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Sun Apr 11, 2021, 05:56 PM

after CA town setup tent city despite fierce objections of residents, something remarkable happened

MUST READ Article... about how they setup to the homeless tent village for success



From May to November, Santa Rosa spent $680,000 to supply and manage a tent city at a popular neighborhood community center. The six-month experiment charted a new course for the Northern California city's approach to homeless services. (Angela Hart/KHN/TNSAngela Hart/TNS

https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/We-can-t-just-keep-saying-no-What-other-16092380.php?IPID=SFGate-HP-Editors-Picks


The backlash was fierce. For three hours on a Thursday evening in mid-May, Santa Rosa officials defended their plans as hundreds of residents flooded the phone lines to register their discontent. “This is a family neighborhood,” another fumed. “How can we feel safe using our park?” others pleaded.

In Santa Rosa, like so many other communities, strenuous neighborhood objections typically would drive a stake through a proposal for homeless housing and services. Not this time. Elected officials were not asking; they were telling. The project would move ahead.

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Within days, the spacious parking lot at the Finley Community Center was cordoned off with green mesh fencing. Inside, spaced 12 feet apart, were 68 blue tents, each equipped with sleeping bags and storage bin. A neat row of portable toilets lined one side of the encampment, and it was fitted throughout with hand-washing stations and misters for the summer heat.

-----------------------------------

Santa Rosa’s tent city opened May 18. And, not too long after, something remarkable happened. Finley Park residents stopped protesting and started dropping off donations of goods — food, clothing, hand sanitizer. The tennis and pickleball courts, an afternoon favorite for retirees, were bustling again. Parents and kids once more crowded the nearby playground.

Several area residents said they changed their mind about the project because of the way the site was managed.

“I was amazed I never saw anything negative at all,” said Boyd Edwards, who plays pickleball at the Finley Community Center a few times a week.

“I thought they were going to be noisy and have crap all over the place. Now, they can have it all year round for all I care,” said his friend Joseph Gernhardt.

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Reply after CA town setup tent city despite fierce objections of residents, something remarkable happened (Original post)
Demovictory9 Apr 11 OP
Layzeebeaver Apr 11 #1
tecelote Apr 12 #38
JanMichael Apr 11 #2
lagomorph777 Apr 12 #41
JanMichael Apr 12 #45
lagomorph777 Apr 13 #46
AllaN01Bear Apr 11 #3
Phoenix61 Apr 11 #4
CaliforniaPeggy Apr 11 #5
Karadeniz Apr 11 #6
rickyhall Apr 11 #7
Probatim Apr 12 #42
mountain grammy Apr 11 #8
leftieNanner Apr 11 #9
sheshe2 Apr 11 #10
SunSeeker Apr 11 #11
Delmette2.0 Apr 11 #13
Demovictory9 Apr 11 #15
SunSeeker Apr 11 #32
LymphocyteLover Apr 11 #26
Voltaire2 Apr 12 #40
malaise Apr 11 #12
SWBTATTReg Apr 11 #14
MustLoveBeagles Apr 11 #16
Mopar151 Apr 11 #17
RussellCattle Apr 11 #18
rpannier Apr 11 #19
FakeNoose Apr 11 #20
soldierant Apr 11 #31
TexasBushwhacker Apr 11 #21
reACTIONary Apr 12 #43
lindysalsagal Apr 11 #22
Mr. Evil Apr 11 #23
Cha Apr 11 #24
Tree Lady Apr 11 #25
Sympthsical Apr 11 #27
Demovictory9 Apr 12 #39
Upthevibe Apr 11 #28
berniesandersmittens Apr 11 #29
Pluvious Apr 11 #30
DBoon Apr 11 #33
BobTheSubgenius Apr 11 #34
NullTuples Apr 11 #35
Demovictory9 Apr 12 #37
byronius Apr 12 #36
cannabis_flower Apr 12 #44

Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 06:01 PM

1. who would have thought that caring for your fellow citizens would create a better community...

Go figure...

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Response to Layzeebeaver (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 12, 2021, 04:08 AM

38. +1!

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 06:14 PM

2. Sending this to some city people that I know.

Last edited Mon Apr 12, 2021, 10:01 PM - Edit history (1)

I was pushing for something like the French (Paris?) river bank shelter or 6' or 8' water main with a coded key door program years ago. That's a fixed unit version of this.

Great idea and thanks for posting.

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Response to JanMichael (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 12, 2021, 09:37 AM

41. What's the water main thing?

I'm curious about that. Always interested in clever shelter ideas.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #41)

Mon Apr 12, 2021, 10:04 PM

45. This is a version

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/238127899017144150/

Somewhere in France they buried these about halfway into the side of a river bank and have digital keys that homeless people can just get the code and spend as much time as they want in them. They are very durabl.

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Response to JanMichael (Reply #45)

Tue Apr 13, 2021, 10:05 AM

46. Oh wow - those would resist fire, flood, earthquake...

Cool!

Might want to add some insulation, and could really take it in a few directions....

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 06:16 PM

3. way cool.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 06:24 PM

4. OMG!!! You mean homeless people are actual

human beings? Who would’a thunk? Glad leadership actually led and pushed this through. Nice the community responded in kind.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 06:27 PM

5. We are way overdue for stopping the NIMBY folk getting in the way of progress.

This town figured it out!

Good for them.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 06:28 PM

6. Great news! Thanks!

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 06:33 PM

7. Maybe we should try all other things Jesus talked about in His Sermon on the Mount.

And The Buddha had some great ideas even before that.

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Response to rickyhall (Reply #7)

Mon Apr 12, 2021, 10:43 AM

42. Blessed are the Cheesemakers...

I think he meant producers of dairy products in general.

One of the best scenes from the Life of Brian. The immediate interpretations of the "literal words" of Jesus is missed on a lot of people.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 06:35 PM

8. This is good news..

thanks for posting.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 06:36 PM

9. The City just north of me here in Oregon

Has a terrible homeless problem. Drugs, filth, fires, crime, and two murders recently. Wish they would do something like this.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 06:37 PM

10. The article is inspiring

Thank you for posting, Demovictory.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 06:39 PM

11. The most urgent thing homeless people need is a place to go to the bathroom.

This tent city gave them that.

Unfortunately, many places restrict use of bathrooms to paying customers, and parks are closed dusk to dawn. So homeless people are left with no choice but to urinate and defecate wherever they can, in alleys and doorways. But if you treat the homeless like human beings, they act like human beings. Because they are human beings


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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #11)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 06:51 PM

13. It's so simple.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #11)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 06:53 PM

15. California beach city I lived in, all the businesses put up "bathroom broken" signs to thwart

the homeless. which meant they concentrated around the mcdonalds who employed a security guard to check the bathrooms.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Reply #15)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 10:47 PM

32. Yup, in my beach city, businesses call the cops on the homeless.

So it forces the homeless to live like animals, peeing behind bushes, etc. And it turns into a vicious cycle, they get arrested for public urination, they get a record, making it even harder to get a job, so they can never afford an apartment.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #11)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 08:49 PM

26. Great point. I so hope other communities learn from this

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 12, 2021, 09:32 AM

40. indeed. a little compassion goes a long way

but our society has decided that compassion signals weakness and must be avoided.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 06:41 PM

12. K & R for loving our neighbors

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 06:53 PM

14. Isn't it amazing that the RW moans about democrats endlessly, and others such as the

setting of camps like this, all to help fellow Americans, and be christian? Somehow among all of the name calling, all of the hypocrisy, the republicans had morphed into the party of hate, especially against immigrants, who helped create the US/America to begin w/?

This tent city story is amazing and has such a feel good about humanity aura about it.

Clearly shows that good things happen when people reach out to help one another, instead of one party mocking and moaning about what democrats are doing, to help their fellow citizens.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 06:55 PM

16. K&R

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 06:57 PM

17. Doing the right thing SAVES MONEY!

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 07:37 PM

18. Sonoma County in Northern California. Probably won't happen in Orange County....

....any time soon.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 07:50 PM

19. Example of what happens when government funds something

It often works

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 07:57 PM

20. Those who dropped off donations weren't the same ones who protested

I feel bad that those "tent people" are having to sit in tents that are out in the hot sun. Why couldn't the tents be set up in a cooler shadier area of the park? But be that as it may, this is a humanitarian effort that the entire community can and should support.

Nice job, Santa Rosa!

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #20)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 10:25 PM

31. Only partly true

As least one resident specifically stated he thought there would be a lot of bad things happening, and specifically donated because bad things didn't happen.

And not everyone is capable of admitting in words that they were wrong.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 08:07 PM

21. Sounds like the bulk of the money is going to "management"

$680K for 68 tent set ups and some porta potties. That's $10K per tent. While I commend anyone for actually DOING SOMETHING to help the homeless, this seems like a lot of dough for a temporary solution. That is fine, but the needs of the temporarily homeless and the chronically homeless are very different. I like what they are doing in Austin for the chronically homeless.

https://mlf.org/community-first/

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #21)

Mon Apr 12, 2021, 12:50 PM

43. That's great! Thanks for sharing! nt

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 08:12 PM

22. I believe (and maybe I'm naive) that governments must fund, equip and supervise some

kind of living situation for everyone. But it requires supervision, and it requires that participants follow community rules.

They need basic food, shelter, and sanitary facilities.

I'd assume it would be best if there were family locations where adults would bring their kids, and adults without kids would go elsewhere, making a safe place for kids, and also providing transportation to school.

I'd like to see young adult facilities for those who still need help getting jobs and training, They should be staffed well so hopefully those people can leave the system.

We should also have addiction treatment available.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 08:16 PM

23. Amazing what can happen

when people are given a chance to reclaim their dignity.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 08:25 PM

24. This is Heartwarming.. TY!

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 08:27 PM

25. Happy it worked out

I am from there, asked my grandson on our chat and he didn't know about it but lives in another side of town. I used to take my kids then grandkids there. Its a nice park with 2 swimming pools and great area for BBQ and volleyball.

They must have used one of the two parking lots. Both sides can be full in summer so some might have been upset about that.

Looks like they are keeping it clean.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 08:58 PM

27. I actually stopped and watched this place for awhile one day

My partner had work stuff to do in Santa Rosa for several hours, and I was bored and went along. We were right by this place. It took me awhile to figure out exactly what it was. It was very clean and organized. It also had security and what looked like social services moving around, handing things out, organizing, etc.

Santa Rosa's having problems. As the Bay Area gets more gentrified and real estate values go sky high with limited land and the vast wealth of Silicon Valley, more and more poor and working class families have been forced to move farther and farther away. Santa Rosa has had quite an influx of people the last few years who need all kinds of help. That's why the city is grappling with solutions and trying to implement new ideas.

They have to at this point. Too many people need help, especially with the pandemic aggravating what was already a fairly significant migration of the lower incomes.

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Response to Sympthsical (Reply #27)

Mon Apr 12, 2021, 04:34 AM

39. must have been cool to witness

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 09:11 PM

28. The homeless situation in this country must be addressed....

I don't know if this would work in all the various areas of homelessness in Los Angeles but something needs to be done.

Thank you for the uplifting post and story.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 09:14 PM

29. Kick and Rec

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 09:53 PM

30. The Republican Jeebus would not approve nt.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 10:48 PM

33. The homeless were there all along

The tent city did not create a homeless camp. There always was a homeless "camp", just not so visible.

Amazingly, you treat the homeless like human beings most will respond like human beings.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 10:53 PM

34. What an uplifting story!

Our local governments, in partnership with senior levels of government are spending MILLIONS to buy, renovate and furnish whole apartment buildings and motels. Their aim is not to keep the homeless in a holding pattern, albeit much more comfortably, but to HOME them.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 11:31 PM

35. More info from the local paper

39 people showed up (that's not bad):
https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/city-sponsored-homeless-camp-at-finley-community-center-draws-dozens-of-res/

The county opened a second site out in Guerneville (geographically, a completely different area) for a total of 5:
https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/camp-for-homeless-opens-in-guerneville-offering-refuge-to-25-people-during/

They were also housing about 75 people at a local hotel & had plans to move the people at Finley to a 70 bed shelter:

https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/santa-rosa-plans-new-shelter-for-60-people-at-samuel-jones-hall/

When it closed, 51 went from Finley to the hotel (and plenty more details of the year):

https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/santa-rosa-on-track-to-spend-more-than-7-4-million-on-sheltering-homeless/

And there's been an ongoing campaign to vaccinate them:

https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/sonoma-county-health-providers-launch-mobile-vaccination-campaign-for-homel/

Flip side, they've also been clearing out all the ad hoc homeless encampments (not everyone is able to live in a regimented, structured environment):

https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/sonoma-county-human-rights-panel-condemns-homeless-camp-sweeps/

https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/joe-rodota-trail-closed-to-clear-new-homeless-encampment-west-of-santa-rosa/

And near year end there was a bit of an implosion:
https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/sonoma-countys-regional-homeless-agency-reboots-after-governance-setbacks/



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Response to NullTuples (Reply #35)

Mon Apr 12, 2021, 02:51 AM

37. Thank you.for the additional info

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon Apr 12, 2021, 02:26 AM

36. This speaks well of Santa Rosa.

Makes me want to visit. Great post.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Mon Apr 12, 2021, 02:57 PM

44. The 8pm curfew...

might keep a lot of people from taking advantage of this program. When I was about 27 I had to live in a shelter for about a month. Then I got a job where I had to work until 11. I wasn’t really ready to move out but I couldn’t take the job without moving out. I ended up in a situation that was less than ideal. I hope the curfew has some exceptions to allow people to get jobs.

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