Blogging Bayport Alameda

February 1, 2016

All you need is

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

Also at Tuesday’s City Council meeting the City Council will vote on whether they want to approve the Housing and Community Development Needs Statement which is the precursor to the process of receiving Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding.

While it’s sort of a small agenda item and will probably be done with very quickly it’s important to note that the survey results that inform the needs statement reflects the general sentiment of the day particularly around housing.

Of all the objectives “Housing” ranked as the highest priority.  Not really a surprise:

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Within the housing needs, survey takers believed that increasing affordable rental housing for extremely, very, and low-income households was the highest priority.  Of course the City Council could assist with this without CDBG funds through strong rental housing protections, but they have not.  The number two priority was to preserve affordable rental housing for families at area median income (AMI).   The preservation of rental housing is also within the abilities of the City Council

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Under homelessness, people felt as though providing services that support STABILITY would be the best thing to assist with either preventing homelessness or helping families that are currently homeless.  Stability is something that was echoed a lot during that rental housing meeting.

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I hope the City Council uses the information in this agenda item to better inform their discussions, actions, and policy with regard to the rental housing protections being considered.  It’s one thing to agree with something when it’s separate from a larger more contentious issues, but the needs that arise in these CDBG annual funding steps really is indicative of a larger problem that exists in Alameda and deserves more attention that simply attempting to get as much money from the federal government as possible for stop gap solutions.

 

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5 Comments »

  1. How exactly does the city intend to prevent “Homelessness”, other than police shuttling the homeless off the Island? Are there specific programs that, “Increase housing opportunities for homeless” within Alameda? Does the City have programs that actually pay the rent of homeless individuals?

    Comment by jack — February 1, 2016 @ 9:41 am

  2. Alameda has a population of probably 15-25 chronically homeless (folks that have either been homeless multiple times over the last few years, or homeless for a single extended period of times). The chronically homeless also, to a person, have significant mental and physical health issues. Most if not all of these folks have been in Alameda during most of their homelessness, and some became homeless in Alameda and stayed here. In other words, these are not folks for the most part, coming through the tunnel or across the bridge. If we, as a community can identify 15-25 units of housing, we could end homelessness in this community. That would be an amazing thing. What happens when you house the chronically homeless? The use of crisis and emergency services drops significantly, blight is diminished, families are kept together, and most importantly care is provided for community members suffering significant mental and physical health challenges.

    As for preventing homelessness, the national movement is going towards something called “rapid rehousing” (http://www.endhomelessness.org/pages/rapid-re-housing) which is designed to keep people from having to become homeless in the first place – providing short to mid term subsidies for those that can get to a point where they can live independently, or providing permanent supportive housing for those who require significant ongoing support.

    Comment by Doug Biggs — February 1, 2016 @ 2:58 pm

  3. Thanks Doug, The reason I posted that comment is because I’m aware of an Alameda person who has spent most of her adult life either homeless or on the verge of homelessness. She is very intelligent and is a whiz on computers/software/programming etc but lacks certain cognitive or social skills and does her best to remain totally unnoticed. Consequently she doesn’t do well in job interviews so she has been on public assistance (County) which has paid her rent for the last approximately three years (rent’s low for Alameda $500 for Bedroom and bath with private entrance) however apparently the time limit on County rental benefits ran out and she is one step from joining the under-the-freeway-in-a-tent crowd. I was told that she is in such dire straits that she is considering self-5150ing herself. What would you suggest?

    Comment by jack — February 1, 2016 @ 4:53 pm

  4. @3 = Avoid the 5150 at all costs. Once it goes into your medical record, you will never be able to get it out. It will follow you the rest of your life. Health care providers who read your chart before they enter the exam room will see it before they see you, and be instantly biased. You will not get the same medical care as patients who have not been 5150’d.

    Being locked up as a 5150 does not get you access to more social services. It puts you at risk of being subject to an even longer 14 day hold and being given antipsychotic drugs, which will only mess your mind up more. It also gives law enforcement virtual carte blanche to enter and take your property without warrants, based on the need for health and safety checks.

    The 5150 label marks you as a “danger” to self or others. It is virtually impossible to get that label off. Don’t give public safety a reason to see you as a “danger”. You may not get future help when you really need it. Remember RAYMOND ZACK. https://vimeo.com/149437258

    Comment by vigi — February 2, 2016 @ 9:28 am

  5. Thanks vigi, I’ll pass your comment to the individual but from what I understand it’s come to either self 5150 because of potential suicide or under the overpass and she’s totally aware of the consequences of either choice.

    Comment by jack — February 2, 2016 @ 2:51 pm


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