Former Mayor Spencer Backs Measure B

Former Mayor Spencer Backs Measure B

 

City Council’s recent letter misleads Alamedans about the proposed facility for Alameda County’s homeless, next to Crab Cove. The site is within walking distance of Central Avenue and Webster Street, between Washington Park and Paden Elementary School, near San Francisco Bay. Please visit before voting. 

Council describes helping “disabled homeless elders” and “medically frail homeless seniors,” while omitting that hundreds or even thousands of Alameda County’s homeless 18 years or older — with no priority of beds for Alameda’s homeless — will be transferred here by hospitals throughout the county, every year. Most homeless 18 years and older are not frail or disabled.

This will create a continuous stream of the county’s homeless to Alameda. As of 2017, Alameda County had 5,629 homeless, and the City of Alameda, 204 (3.6 percent). As patients discharge or self-discharge — more than 50 percent do not complete the program — they will be in Alameda. Our city will be left to address the costs of this county and state problem, while still needing to address our city’s homeless. 

Homeless now have the legal right to sleep on public property, including our parks and publicly owned golf course. 

Following evidence-based practices, other counties locate these facilities close to the target population (e.g., Contra Costa’s is directly across the street from their county homeless shelter in Concord). “Mega-corporate healthcare” should be working with Oakland to address this serious problem. Instead, in my opinion, they’re claiming they’re going to restrict the drop-in center to “Alameda’s” homeless only, which I think might be illegal. 

Vote “no” on A and “yes” on B. Protect our parks and force “Mega-corporate healthcare” to appropriately locate this facility.

 

Trish Herrera Spencer is a former Mayor of Alameda and Alameda Unified School District Board Member.