October 24, 2006

Report on Homelessness in San Leandro

The San Leandro City Council held a special meeting on Monday, October 23, 2006, to receive a presentation about the Homeless Report prepared by the Recreation and Human Services Department, CDD Housing Services Division, Alameda County Housing and Community Development Department, Continuum of Care Council, and Building Futures with Women and Children. All members of the City Council were present except for Mayor Shelia Young.

According to a 2004 & 2005 Homeless Survey by Alameda County Continuum of Care, San Leandro has the third-largest number of homeless behind Oakland and Berkeley, as represented by the users of homeless services. This same survey also estimated the number of home children and youth attending San Leandro schools at 270.

A 2004 survey by Alameda County Behavorial Health Care Services estimated the number of homeless in San Leandro at 624.

City Manager John Jermanis noted that San Leandro provides about $300,000 per year to community groups that provide services to the homeless, including Davis Street Family Resource Center and Building Futures with Women and Children.

The presentation noted that the focus on service provided to the homeless has shifted from providing emergency shelter in the 1980s to providing transitional housing in the 1990s and focuses on providing supporting housing and preventing homelessness.

At the end of the presentation, the city was asked to adopt the Alameda County-wide Homeless and Special Needs Housing Plan, a recomendation which Alice Sarafaian, Chair of the Human Services Commission, said that the Human Services Commission unanimously supported.

Councilman Bill Stephens asked how many people had ever been homeless. Two people, including Stephens, raised their hand. Stephens then said that he had been homeless many years ago in Sacramento, where trucks cames to pick up the homeless each day to pick fruit in the fields. Stephens expressed concern that giving people a home won't solve the homeless problem for people he described as "out-of-control." After a brief interruption, Stephens said that he wanted to be realistic and that there will always be people who are homeless.

Council member Joyce Starosciak reiterated that discharge planning was a big concern for people in programs such as foster care.

Vice Mayor Surlene Grant asked about the next steps and Jermanis said that more information will be brought before the City Council and a resolution will be introduced at a future date.

Speakers making public comments included Tom Breckenridge of the Interfaith Homelessness Network, Rick Crispino, Executive Director of Bonita House, and Cynthia Eaton the Alameda County Office of Education.

Daily Review coverage from when the report was presented at the October 2006 meeting of the San Leandro Recreation and Parks Commission.

Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at October 24, 2006 9:22 AM | TrackBack

Once again, thanks for being a resource for this information. Thanks very much.

Posted by: tim Holmes at October 24, 2006 7:36 PM
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