In the face of the current homelessness crisis that is escalating in the state of California, Sonoma County officials hope to implement a controversial plan to spend millions of dollars to buy three homes for the homeless.
According to CBS5, the houses are multi-unit homes in residential areas with tenants and some of the neighbors in the area have said that it is counterproductive to evict them to relocate the homeless.
The homeless who would be relocated are part of the adjacent camp located on the extensive Joe Rodota Trail, west of Santa Rosa.
Among other concerns, neighbors fear that those who might end up living on the three properties, two in Santa Rosa and one in Cotati, will have some history of crime or bring some other problems that will affect the quality of life.
Brenda Gilchrist, co-founder of Citizens for Action Now, said Joe Rodota Trail is filled with “drug addiction, lawlessness, and vagrancy,” according to the BizPac Review.
Santa Rosa resident Sher Ennis told the media that she was once attacked by a man who had been participating in a re-entry housing program.
Karen Sanders, another Santa Rosa resident, said the move “It’s just insanity,” questioning the local government’s willingness to invest in $1 million in housing for the homeless.
However, the measure led to a ruling by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that local authorities cannot proceed with evicting the homeless from their camps, according to the BizPac Review.
In response to the escalating problem affecting California, on behalf of President Donald Trump, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson issued a statement last month urging state officials to work together to change their policies.
“About half of America’s homeless people are in California, a level nearly 4 times higher” than the rest of the country, Carson said in response to a request for new funding to combat the crisis from California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, Sacramento Democratic Mayor Darrell Steinberg, and others.
Carson questioned whether state officials were asking for more “federal dollars” for California from hardworking American taxpayers but “fails to admit that your state and local policies have played a major role in creating the current crisis,” he added.
Carson, who relied on a report by the Council of Economic Advisors, said, “To reduce this crisis, California must reduce its regulatory burdens on housing.”
Newsom admitted that the housing shortage situation that has persisted for the last eight years is an “embarrassment,” asserting that it was necessary to take ownership of the problem and solve it.
Meanwhile, the problem faced by California residents is not finding an effective solution.
Last December, several residential areas in Los Angeles ended up invaded by dozens of homeless people who were moved due to a campaign event by Sen. Bernie Sanders in the company of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on the beaches of the Venice Beach district, harming the surrounding neighborhoods.