Letters to the Editor
Vice Mayor John Knox White’s belief that the motivation behind Measure B isn’t about open space is on point. I’ve been following the circumstances and decisions that have led to next month’s special election. In my opinion, a more accurate campaign slogan for Measure B is “Stop the Wellness Center.”
Everyone won’t agree, but I don’t expect to be verbally accosted, like I was by the signature gatherer who argued with me when I wouldn’t sign her petition — right after church.
So, you thought Measure A was to help solve the city’s homelessness problem? You will see on the Alameda Point Collaborative (APC) website, that they were given a 59-year lease of a 34-acre site at Alameda Point containing 200 housing units and other facilities. The mission was to administer employment and housing programs for Alameda County’s homeless.
Measure A APC is now asking the voters to enable a second facility on McKay Avenue in the heart of Crab Cove and Crown Beach to provide health and wellness services for “Alameda’s homeless,” without bothering to mention that this proposed facility, like the Alameda Point complex, is to be a regional center for the homeless of Alameda County.
Why Alameda should be the focus of this county-wide program has never been explained, but should it be a reality, we will be the destination of choice for more than 5,300 homeless who originate outside our city.
Among other things, the APC plan calls for providing temporary respite services to 50 clients at a time. Many of these stays can be for less than one month. Since APC offers no believable evidence the beneficiaries would be able to find long term housing, on discharge, it is predictable that many, if not most of them, would revert to homelessness in and around Crab Cove and Crown Beach. For this reason, with as many as 24 cycles of 50 people in and out of respite care per year, this facility would, sadly, greatly increase, not decrease, the number of homeless in our community.
While Alameda is a caring community, this flawed program will produce more problems than solutions.
Vote no on A and “yes” on B!
Editor’s note: The proposed wellness center is not in “the heart” of Crab Cove and Crown Beach. The center’s literature clearly states that it will serve Alameda County. The center will not be a “destination of choice for more than 5,300 homeless”. The Sun invites the letter writer to back up this claim.
The center will be supportive housing to care for 80 to 90 homeless, older adults and a 50-bed recuperative care center for adults undergoing intensive medical treatment. This letter writer can neither predict what those discharged from the center would do, nor do how many cycles the center would undergo each year.
Last Sunday my husband and I went for a walk at 9:30 a.m. We walked down Willie Stargell Avenue to Main street and then turned onto Singleton. We wandered down to check out Estuary Park and then noticed that there was construction going on. Signs say “Admirals Cove coming spring 2019.”
The area was filled with bulldozers and other construction equipment. Since it was Sunday, there was no one else in that area. We noticed a blue tent about 100 yards away and commented that a homeless person was living there. We walked a little more where the street curved and got on the other side of the tent.
It was then that we saw a medium-sized brindle pit bull barking and running towards us. My husband started yelling at the top of his lungs; I did the same. He got down low and I got up as high as I could while we both continued screaming and yelling “call your dog.” Once we started screaming the dog stopped running but was still looking vicious and maybe confused by us standing our ground.
We saw a person about 100 yards away by the tent did call the dog. The dog turned its head and then left.
If I had gone out walking alone that day I might not have returned home. This was the scariest experience I have ever encountered. That homeless person may be harmless, but the dog was vicious. That dog could have seriously mauled me or worse. The dog was not on a leash.
I just want other walkers to be aware, especially when walking on the West End of town, or approaching homeless encampments, which seem to be cropping all over the Bay Area.