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Creating Smart Solutions to Homelessness: A Countywide Community Engagement Summit
Date Saturday December 01
Time 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Location Details
Cabrillo College
Dining Room in Building 900
6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA 95003

Event Type Conference
Creating Smart Solutions to Homelessness:
A Countywide Community Engagement Summit

Saturday, Dec. 1 **10am - 4pm**
Cabrillo College (Dining Room in Building 900)
Lunch and snacks provided

What can we do about Homelessness in Santa Cruz County? The question itself strikes a passionate chord, with strong and divergent views in the community. There are many public and community based organizations providing programs and services to people who are homeless. Law enforcement and emergency response resources are used to address symptoms of homelessness. Neighborhoods, parks and business districts are impacted by homelessness, often in significant ways. However there is common ground - we all want less homelessness.

No single entity or program can address these issues on their own. We need a community-wide response and that means each and every one of us has a part to play.

Would you like to be part of the solution? Please join us at a community-built and countywide conference on homelessness with these objectives:

· Create broader and more diverse community engagement on homelessness.
· Develop better communication & coordination among those concerned about these issues.
· Improve understanding of the realities of homelessness in Santa Cruz County.
· Share information about proven, successful models and solutions working in other communities including some that are taking shape in Santa Cruz County.
· Develop a shared vision for change and agreed upon action steps.
· Form an ongoing community leadership group to carry the work forward on shaping policies to address homelessness.

We are seeking participation from all geographic areas of Santa Cruz County and representatives from all stakeholder groups including business, faith-based organizations, service providers, neighborhood groups and service clubs, law enforcement, elected officials, professionals, and people who are homeless or formerly homeless. Spanish language translation will be provided.

Event registration is required - go to eventbrite at to sign up. If you have questions please contact Phil Kramer, Project Coordinator at phil [at] or call (831) 334-4976

We look forward to your participation -

John Leopold - Chair, County Board of Supervisors
Don Lane - Mayor, City of Santa Cruz
Eduardo Montesino - Mayor, City of Watsonville
Mary Lou Goeke - Executive Director, United Way of Santa Cruz County
Lance Linares - Chief Executive Officer, Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County
Gary Merrill - Executive Director, Santa Cruz County Business Council
Christine Sippl - Director, County of Santa Cruz Homeless Persons Health Project
Linda Lemaster - Formerly Homeless Parent & Continuum of Care Evaluation Committee
Added to the calendar on Wednesday Nov 7th, 2012 6:29 PM

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Your Side
Sunday Nov 11th, 2012 7:00 PM
awaits you at Santa Cruz's most open forum. No registration necessary at the Occupy General Assembly! Face the (friendly) critics. Find out what's "been done." And work on putting forward a plan of action, houseless and housed--networking, supporting each other's projects, and finding the resources to meet our needs together.

Sundays at 2 PM, downtown Post Office steps.

Wednesdays at 6 PM, Water Street steps of the County Courthouse.
by Linda Ellen Lemaster
Tuesday Nov 20th, 2012 6:23 AM
Listening around town, I'm feelin kinda sad. Some people who clearly know NOTHING about this event are telling me "it's a waste" and it can't help anyone homeless and currently suffering. Another few people said it sounds important but too vague to commit a Saturday to.

All valid, even the prejudiced view. And I don't mean to pressure people, no way. But I am an advocate of dialogue and deliberation, and I'm interested in creating living community and moving fast away from materialistic
consumerism and away from the patriarchy and it's dependence on war mongering.

And it seems to me (overgeneralizing distinctions a bit, sorry) the homeless, transitioning and travling folk are most
fragile among our community groups or subsets. And it seems to me chronic homeless individuals and family groups, here and in many populated areas, are in grave danger much of the time. (no pun intended.)

It's gonna take real leadership, with all the attendant risks,
to figure out HOW to do a much better job at understanding
and learning to look out for each other. Do you really want to leave what develops up to the disjointed layers of
government? Do you truly intend to continue turning your
back while various neighbors and displaced folk keep
lobbing blame and poop at each other?

This event is a chance to hear from and listen to and even maybe get to know others, folks with differing experiences,
who could also work for changes. It is a chance to
influence an unfolding discourse in the broader public. And if
you'd care to come, please bring your imaginations as well.h

IMO we can't let the current deadly situation continue unless we want to be a party to hypocrisy, needless deaths, and another Code Blue-like (1970s in SC) war. Policy will shift, with or without our concern. If you can see value in sharing and listening, consider Sat Dec 1, If it's not for you, ok, but don't keep bitchin' about the park bathrooms being locked all night if you aren't willing to even explore other options or face the opposition?!
by Walter
Tuesday Nov 27th, 2012 10:32 AM
Lighthouse, if that's you, I so agree with your comments. I would like to add something about the dialogue I continue to hear, sometimes on all sides of this issue.
I agree that people are suffering from being on the streets. I also believe that being on the streets is a symptom of greater personal and social problems. Society should offer compassionate care for those who struggle to become permanently indoors by providing, instead of removing resources from social programs. Cops don't help people get off the streets, social workers, shelters, etc, do that job best, although not perfectly. So while I try to have compassion for "both" sides of this issue, I can't help getting angry when the city council takes money away from homeless resources and then gives more money to the police dept. Then, when there is a murder committed by a disturbed man, people get angry that the homeless resource folks aren't doing their job. Cops are pretty much useless when it comes to protecting people. They are programmable, and the city council has programmed them to enforce unjust laws. Hopefully none will be present at this conference.
My next rant, which I hope I bring up at this conference, is that ending homelessness is often a misguided and irrational goal. In many cases, the community needs to accept homeless people as they are, and offer assistance to them in order for them to to be more safe, fed, and warm, during this time their lives. Some may be working to get off the streets, and some may not be. We must be open and accepting of them. They often do not want what others want for them. Too many people thing that homeless people want to become part of mainstream society and buy into the lie of the american dream.
Harm reduction if you will. I just gave a man a sleeping bag that I hadn't used in years. I speak to him weekly and last time he was complaining about the cold. So I offered and he was grateful. Why can't "we" do that?
A paraphrasing of Utah Phillips speaking about Ammon Hennacy.

Let our bodies be our ballot, and cast it on behalf of the poor every day of our lives. We must not assign responsibility to other people to do things for us, we must accept responsibility and see to it that something gets done.

That is such a beautiful idea!!

I do however cast blame when institutions create unjust laws, and I will criticize the individuals who enforce and create those unjust laws...

See you there!!!

by Leigh Meyers
Friday Nov 30th, 2012 9:32 AM
Smart solutions to homelessness... That means milking already existing funding right?

This is worse than an absolute waste of time. It feed the homeless industrial complex desire for 'government check' receiving co-dependents and their enablers, at the expense of the homeless who want to, need to, work.

Listen... One can afford to live here if one is a burned out druggie on SSDI, but not if one is willing to work, and EVERY PROGRAM I'VE SEEN SUGGESTED BY ANYONE just furthers this dysfunctional situation.

The Interfaith Satellite shelter program is a joke, with the same exact people filling their 'shelter' space night after night after night. As someone in charge told someone who was complaining about the revolving beds leaving her without shelter for the night: "They like it here" (The kilted idiot-in-charge at the red church said that) and I've seen nothing better suggested than milking federal programs that target specific cohorts within the homeless community that already have services and funding. ie. Drug addicts and Mental Health patients.

I watched as MH Cann's representative exhorted a crowd of homeless people at the "Red Church" Monday meal to 'get screened for mental health', but no help is there for the TYPICAL homeless person simply looking for gainful employment... Unless they're eligible for government assistance

What would resolve the problem is jobs... and housing that can be afforded WITH the jobs available. Even if it's Barracks housing like they burned to the ground at Fort Ord along with perfectly good two family housing so the Seaside realtors could keep the property values up.

The city and county will plead poverty, or "It's not government's business to develop jobs", or some other CONSERVATIVE HORSESHIT.

Even the simplest suggestion that a patrolled drop in campground for the homeless be established is ignored or said to be too expensive, but they CAN afford a mufti-million dollar bond float for a bush league basketball team and run a 'shelter' that only serves to 'shelter' exactly the cohort of people who the Santa Cruz Sentinel and the SCPD use as poster children for everything wrong with 'the homeless'.

That's right. The shelter is a homeless basher's perception management dream come true that they can use to denigrate the REST OF US. The majority of us who avoid the 'shelter' like the plague it is. Funny how that happens in a town that NEVER WANTED A SHELTER BUT HAD IT SHOVED DOWN THEIR THROATS by a couple of determined women who embarrassed the politicians by opening a simple campground in plain sight of the world at the corner of Highway 1 and River.

They are lying to us, the so-called 'homeless' who are in reality DISPLACED LOCAL WORKERS, and the disingenuity is profound, and MOST of the people attending this event who are empowered to make the necessary changes are COMPLICIT WITH THAT FRAUD.

This town was set up over the last so many years since the Loma Prieta earthquake intentionally BY POLICY to be unlivable if you're a worker, to pander to UCSC's student job/housing needs at the expense of local workers AND THEIR OWN CHILDREN WHO CANNOT FIND WORK HERE AND MOST LIKELY WILL NEVER TO BE ABLE TO RAISE ANOTHER GENERATION HERE, SO THEY TURN TO ALCOHOL AND DRUGS, and who exactly is going to change that?

Homeless 'shelters' and 'services' certainly won't. They are self-perpetuating PLAGUES on a local community, whereas the homeless they ostensibly serve are not.
Something I posted last year on the topic of "Homeless Shelters"

This post is dedicated to Logan (RIP)

Panhandling and sleeping out doesn't kill people, but living simply as a young person in a world based on 'stuff' can be a killer. Even still one must pity people so poor that all they have are money and 'things'.

Follow the link below to the post.
by Robert Norse
Saturday Dec 1st, 2012 8:00 AM

Download PDF
Download and distribute as desired

Testing “Smart Solutions”: Some Simple Questions

Does they serve the needs of a majority of the homeless population?
Do the resources exist to meet those needs?
If so, why are they not being used to do so?

What kind of power needs to be raised to make real rather than cosmetic, token, or minor changes?
Are those resources are being claimed by other groups (police, merchants, the 1%) whose priorities, perspectives, and privileges prefer a perpetuation of the status quo?

Do more basic realities like insularity of power, income inequality, and homeless-creating institutions have more to do with homelessness than the “bad decisions”, “psychological problems”, “addictions”, and/or “life-style choices” of people experiencing homelessness?
Do proposed “smart solutions” ignore the more basic institutions and instead blame the poor for their poverty and suggest the poor need to be “fixed” instead of the mechanisms that created them?
Is the energy proposed for the “smart“ solutions better directed at more basic changes that all major participants are ignoring or simply giving lip service to?

How many homeless people have been created or driven deeper into homeless by foreclosure in our county? By job loss? By rent profiteering? By punitive laws that built on the myth of the “magnet effect”, that criminalize drug use, status crime, that reflect the anxieties of merchants and conservative residents.?

Is it “smart” to accept the narrative of those whose priority is to save money, bolster business and real estate values, and remove from public view the discouraging reality of visible poverty?
How much real housing, shelter, or service is really being created by the “smart” proposals? For what percentage of the population?

What percentage of the resources are taken up in fund-raising, consulting, etc. rather than direct creation of needed housing, jobs, and services through redistribution of wealth and power?
Are those proposing fig-leaf, token, or partial solutions and heralding them because they are “politically possible” actually protecting their own wealth, power, and position (police, merchant, etc.) in a time of economic crisis at the expense of the more fundamental needs of homeless people?

What have you done in the last year to stop the destruction of homeless survival camps and the attacks on homeless people in public spaces under color of law?
To fight the new curfews that curtail political demonstrations and dissent?
To end prosecutions of those peacefully resisting?
To counter hate propaganda urging the deportation or removal of homeless from sight
To challenge the power of wealthy predatory institutions and individuals in this county?

Flier by Norse of HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) 423-4833 309 Cedar PMB #14B S.C. 12-1-12
HUFF meets every Wednesday 10 AM-noon at the Sub Rosa Cafe at 703 Pacific. Call-in to “Bathrobespierre's Broadsides” on Free Radio Santa Cruz 101.3 FM Thursdays 6-8 PM, Sundays 9:30 AM – 1 PM at 831-427-3772
See also:
by bquelly
Saturday Dec 1st, 2012 9:34 AM
very few disabled people i know are capable of substantial they're not in competition w/unemployed displaced workers as much as it seems... although id agree w/ the jist of what u say