Chan raises possibility of countywide ballot measure to combat homelessness

Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan
at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting
in Oakland.

Homelessness is so pervasive in Alameda County that the only long-term solution to the problem may be to ask voters to approve a bond measure, says Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan.

“There just isn’t enough money to serve this county,” Chan said during an agenda item at Alameda County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday to allocate $1.9 million for the unsheltered homeless.

“It’s just a drop in the bucket,” Chan acknowledged. The high cost of combating homelessness is steep, she added, and ongoing. A certain number of the homeless population will remain indigent no matter what, said Chan, necessitating longer term funding, such as a ballot measure.

Chan did not elaborate on when a potential measure could appear on a ballot, although the 2018 election cycle is just around the corner.

Meanwhile, the county’s emergency program for the homeless, approved Tuesday, includes a process Alameda County cities to apply for funding, including $1 million for cities and $500,000 for the unincorporated areas. The remaining $400,000 is set aside for unforeseen needs in the coming months, said county staff.

Although, spread over the county’s 14 cities and jurisdictions, the amount of funding is small, cities like Oakland can potentially parlay the one-for-one grant into larger state and federal funding.

Alameda County Supervisor Richard Valle expects the county’s allocation will not going to last long. “In the big scheme of things the money is not so great,” he said. “It’s going to exceed the amount because the homeless issue is so rampant around the county.”

But Oakland was already seeking a greater share of the county’s homeless funding Monday night. Mayor Libby Schaaf sent a letter to the Board of Supervisors asking them to open a county-funded navigational center for the homeless in Oakland.

The city opened a similar center, featuring sheds for the homeless and other city services on Monday. Schaaf also inquired whether any county-owned parcels in Oakland could be used for the homeless.

Granted the request was on short notice, said Alameda County Administrator Susan Muranishi, she did not believe such a parcel was available. Furthermore, a request by Schaaf for the county to assign a mental health officer to Oakland was met with some resistance. A number of county mental health staff already help Oakland patients in various capacities, said staff.

Categories: Alameda County, Alameda County Board of Supervisors, bond measure, homeless, Libby Schaaf, Richard Valle, shelters, Wilma Chan

4 replies

  1. By MW:

    I like Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf's idea that those who have an extra room in their house should rent it to a homeless person, and for a reasonable price.

    In fact, let's push such an idea not merely for Oakland but for the entire Bay area. For instance, such wealthy windbags, demagogues, charlatans, and supposed “liberals” as Dianne Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi, and now that their children are grown and out of the house, almost certainly have plenty of extra space available, so they could have some homeless people move into their own homes.

    In fact just in case I happen to win a few hundred million dollars in the lottery, and altho that is unlikely, and because since the lottery got into high gear in California back in the 1980's my wife and I combined have spent less than thirty dollars total on tickets, I am going to buy a fleet of buses and use them to ferry the poor, disenfranchised, and homeless to the neighborhoods, and even onto the front lawns, of such phonies and demagogues as Feinstein and Pelosi.


  2. “a county-funded navigational center for the homeless in Oakland”

    Why should I pay to fix the homeless problem in Oakland? I don't live in Oakland. If Oakland wants to pursue public policies that attract the homeless to it's streets, then Oakland can pay for it themselves.

    I have to support a household on one salary. My husband is unemployed. I have to work to pay the mortgage, to pay for the cars and utilities and food and clothing. Every time I turn around another government entity is reaching farther into my pocket to make me pay for everything from homeless shelters to welfare for people who don't work to more buses and BART cars and bike lanes. JUST WHAT ELSE DO YOU PEOPLE WANT FROM ME?


  3. By MW:

    Related to my previous post of 5{50PM, I have been told that Wilma Chan has adult children. If they are now grown and have moved out of her house, perhaps she could arrange for some homeless people to move into her house, and she could then prove what a great and wonderful real liberal she is by charging them low rent.

    And in fact if her mortgage is already paid off or she has an extremely low mortgage payment, and such as due to having bought her home decades ago, she could even charge any homeless people who moved into her home little or no rent, but only fifty dollars a month for utilities.


  4. By MW:

    Let's make it a statewide measure. And since former US Senator Barbara Boxer and her husband are now residing in Southern California, and certainly, and especially due to all of the fires taking place right now in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas, there must be tons of homeless people in Southern California, Barbara Boxer and her husband, and based on the Libby Schaaf philosophy, can arrange to have some homeless people move into their house.

    And Barbara Boxer's son, Stewart Boxer, still lives in the Bay area, AND IN FACT IN OAKLAND, so let's arrange for some homeless people to move into his house.

    In other words, let's see if the most prominent and highest ranking members of the Democratic Party are real liberals, or whether they are just a cabal of total phonies and extreme double talking windbags.


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