Antioch Task Force Set to Talk Homeless Encampments

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On Thursday, May 30, the Antioch Homeless Encampment Task Force will hold a nearly 11-hour marathon meeting to gather public testimony on the impacts of “encampments” on local communities.

The Task Force will seek testimony from regional, county and city agencies, community-based organizations, homeless advocates and volunteers to build the committee’s knowledge base around the impacts of “encampments” on local communities. This meeting is part of a 4-part series.

The move comes after Antioch has struggled to tackle the homeless impact in the community and encampments that continue to pop up around town which has created blight, and crime issues as well as an impact on city services.

Homeless advocates have requested the city build a homeless shelter, while also designate encampment locations for both homeless to set up camp, as well as park RV’s and vehicles.  There has also been rumblings that members of the Antioch City Council will propose homeless encampment locations.

This discussion comes after preliminary data released from the Contra Costa Health Services which showed a 3% increase in homeless, however, over a 2-year count, there was a 43% increase. The data showed that 668 persons had shelter, while 1,627 persons went without shelters, including 3% being families and 97% single adults. A breakdown of where the homeless were located in the county is expected in June.

Meanwhile, on May 22, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a Statewide Task Force. The Homeless and Supportive Housing Advisory Task Force will meet a number of times throughout the year in cities and counties around the state to observe best practices firsthand and receive input from governments and constituents statewide to propose solutions to address the homelessness epidemic.

Along with his Task Force, Newsom announced a May budget revision which included $1 billion to fight California’s homelessness crisis

If You Go:
On March May 30th, 2019, Nick Rodriguez Center Center, 213 F Street, Antioch, CA 94509

Opening Remarks, 8:45 am
By Antioch City Council Members Lamar Thorpe & Joy Motts

Overview of Homelessness in Contra Costa County, 9:00 – 10:00 am
1. Teri House, City Antioch CDBG/Housing Consultant
2. LaVonna Martin, Contra Costa County Director, Health, Housing, & Homeless Services

Deep Dive-Contra Costa County/Regional Efforts​, 10:15 – 11:15 am
1. Michael Fisher, Manager, Contra Costa County Core Teams
2. Armondo Sandoval, CIT Coordinator, BART
3. Contra Costa County Fire (TBA)
4. Robert Weston, Project Manager, CoCo Lead Plus, Health Right 360
5. Steve Ponte, Chief Operating Officer, Tri-Delta Transit

Deep Dive-City of Antioch, 12:30 – 1:30 pm
1. Tammany Brooks, Chief, Antioch Police Department
2. Forrest Ebbs, Director, Antioch Community Development Department
3. George Harding, Manager, Antioch Animal Services
4. Jon Blanc, Director, Antioch Public Works Department

Meeting Basic Needs-Education, Medical Services, Housing 1:45 – 2:45 pm
1. Lisa Perry, Homeless Liaison, Antioch Unified School District
2. Valentino Walker, Sutter Health Rep
3. T’Sendenia Gage, Program Coordinator, Student Success & Retention, Los Medanos College
4. Anthony Aiello, Director, East Bay Men’s Recovery Center

Meeting Basic Needs-Food, Closing, Basic Necessities, 5:30-6:30 pm
1. Ken Kickner, Shower House Ministries
2. Joleen Lafayette, Executive Director, Loaves & Fishes of Contra Costa
3. Nicole Gardner, Executive Director, Facing Homelessness in Antioch
4. Ashley Mahan, CEO, Urban Upreach Inc

Overcoming Homelessness, 6:45 – 7:45 pm
1. TBA
2. TBA
3. TBA
4. TBA

Each panel will be streamed LIVE on Facebook @lamar.a.thorpe and @joymotts2018.​ At the conclusion of the hearing, the videos will be made available on youtube (searchable by panel heading). There will be a 30 day comment period following the live stream. All comments submitted in the comments section of the Facebook and youtube posts will be reviewed and considered public testimony by the committee.

*Following the May 30th public testimony meeting, the task force will meet again on June 10, 2019, to gather additional public testimony from residents. The time and location will be announced at a later time.


30 COMMENTS

  1. Lamar Thorpe and Joy Motts can kiss my butt. NO to homeless encampments and the idea of even bringing them here shows they are out of touch with this city. They should focus on cleaning up the city, not adding to its problems. This is nothing more than pandering for votes come 2020 and this should backfire on them. If these two idiots really want them, place those encampments as close as possible to their homes and see if their opinion changes.

    • Illegal immigration problem is out of touch with the United States we’re talking about our own people here

  2. Absolutely not! This is a waste of time and I see no where for actual residents to provide testimony. Looks like they are getting only the testimony they want to make the argument they want. Vote smarter in 2020 Antioch!

  3. I feel for Antioch. Concord did this same thing and the homeless problem has gotten worse. Build it and they will come is as true as any statement. Focus on making Antioch the city it once was.

  4. Maybe Joy Motts can propose this camp on the Beede Lumber Yard she says was going to be a park and has done next to nothing with and residents get to continue to look at dirt. Now they could look at homeless, or would that block her brothers view of the delta from his home? This woman is a fraud and self serving.

    • UM NO, please don’t suggest that. I have lived downtown for 18 years. It is already overwhelming what we have to see and listen to 24/7. Please don’t suggest to me either that I could move. I like my home, I’m also not the problem here. Antioch already has a huge quota of housing ect…..There’s more cities in Co Co County besides us. Talk to Orinda talk to Moraga or Lafayette quit letting Antioch take the fall for all the problemed things.

  5. This is not just California’s problem, but a national problem. Some posting appearing here stated that many of these “homeless” were sent here from other states by various modes of transportation (mostly one-way tickets on Greyhound) and now they are California’s problem. This is simply wrong. The states which sent them here should be included in paying for their residents’ care and housing. . . or, they should be returned to where they hail from. Why should only we Californians have to spend our hard-earned monies to resolve this problem . . and it is a problem!

    • I agree! This has to be looked at from a national perspective! We cannot let other states just dump their homeless at our doorstep and expect us to fund them! Time to send them back!

    • Our tax dollars should not be spent on taking care of people who were sent here from other states for us to take care of! This is insanity! We have enough of our own native, multi-generational Californians to take care of. Those states who get rid of their problems by making it our’s, should be charged with their upkeep.

      Identify who got here via that “BUS THERAPY” program, give them each $100 and a one-way Greyhound ticket to the state they were sent from and send them on their way! We simply cannot afford to blow that $100 MILLION (tax-payer dollars) Governor Nuisance has earmarked for the “homeless”

  6. 1 thing that should be done is see how many of these homeless people are mentally ill and see whos not, then sence these people can get up every day to forage for supplies and food can obviously work and should work to clean the cities that they live in for a certain waige if they dont like it then they gotta pick up and move, if inmates can get paid amost nothing then homeless can be sent to work cleaning the trash from the sides of the roads and other tasks for residency and meal and to work there way back into the community’s, ive lived in Antioch all my life and to me alot of these people look like they juss dont want to work because tax money has enabled them to be comfterbel without work, sure theres sick fooks to but common when you see that almost every homeless has a pittbull without papers its dangerous to someones childern and other animal thats on a leash plus its almost animal cruelty because if they cant take care of them selves how do the take care of an animal with the strength of a big dog, not just a pit but a big dog. All in all juss put them to work if there not sick and if they dont want to work send them to the military to do something positive for them selves and the country they live in.

    • Seriously? They all have pitbulls and they’re dangerous to children? Give me a break. Let’s leave the poor dogs out of it they get enough bad press. My girl is scared of her own shadow. Please don’t generalize

    • Other states send their mentally ill people here. They don’t want to deal with them and spend any money on them. They want us, Californians, to do that! They know we are a state full of bleeding-heart suckers! I have relatives living in various states who actually brag about sending these people out here so it becomes our problem, not theirs.

  7. Pay attention folks. A very important election of all 5 council members is coming up in 2020. The first districting election which was brought to us by Mr. Thorpe. There is only one person on this council with an honest look at city finances and that is Lori. We must all be very careful who we elect in our district.

  8. Everyone in that council needs to go nobody there is financially responsible for the citizens of Antioch’s tax dollars mayor and council need to be replaced with progressive thinking and responsible people that will truly put residents first building more houses is not the answer the city needs to be cleaned up period with all the empty offices storefronts there is room to bring lots of businesses to the area but those business owners are not going to come to Antioch while it is overrun with crime homelessness and blight I love Antioch with as much waterfront as we have downtown could be thriving has anyone bothered to walk through the mall lately its sad its so empty in there so much wasted opportunities with this negligent mayor and council.

    • Do you mean the waterfront that borders on an unmarked, un-remediated Superfund site that the City of Antioch needs to deal with. Sue the U.S. Navy to clean up Fulton Shipyard? Do you mean down by where the endangered Lange butterfly is dying? 2,342 in 1999 to 45 in 2006, 28 in 2010. There were 78 in 2013. All of 200 in 2015. Also y’all might want to run a Geiger counter along the water’s edge. In 1960, there were at least 9 documented leaks of radioactive waste being loaded at the dock down there. Just google Fulton Shipyard and add the world Nuclear and Atomic. Actual reports from hearings in 1962 pop up.

      Homeless people are the least of Antioch’s problems.

      • Please stop using GOOGLE! Use other search engines! Google spies on people who use it. This has been publicized in the news media for years now. Google is not your friend! Much of the information on GOOGLE is incorrect, according to one of it’s own founders, Sergei Brin.

    • Building more houses? In this area where we are already squeezed to smitherines? Traffic is horrendous! Crime is increasing; air quality is suffering and they want MORE houses squeezed in? The problem started with farmers started selling off their land and these ugly housing tracks started to appear. This is land which probably has some of the best soil in the world! And they sold out to grow houses? Then, on top of all this, we have other states’ rejects piled in here and the idiot Governor Nuisance wants to fork over OUR money to care for them. Amazing!

  9. This comment is directed at those of you who were automatically blessed with insight on the subject without having to do any actual research. It is also directed at those of you who are consumed with fear to the extent that you look no further than how homelessness affects you personally. I also hope to communicate with those of you who can determine that someone chooses to be without gainful employment just by looking at them.

    I live next to a park in Antioch. I have seen the homeless come in throngs. I have also seen the community reaction which has been rash, unqualified, shallow, and completely without basic human compassion. The only suggested solutions have been in treating the symptoms of the problem. There seems to be a general pattern of denial and silence regarding the core issues that have created such a problem.

    Anyone opposed to a task force hearing public testimony on a subject for the purpose of helping the task force make better decisions and recommendations must support a policy that is based on more ignorant conclusions, or one that must forego reason in order to serve them better personally.

    My own reaction to the problem has been quite different. I don’t give much thought to the unpleasantness that I must endure due to the presence of the homeless. I have turned my attention to what I can do to help my dire stricken brothers and sisters. About nine out of ten of the homeless that I have met are obviously dealing with some form of mental illness. Mental illness comes without choice. It does not come as a result of bad decisions or immorality. It is not something that anyone chooses to be inflicted with. Our self-serving and self-seeking society has turned their backs on these sick brothers and sisters of ours. When I see the homeless I see human beings with lives who are suffering from unnecessary misery and hardship. The reason why they are urinating on our rose bushes is because they literally don’t have a pot to piss in. I have decided to devote my life to trying to help these unfortunate people. I now feed these people and provide them with managed services to lead them back toward a better life. I have started a nonprofit, American Citizens Institute, but I have not solicited, nor have I received one dollar in assistance. I am feeding them out of my own pocket, despite what little I have. I am calling them into my home to assess their needs and determine how I can be of assistance on my own time. I am monitoring them to help keep them from falling further through the cracks. I am rounding up others who have more skill and experience than myself in this matter in order to work out ideas for solutions. I am not simply tooting my own horn here. I just want to bring more awareness to better, more productive ways to react to problems within our community than to perceive them only from a self-serving perspective. Until we can have love and compassion and a desire to help others we have no real community.

    • I admire and respect your willingness to reach out to those who are less fortunate, but please be careful letting them into your home. I’ve volunteered helping the homeless, but I would never let them in my home. It’s too dangerous, and it should be against anyone’s better judgment.

      Example – Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped by “homeless people who were mentally ill.” The Smart family was very naïve to allow homeless people to work at their house. That kidnapping was preventable.

    • Mike,
      Kudos to you sir. Since I had a mentally ill Mother, now passed on, a brother who was a drug addict, now passed on, I am compassionate about the problem. Fortunately, I was in a position to care for my Mother and brother. But, if I was not they would have lived on the street. My Mother did not chose to be mentally I’ll. Treating mental illness is difficult and some will never get or be well, like my Mom. So the humane solution is to have a place, call it what u will, for these people to be safe, have a bed, food and sanitary conditions.They use to be known as mental institutions. There is no perfect solution, no one stop for all, but, certainly, we as a society can do better than what we are doing. The politicians really don’t care regardless of what side u are on. It is going to be up to us, the citizens to find and fund the solutions. Even these supposed homeless advocates, who fight for keeping these encampments where ever they chose to camp, well, that’s not caring or coming up with a viable solution. Those camps are health hazards and targets to hurt the disadvantaged. Lastly, besides the mentally ill, there are many addicts. That’s a whole other problem as to where and how to house addicts. People go on and on and on about rehab and treatment, but the majority can’t stop. Even if and when they do there is a whole lot of time in between or during rehab, so where do they live? And addicts typically commit crime to get money for their choice of high. That’s why no one wants them in their neighborhood. That’s why I didn’t want my brother living with me because an addict will steal you blind for their high. It’s not an easy fix, but, I truly think we can find some workable solutions.

    • Mental illness is not like having kidney or liver problems or neuropathy or even a heart condition. It’s not like other diseases. Mentally ill people can kill others without provocation and also attack others as we have seen many times. This rarely happens when someone has a kidney, liver or heart disease. I’d be very careful whom I let into my house. The excuse our society gives them is, “well, they are mentally ill, so they cannot be responsible for their actions (like murder).

    • Mike Kitterman! There are many homeless who simply REFUSE any accommodations no matter what. They also refuse to take jobs offered to them Simple jobs they can do without any special training. They refuse medical or psychological care. How do you deal with people like that and there are more of them than you think. I’ve seen them defecating right at the intersection of Lone Tree Way and Davison! Just dropped their pants and let it all hang out! In full view of traffic! I’ve also done this in parking lots.

      San Francisco has this happening in droves! But it’s also happening in the East Bay now.

  10. I met a homeless couple with a nice dog and took care of some of their food and clothing needs and bought a lot of food for the dog. Offered to take them to Walnut Creek to a church which had set up a program where the homeless were offered a place to stay, clothing, food, medical and dental care, jobs. They said they would be very interested. So, I made an appointment for them with a counselor to help them apply for help. I also offered to drive them to that church. Gave then an alarm clock and a watch so they could meet me on time. Even got them a “burner” phone so they could call me if something came up. They never showed up. I tried to do this one more time, same thing happened. No show! I went to where they were staying (in a tent) …. no sign of them. A few days later, I did see them by a store where they would panhandle. They said they just were not ready to take the next step.

  11. Nobody is homeless by choice. They’re homeless by circumstances. There’s a difference. Most homeless people are homeless for a very short period of time, and they get their life back on track. The chronically homeless – they’re homeless by choice. Most of them anyway. They live off the generosity of others, and lack the desire (or skills) to get their act together. Especially if mental illness or addiction is an issue.

  12. The Dupont Chemical Plant has been empty for decades. The property has a large parking lot for the RVs to park. There are plenty of out-of-site areas for encampments. Nearby, is a fishing pier to catch your own food. The property has fire hydrants for quick strike if fires started. A short walk to fast food. A short walk to bus transportation. So why are we not considering this property for the homeless until funds for permanent housing and the will to spend it on housing them?

  13. This area’s land is way too valuable for “affordable” housing construction. Also, the so-called “affordalbe” housing bring in a lot of people who cause problems. The only ones who do not, are the elderly. But why would they want to live in an area with a high cost of living, traffic problems and crime?

  14. The answer my friends are in the documentary called “Seattle is Dying” about the homeless people you can view on YouTube (all must see this) It sums it all up, this is very much a political problem/issue. I don’t need to elaborate on this because ,just listening to this documentary will finally put things into perspective where the problem lies.

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