastructure, including transportation. Single-issue focus on just housing is extremely foolish. It's all about balance.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 10, 2021 at 1:28 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Aug 10, 2021 at 1:28 pm

Today SJ Mercury News reported that Santa Clara County has at least 30,000 homeless Web Link some of whom have camped out on Apple land.

I keep wondering when the "leaders" will start addressing the below-minimum wage paid to the gig workers by the big tech supporters who are happily shifting the burden of the homeless to us, the residents, while big tech spents literally hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying to deny the gig workers benefits and a living wage.

Instead, they keep knocking down affordable housing complexes to build "market rate" housing for their well-paid techies. Pay attention to the lack of affordability provisions in the upcoming housing bills SB9 and SB10!


fajb
Registered user
Charleston Meadows
on Aug 10, 2021 at 1:29 pm
fajb, Charleston Meadows
Registered user
on Aug 10, 2021 at 1:29 pm

As a Senior Resident @ Stevenson House, I'm appalled at my Communities small minded, false "security" paranoia!
I concur and appreciate the thoughtful comments excoriating my neighbors' lack of compassion and common decency.


tmp
Registered user
Downtown North
on Aug 10, 2021 at 3:01 pm
tmp, Downtown North
Registered user
on Aug 10, 2021 at 3:01 pm

This is ridiculous. How much public land is the city going to take from residents and give to other people for free? We may need this land for something city related one day and we won't be able to use it because it is covered with the homeless shelters.

These people come to Palo Alto from all around and we feed and house them. City taxpayers should not be on the hook to be responsible for them all. Let the people who want to help them raise the funds and house them on their land!

I want my tax dollars to pay for city improvements - to green the city and fight global warming, more parks and open spaces and less pollution. Not all tax dollars have to go to making more people come here. We are crowded enough.


Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Aug 10, 2021 at 3:55 pm
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Aug 10, 2021 at 3:55 pm

Put the the chronically and newly unhoused on a former waste water treatment plant ground?! How appalling and stinky. No one else wants to deal with toxic refuse sight for repurpose, so... throw the homeless over there where there are no services, natural shade, out of sight of so-called Palo Alto visionary, progressives not. Well at least the toxic human waste remains are not full of COVID's virus, just humans trying to live barely surviving on our Planet Earth. What about the former WWII radio bldg out on the Bay Land??? At least it's not a toxic wast dump site.


Green Gables
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 10, 2021 at 6:50 pm
Green Gables, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Aug 10, 2021 at 6:50 pm

Consider+your+op - The low-income housing in "north" Palo Alto are found on altohousing.org; it use to be called Palo Alto Housing Corporation.

Alma Place,Barker Hotel, Elm Apartments, Emerson House, Hotel California, Oak Court Apartments, Sheridan Apartments, Webster Wood Apartments.


Cherjo
Registered user
Midtown
on Aug 10, 2021 at 7:04 pm
Cherjo, Midtown
Registered user
on Aug 10, 2021 at 7:04 pm

This will only be a revolving door of ever changing homeless people. Did you miss that a family or person can stay only 6 months and then forced to “Move Along”. I remember when the theme park “Great America” was built on a landfill. The first year they opened I visited and after the first few hours, I spent the rest of the day laying on a bench so ill I couldn’t open my eyes. I didn’t go back for a year and a half. I didn’t want to go, but thought I might be ok if I ate nothing and skipped the rides completely. Well I was sick again, just not as bad. Then a report came out that methane gas was leaching up through the ground from the decomposition below. The lack of humanity here in such a wealthy community is Shameful Shameful


Phil1
Registered user
Fairmeadow
on Aug 10, 2021 at 7:28 pm
Phil1, Fairmeadow
Registered user
on Aug 10, 2021 at 7:28 pm

Four cars isn't very many. I would suggest that priority be given to families in cars that have children in the Palo Alto school system and that they be allowed to stay for the duration of the school year.


Phil1
Registered user
Fairmeadow
on Aug 10, 2021 at 8:11 pm
Phil1, Fairmeadow
Registered user
on Aug 10, 2021 at 8:11 pm

...adding to my prior post. The library would be a great place for car-dwelling school kids to do their homework, and the park a safe and wholesome place for them to play. It would be especially convenient if the kids attended Hoover, Fairmeadow, JLS or (perhaps with a scholarship) Challenger. If they could use the Unitarian Church's mail for school business, that would likely(?) help them with school residency requirements and paperwork.

Let's face it, these kids would likely be here anyway, but possibly in an inhospitable or unsafe situation. Let's help them grow up safe and well.

In terms of the concerns of the Stevenson House residents. It may be that if they knew there were school children living there it would allay their fears. Additionally, perhaps if the Unitarian Church had a picnic or barbecue, or other shared social introductory and get-together events for Stevenson House Residents, Church members, nearby residents, and these new neighbors they would eventually come to be thought of more as neighbors, friends and fellow community members rather than as 'others' or 'delinquents'.


eileen
Registered user
College Terrace
on Aug 11, 2021 at 8:36 am
eileen , College Terrace
Registered user
on Aug 11, 2021 at 8:36 am

Phil, all good ideas. I think that the RVs can only be there at night and have to move in the early morning. That is not very suitable for a family.


Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Aug 11, 2021 at 9:56 am
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Aug 11, 2021 at 9:56 am
Stepheny
Registered user
Midtown
on Aug 11, 2021 at 9:57 am
Stepheny , Midtown
Registered user
on Aug 11, 2021 at 9:57 am

All good points by Phil1. Safe, sane and kind.

As for those extra 100 rooms by the Baylands, what's that old saying "Beggars can't be choosers." Get a job! There are lots of postings. Give something back to the community you want to adopt you.

In places like Minnesota, Oklahoma, they say, "Life doesn't happen accidentally." Pull your weight.


Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Aug 11, 2021 at 10:00 am
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Aug 11, 2021 at 10:00 am
Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Aug 11, 2021 at 10:10 am
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Aug 11, 2021 at 10:10 am

New or repurposed housing should be mixed use meaning mixed income , senior, multi family, disabled ... why should everything be designated thus segregated. BLM, diversity, equity ... Let's live together and not apart. Multi use / living complex's and its amenities could be designed for a diverse set of residential uses. Our entire Federal / State / Local fair housing laws have to be changed pronto. Especially in light of COVID. Begs the question: what's going on with all the empty commercial blgs -- like the one on the corner of Yale and College. So empty and unused it echos housing !!! So perfect for a temporary unhoused transitional use.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 11, 2021 at 10:10 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Aug 11, 2021 at 10:10 am

Why is the city of PA being hustled by a MV oganization that appears to be making the rules here? Why is the church representative refusing to apply any clearance for the parkers as to safety? This church sits in the middle of a school zone. Why are they allowed to make the rules for a situation that could go out of control in a school zone? Why are non-profit organizations that no one voted for allowed to dictate the use of city property, and city policy?

As to MV the residents voted that there would be no RV's on residentaial streets. A non-profit is challenging that. Why does a non-profit get to dictate to the city and the city residents as to how a city will be run?

A non-profit does not pay taxes. A church does not pay taxes. How do so many people who do not pay taxes get to shout and scream and try to manipulate city policy.
City policy on homeless in proximity to schools should be a state and city policy. Common sense should help dictate city policy. The residents vote and pay taxes here. This is a residential city with homes from border to border and we do not have the same amount of vacant/commercial land that MV does. Different demographices but still a same policy of proximity to schools. Very young children next door to this church. Not good.


Consider Your Options.
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 11, 2021 at 10:32 am
Consider Your Options. , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Aug 11, 2021 at 10:32 am

To Green Gables,

I should have been more clear. Those are old projects. We have plenty of those in south PA too. Where are the NEW affordable housing projects in those parts of town and what are you doing to help move them forward? It is also true that hundreds of people have been displaced from affordable units in north PA that have been converted to expensive boutique hotels. Where's the balance in in north PA?

I'm supporting new south PA housing opportunities, but I am keenly aware of the lack of similar proposals in these other parts of town.

I would like background checks. I have to submit to background checks to rent an apartment, get a job, get a mortgage, work in classrooms. This is common practice for any number of things these days. It's also prudent at a site that directly connects to senior garden apartments, a school commute pathway to multiple schools, park and library that draws hundreds of children everyday. Safety matters here. Let's do this right so that bad things that might draw opposition don't happen.


LauraR
Registered user
another community
on Aug 13, 2021 at 8:13 am
LauraR, another community
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 8:13 am

I just don't understand why this is such a complicated situation. People are living in Palo Alto without paying property taxes. So, why are they allowed to stay?
As far as the objections made suggesting background checks for parking in the church, shame on those who made those objections. I can't help wondering whether the people who are objecting had to submit to background checks before coming here.


Stelios Karoulis
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 13, 2021 at 9:42 am
Stelios Karoulis, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 9:42 am

Humanitarian relief contingent on a comprehensive and invasive background check is ruthless and cruel...a sign of a cold-hearted community.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 13, 2021 at 1:03 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 1:03 pm

So the city of PA and it's residents are expected to relinquish normal safety issues relative to children's school locations to an out-of city non-profit? How does that make sense? Is there some type of pressure being applied at the county level? If so let us know and we will apply pressure against the county agency which may be supporting this. We have known the County and it's representatives to come up with some very un-productive ideas on the topic of homeless - any of which include moving them out of San Jose where the County does it's business. That is so that Google can continue to gut the lower priced areas to build their "village'.
We have a village here and it is run by tax-paying residents who expect the city leaders we elect to function in the best interest of this city. And our schools and children are at the top of the list. That is why we live here and pay high taxes here.


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