Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 28, 2016

People’s park

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

Last night there was a meeting at Mastick hosted by the City of Alameda to discuss the City’s plan to address the long term encampments at Sweeney Park.  The action plan, per the press release from earlier this month included:

1) Enter into an agreement with Operation Dignity, a nonprofit based in Oakland and Alameda, to provide an initial assessment of homeless people living in Alameda. This will be accomplished over six weeks with a mobile outreach team that will engage with homeless individuals to do a comprehensive survey of their basic needs, housing history, mental health and substance abuse issues, and other background information.

2) Bring this Action Plan to SSHRB on September 22 to receive and incorporate their feedback and suggestions.

3) In mid-October, bring to Council for approval a one-year agreement with Operation Dignity to provide on-site case management services to homeless individuals in an effort to get people housed and accessing available services when possible.

4) Notices were posted August 19 throughout the park to inform people that construction is coming and the general timeframe.

5) Alameda Police Department (APD) will post the legally required 30-day eviction notices once the exact timeframe for the first construction phase of Sweeney Park is confirmed, anticipated to be in November/December. When construction begins, a temporary fence will be erected around the construction zone. APD will store any remaining personal belongings of occupants of the encampment as required by law.

6) Operation Dignity will continue to provide case management for any homeless people remaining in the park and throughout the City.

7) On November 1, the City will apply for a StopWaste state grant for funding to clean up hazardous materials from abandoned encampments.

8) Mid- to long-term options being considered for the remaining undeveloped areas of the park include:

a. Install temporary solar lighting throughout undeveloped areas.

b. Use a goat abatement service to clear brush and ensure better visibility into the area.

c. Make a determination on whether to keep the undeveloped areas open to the public or remain fenced.

9) Throughout this process the police department will respond to any issue that requires immediate attention.

Relatedly there was a SeeClickFix ticket opened on this issue and some of the responses sounded well meaning at first but, instead, opted to present some of the residents of the homeless encampment in the worse possible terms and play to some of the most base stereotypes about homeless individuals.  According to this poster he is a running for some kind of political office, I am unsure which one, with a “running mate” who has been prolific on NextDoor lauding a certain editor of another blog “nominating” him for Mayor. (insert eye roll here).

Anyway, here are some of the “stories” that this future elected official captured and posted on SeeClickFix, clearly he has nothing but the best interests of these folks at heart.

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-4-05-24-pm
screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-4-05-31-pm
screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-4-06-07-pm

I’m not sure who would openly share anything with this dude who has now used these people’s personal stories in some cynical political attempt to get the Beltline “cleaned up.”  If this guy really cared about the people living at Sweeney Park he wouldn’t be framing their stories as “well, they could work, but they don’t want to” or “pretty sure these are the people that are committing all the petty theft.”  Hopefully this guy is not on a future canvassing team for outreach to Alameda’s population.

 

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6 Comments »

  1. Last night’s meeting was extraordinary, and I want to thank everyone that came out. Those working on implementing the plan got to hear from neighbors who are justifiably fed up with the petty crime, unsanitary conditions and daily outbursts, and from individuals who are homeless themselves or who had family members who are homeless. There was empathy on all sides of the issue, and a desire and commitment to get something productive done, along with a healthy dose of concern that resources will be hard to come by.

    Operation Dignity has already begun their initial engagement and assessment with some good initial results. While there are a lot of opportunities for folks to help out, volunteers will not be utilized in outreach positions. Those are filled by highly qualified professionals who have been doing this work effectively for a long time. For those that do want to help out a flyer was passed out last night with information. I’ll post part of that info here:

    Donation Needs for Mobile Outreach
    Food Items:
    • Bottled Water
    • Ensure
    • Pre bagged Lunches/Ready to Eat Meals
    • Canned goods with pop tops
    • Individual Snack Packs such as:
    o Packaged Nuts
    o Trail Mixes
    o Granola Bars/Cereal Bars
    o Protein Bars
    • Fresh Fruits
    • Healthy Snacks/Bars
    • Plastic Utensils (heavy duty)

    Hygiene Products
    • Toothbrushes/Toothpaste
    • Hand Sanitizer
    • Toilet Paper/Flushable Wipes
    • Travel Size Soap/shampoo/lotions, etc.
    • First Aid Supplies (bandages, antibiotic cream, kits)
    • Feminine Hygiene Products
    • Combs/Brushes

    General Items for Mobile Outreach Van
    • Backpacks
    • Heavy Duty Garbage Bags/Gloves for clean up
    • New Socks/Underwear/T-shirts
    • Heavy Jackets (more of a need towards Winter Months)
    • Army Blankets
    • Gift Cards (grocery stores/fast food)
    • Transportation Tickets (BART, AC Transit)

    Here are the ways in which you can help your community and our homeless mobile outreach team:

    • Volunteer your time to make sandwiches or bagged lunches for the mobile outreach team to take out on their field runs.
    • Coordinate volunteers for drives to collect hygiene products, food items, jackets, and blankets. For a comprehensive list, please see our list of mobile outreach needs.
    • Be patient. Many times, the path to homelessness is not a quick road. The road to getting homeless clients to the right services and housing opportunities is not an easy one. We see clients every day that want the same things that everyone else wants. They want a safe place for themselves and their families to live.
    • Be compassionate. The populations we serve are filled with people who have suffered trauma, mental illness and abuse.
    • Be a supporter of local initiatives and services that support homeless families with employment/job training services, counseling, community resources and affordable housing opportunities.

    APC will be accepting donations to pass on to the OD outreach team at 677 W. Ranger Ave.

    Comment by Doug Biggs — September 28, 2016 @ 8:56 am

    • Thanks for this Doug and thanks for all you do!

      Comment by Lauren Do — September 28, 2016 @ 8:58 am

  2. I attended the meeting last night. Our Mayor, Marilyn Ashcraft, Doug Biggs, our Police Chief Rolleri, Lena Tam later on, and so many others were in attendance demonstrating to a capacity crowd their care and concern re: managing this growing problem. I was inspired to hear the painful stories of some fellow Alamedans suffering up close and personal the impact of homelessness in their neighborhoods. . I was inspired to see the coalition that has formed to handle the matter in compassionate and humane terms. Increasing homelessness is a symptom of growing income inequality, non-living wages, dirth of affordable housing, sky-rocketing rents, failure to provide needed mental health treatment and many other socio-economic factors hitting our Region, state and the Nation. We are witnessing a case study of the mechanism by which members of the middle and lower class are driven to desperation and increasingly the state of homelessness. Building quick temporary shelters was floated – “tent cities”. I was reminded of refugee camps – or the tent cities of the depression era. We live in a time when the homeless problem cannot be ignored nor swept under the rug. In the midst of this “divisiveness” debate in Alameda, to see social, economic, racial and (yes) even environmental justice (Jean Sweeney Park) as the springboard to action in our community, I could not be prouder nor more hopeful. Thank you Alameda.

    Comment by Gabrielle "Gaby" Dolphin — September 28, 2016 @ 9:19 am

  3. (Insert eyeroll here) Really, Lauren? Why would you not call this guy out, call out his ‘running mate’, call out the certain editor of another blog, when you have no problem with calling out Trish, Lena, Tony, David and others when they do something that irks you? It’s not like you can’t find his name, right? He signs off on all his posts. I mean, everyone uses their real name on SeeClickFix, as opposed to your blog, where I am the only person using their real name. I don’t get it.

    And, by the way, if you are a sane, well adjusted, compassionate being, don’t bother to read this thread on SeeClickFix. It’s disgusting. If you do read it, be sure to read it by a toilet, because you might feel ill. On the other hand, if you are a Birther, a Bircher, a Skinhead, or a Disciple of a certain well known entertainer who is a candidate for a high office in the Most Powerful Nation On Earth, and who wants to make that country Great Again, then read on. Yu’ll enjoy it. But be sure to have about a week set aside with no other commitments, because it is looooong!

    Comment by Not. A. Alamedan — September 28, 2016 @ 11:53 am

  4. I hope last night’s meeting represents progress. In 1999, this is how the Alameda Police Department dealt with humans sleeping in the Jean Sweeney Homeless Encampment. Shoot them and pay the family $340,000.

    Good cop? Bad cop?
    Foes call him a killer. Colleagues say he’s a hero. Would the real officer please stand up?

    By A. Clay Thompson

    IT WAS A mundane assignment that sent veteran Alameda city cop Sean Lynch trudging through a weedy, long­abandoned railroad yard. Someone had set fire to railroad ties lying around the lot two days before. Now, a couple hours into a slow graveyard shift, Lynch was investigating.

    As he tramped through the rubble­strewn field, Lynch came upon a blue 10­speed bicycle. What he didn’t see right away was its owner, a 30­year­old homeless drifter named Jimmy Robert, sleeping next to his possessions the bike and a backpack and a minefield of drained Budweiser cans.

    Less than a minute later Lynch unloaded five shots into Robert at close range. Two bullets punctured the man’s cranium, ripping through his brain, probably killing him instantly.

    http://www.haddadsherwin.com/articles/homeless_man_murder_by_cop.pdf

    Comment by Gerard L. — September 28, 2016 @ 5:37 pm

  5. 4. wow Gerald, I have referenced this shooting on a number of occasions, but without the benefit of this amazing article. It is very even handed and fair. I have to say the last paragraph is what I’ve always thought. Not knowing the details other than the officer’s story about the guy lunging with a knife, I’ve still always wondered why cops don’t keep backing up. Lynch never claimed he thought it was a gun. But he claims he felt his life was in danger. Now that I understand the difference in their physical size it really troubles me. I thought he had been voted officer of the year in 1999, the year of the incident in a sort of circle the wagons response, but I see it was actually the year before. My bad. I’ll have to amend my retelling there. If I’m not mistaken Officer Lynch was the media liaison when that fellow drowned at Crown Beach. His quote in the paper registered as pretty callous when I read it, but I can’t remember it.

    Comment by MI — September 29, 2016 @ 5:40 pm


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