Joe Rodota Trail Encampment

The $12 million “plan” to relocate 210 campers from the bike trail by creating two 40-person indoor/outdoor sanctioned camps and renting homes was ill conceived. It amounts to trying to bribe people to move, when really many don’t want to move.

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These people need to be brought indoors. Some are building large structures with pallets and tarps and hoarding junk. Many are doing drugs. This situation is doing no-one any good, including the unhoused themselves.

The court has said to order someone to move you need to provide a bed with storage. And supply meals, restroom facilities, showers and laundry of course. We should go in this direction: supply the facilities.

During the Kincade Fire evacuation the Fairgrounds was used as a shelter. The Grace Pavillion, or main exhibit hall was set up with beds, an area with tables for food service, and there were ample restroom facilities and a trailer out back for showers. It is nothing but a large warehouse-type structure but served well.

I would like to see the county acquire a property and set up such a structure, properly outfitted, maybe with partitions between beds. One very large structure or multiple smaller ones side by side. Then, in compliance with court directives, move people from the encampment to the facility.

During the December 23rd Supervisors meeting it was disclosed that some 60 shelter spaces were unused and being declined. That tells you something right there, but unfortunately it is not enough to direct people to clear from the trail. Increasing the shelter capacity and directing people off the trail would clear it.

There are also several vacant commercial spaces that might be leased for this purpose. Two large spaces are vacant near FoodMax on Stony Point Road and more are vacant on Santa Rosa Avenue including where Smart and Final is and Toy-R-Us used to be.

Suggestions to offer everyone a free motel room or apartment are unworkable and unaffordable!

I also think that those who clearly present as under the influence of a controlled substance, particularly methamphetamine, need to be brought into the court system and ordered into rehab. There are many calls for police service for yelling and possible fighting where the underlying problem is drug use.

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