Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 10, 2022

“Do you have any timeline of them not existing”

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

At the last City Council meeting the City Council finally took up the subject of the Scattered Sites housing at Alameda Point which would accommodate a number of unhoused folks in a “Housing First” model. The new plan was significantly reduced from the initial plan from the provider who eventually pulled out.

This meeting item is actually one of the more perfect distillations of both Trish Spencer and Tony Daysog if anyone wanted to get a sense of who they are as empathetic, rational, and logical human beings who sit in a policy making position. Based on rumors of who will be running and who we know won’t be running, we’ll probably end up with more Trish Spencers and Tony Daysogs on the City Council because they, in the end say all the right things to all the right people to get elected and people just hand wave the shittier or inconsistent things that they do because they either like them personally or they are useful idiots. Or both.

This is why fascists and conservatives all over the U.S. concentrate on local races. Because this is where the most impact is had. This is where books get banned (remember when Trish Spencer tried to do this?) and we decline to recognize broad populations of people because it makes some people feel icky (Lesson 9 anyone? This was a Trish Spencer special as well). And yet local folks who would wrap themselves in a mantel of progressiveness because they’re appalled at the news about Roe or call themselves good Democrats because they give money to national candidates will still vote for Trish Spencer even though she was the one City Councilmember to not show up to a Roe solidarity event or Tony Daysog who jokes that he’s pretty much a Republican.

But anyway, even though — at one point — Tony Daysog made a full throated speech about the need to house homeless families apparently that’s where his empathy toward homeless folks stop. Here he is saying that we should prioritizing families over all other homeless people because there are children involved and children didn’t do anything to cause their condition alluding to the conclusion that single adults some how did. And, for these units, he really wants to house unwed teen moms. Yes, he said unwed teen moms multiple times.

But this behavior of Tony Daysog is not atypical, it sort of his thing, defining the deserving vs the undeserving. Unwed teen moms: deserving. Single adults: undeserving. East End: deserving. West End: undeserving.

Then there’s Trish Spencer. The old reliable person to both complain about something but then simultaneously blocking efforts to make a positive impact. In this case, Trish Spencer is totally against housing homeless folks in the Big White housing because the service provider doesn’t have rules preventing the residents from doing all these bad things in the neighborhood in which they are living. Even though the staff person pointed out that if they are, in Trish Spencer’s example, doing drugs in other people’s yards that would be trespassing and therefore against the law. She then pivots to the idea that since the Scattered Sites program won’t house folks who are camping on Main Street that there’s no point to the program. When staff points out that these additional resources relieve the burden off other services and help with the larger problem, Trish Spencer is unconvinced by that logic. Because her logic to do nothing is far superior than to do anything to help unhoused people.

There’s a small Trish Spencer meltdown when the Mayor asks for a response from staff. Essentially Trish Spencer doesn’t want to understand the scope of the problem, nor the multi pronged approach to tackling a huge issue, she just wants unhoused people out of sight, out of mind:

In regards to the Main Street encampments I don’t think I’ve heard from staff that we anticipate that those encampments will disappear.
Do you have any timeline of them not existing there?

“Not existing.” Those are the words of “Mayor Trish.”

25 Comments »

  1. The People’s Mayor! Lol.

    Comment by JRB — May 10, 2022 @ 9:08 am

  2. Sorry, telling the truth doesn’t mean lack of empathy or that you’re a “fascist.” Rampant drug use and mental health issues accounts for the single adults on the street. “Housing first” is a failed and very expensive policy, the goals of which can never be achieved. First shelter then treatment while enforcing vagrancy and health and safety laws is the solution.

    Comment by Good Swimmer — May 10, 2022 @ 10:05 am

    • *citation needed*

      Comment by Lauren Do — May 10, 2022 @ 10:10 am

    • “Housing first is a failed policy”
      “First shelter, then treatment”

      Make it make sense.

      Comment by cw — May 10, 2022 @ 10:18 am

      • It’s as coherent as “solve nothing, be mad about the problem, demand a solution, reject all possible solutions, be mad about the problem.” It’s almost like Trish Spencer’s only governing skill is to be mad about it.

        Comment by Gaylon — May 10, 2022 @ 10:29 am

        • Denise and Trish are friends. Coincidence?

          Comment by Subpar Swimmer — May 10, 2022 @ 11:54 am

      • Sure.

        Under shelter first, the immediate needs of the unhoused are addressed by getting them off the street into temporary shelter. Then a carrot and stick approach is used to earn more permanent housing contingent upon demonstrable progress in addressing the underlying drug, mental illness and alcoholism issues. Meanwhile law enforcement shuts down open air drug markets and discourages homeless encampments by enforcing local laws.

        And no,” housing first “ has not worked, as homelessness has increased not diminished while we spend billions and thousands die from drug overdoses.

        Comment by Good Swimmer — May 10, 2022 @ 12:39 pm

        • Do you have a SOURCE that proves “housing first has not worked”? Or is this your own anecdotal observation because you can’t understand how if homeless population grows 200% and homeless funding only increases 150% then you have a differential with an underserved population?

          Homeless population exploded in the Bay Area, and even the very successful nonprofits cannot scale up fast enough to meet the demand. And you call that a failure? The failure comes from people like you who antagonize nonprofits without understanding how things need to scale up in correlation with population changes. Usually you’re the same people who blame teachers for not doing a good job without understanding the pressure they feel when classroom sizes go from 20 students to 30 students.

          And have you ever been in a temporary shelter? Many homeless people refuse to stay in them because they’re not sustainable – hence the “temporary” part. Your carrot and stick approach is ALREADY HAPPENING at housing first programs – you’re not following the rules? Too bad, there’s a spot available for the next person. You’re doing well? Great, we’ll connect you to a permanent housing provider. Do a bit of Googling before making yourself look ignorant.

          Comment by Subpar Swimmer — May 10, 2022 @ 12:49 pm

        • Look here: https://www.sfchronicle.com/projects/2022/san-francisco-sros/

          SF’s Department of Homelessness budget has increased from 202 mill to 1.1 bil since 2016
          Homeless population has gone from 12,249 to 19,086

          (and that $ doesn’t include massive spending by nonprofits)

          Comment by Math is hard — May 10, 2022 @ 1:08 pm

        • Math is hard – could it be that the city department is stepping up in funding because local nonprofits are folding down? Or state funding declined and so cities are stepping up more? We saw how tuition costs went up dramatically for UCs because the state government is subsidizing less each year Context should matter.

          Comment by Observer — May 10, 2022 @ 3:10 pm

        • City funding alone is about 58 grand per homeless head, not including non profits.

          If that ain’t gettin done, more money will not have a different result.

          Comment by Math is actually easy, it’s thinking that’s hard — May 10, 2022 @ 4:02 pm

        • Psst, there’s no such thing as “Shelter First” what you’re talking about “immediate needs of the unhoused are addressed by getting them off the street” is definitionally “Housing First.” The type of housing is flexible given the availability but “Housing First” particularly of the harm reduction model recognizes that most people have difficulty dealing with their other issues (mental health, physical health, addiction, etc) when they remain unhoused. So getting them a place to feel safe first is critical to addressing all their other issues.

          Like you can’t just make up shit because you feel like it. Shelter First IS Housing First.

          Comment by Lauren Do — May 10, 2022 @ 5:05 pm

        • By any name, it’s an expensive failure in San Francisco.

          What makes anyone think it would have different results here?

          Comment by Dr. X — May 10, 2022 @ 6:06 pm

        • Dr. X: because as someone else has already pointed out to you, Alameda has a very successful track record with housing first models. Dig around and learn about APC, and the new wellness center, which is modeled after Circle the City, which has a very high success rate.

          Comment by Really — May 10, 2022 @ 9:35 pm

    • Denise Lai – please provide citation that “Housing first is a failed and very expensive policy.” Explain how a revolving door of emergency services for homeless people who are expected to do their recuperation on the streets or in shelters without exacerbating or relapsing is more successful and not at all expensive.

      Counterpoint from UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative: “Not only does Housing First work, but the evidence shows that it can work for even the highest need population of people experiencing homelessness. The 86% success rate cited in the Health Services Review article, while impressive, actually understates the intervention’s effectiveness.”

      https://homelessness.ucsf.edu/blog/housing-first-not-housing-only#:~:text=Not%20only%20does%20Housing%20First,actually%20understates%20the%20intervention's%20effectiveness.

      Comment by Subpar Swimmer — May 10, 2022 @ 11:53 am

  3. I realize that this post is a title off topic, but I want to acknowledge something encouraging that I saw today.

    I just drove by the area at the back end of the Naval air station next to the parking for the ferry to San Francisco. There has been a number of homeless vehicles there for a while.

    I was kind of struck today by how clean the area around the vehicles was. I don’t remember it being like that. It makes me think that somebody is actually enforcing some sort of rules around this issue. Which I think is a huge issue when it comes to homelessness and the laissez-faire approach particularly in Oakland toward the enormous amounts of trash and old tires and other junk that’s allowed to just accumulate on the streets and sidewalks. If the police are doing this or there’s some other agency making sure that there is less junk associated with these homeless areas I think that’s at least a start in terms of improving the situation for everybody.

    Comment by JohnB — May 10, 2022 @ 11:32 am

    • Alameda’s acting city manager said that they do bi-monthly clean ups and check ins at the Main Street encampment.

      Comment by Lauren Do — May 10, 2022 @ 1:01 pm

  4. A piece on “permanent supportive housing” in the Chron is an excellent argument against bring PSH to Alameda:

    https://www.sfchronicle.com/projects/2022/san-francisco-sros/

    All throughout this article two things keep getting repeated:

    -Homeless people’s behavior is largely what makes these places so horrible. There are multiple citations of violence and repeated drug activity. It’s unfashionable to say so in these woke times, but people who are so committed to their meth or heroin that they end up on the street — including many named in the article who chose the street over SRO — are generally beyond help. That’s a tragedy, but it’s also a reality. The picture of the guy on his bed with trash all over the floor complaining about mice was illustrative, to say the least.

    -Money & mismanagement. Staggering sums of money are casually strewn about this article. 7 million here, 200 million there, all throughout. The SRO costing more than a new market rate apartment was really something. The city is incapable of managing money or projects, but they will always ask for more dough. More money is always their solution for their very expensive failures. Throwing piles of money at homelessness has never achieved anything other than more homelessness. The Homeless Industrial Complex: Bums follow money, rodents follow bums, rinse and repeat.

    What is the solution? It’s simple but also not legal, at least not today it isn’t: enforce vagrancy laws, commit mentally people to full time care. Neither is possible under current laws and case precedents, such as the Boise case. A solution that is legal right now would be to stop tolerating hard drug use and the property crime that fuels it, but SF (and soon to be Alameda when PSH becomes entrenched here) is just unwilling to do so. “Crimes of survival” and all that.

    If you think PSH is a good model for Alameda, read this article. After that, if you still think we should do it, come back & tell us why.

    Comment by Dr. X — May 10, 2022 @ 12:37 pm

    • Permanent Supportive Housing isn’t just a good model for Alameda, it is something we have already been doing with great success for 25 years. Alameda Point Collaborative is a success story and a national model, having successfully housed thousands of families over the years. It’s easy to find and cherry-pick programs that don’t work, and there are some of those out there, but the successful ones generally fly under the radar – as evident by how you’re ignoring one that’s right in your own backyard.

      Comment by A Compassionate Alamedan — May 10, 2022 @ 12:53 pm

      • This page says there are 200 housing units. Show your work for the claim of “thousands.”

        Comment by Dr. X — May 10, 2022 @ 1:21 pm

        • https://apcollaborative.org/faq/

          Comment by Dr. X — May 10, 2022 @ 1:24 pm

        • It’s literally right there in your FAQ. “APC provides permanent supportive housing. Residents can live here as long as they need to, assuming they comply with lease requirements and house rules. Our guiding philosophy, however, is that APC is the beginning of the journey for families, not the end. As they regain their confidence, build skills and no longer rely on our support services, we work with them to obtain other permanent housing.” How many families do you think rotate through 200 homes over the span of 25 years? I’m not going to do your homework for you, you started your comment with a false claim, I eviscerated it with solid proof of PSH already successfully existing in Alameda for decades, so that does not mean I have to do your hand-holding.

          Comment by A Compassionate Alamedan — May 10, 2022 @ 1:51 pm

  5. Nowhere in the FAQ is there a number of people helped, not even an estimate.

    What “false claim” did I make? (Note: statements that you don’t like are not necessarily false.)

    Comment by Dr. X — May 10, 2022 @ 2:04 pm

    • You’re just sealioning at this point.

      Comment by NIMBYs Gonna NIMBY — May 10, 2022 @ 9:31 pm

      • What false claims did I make?

        Comment by Dr X — May 10, 2022 @ 9:45 pm


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