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New plan emerges for homeless parking in Monterey

Sofia, Bulgaria - November 4, 2014: Homeless man is sleeping on a bench in the center of Sofia. Years after joining the EU Bulgaria is still the poorest country in the union.A new plan to provide safe overnight parking to six homeless women is to be presented at the Monterey City Council meeting at 4 p.m. today. The location — a city lot next to the Police Department.

The City Council had voted 3-2 last week against a use permit that would have allowed six homeless women to sleep in their cars at the Methodist Church on Soledad Street as part of the church’s One Starfish program. (See previous Partisan article here.) Supporters expected approval but Councilwoman Libby Downey decided at the last minute to vote against the plan because of strong opposition from church neighbors, who said they had already been dealing with negative interactions with homeless people.

Downey said afterward that it was a difficult decision that some had misinterpreted as a slap at the homeless and the One Starfish program. She said she remained fully supportive of the program and her only concern was the location. Since the vote, she has worked with city staff to come up with an solid alternative, and she said Tuesday morning that she believes they were successful.

With council members Alan Haffa and Timothy Barrett strongly supporting programs to aid the homeless, look for approval of the new plan.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • James Toy January 27, 2016, 6:37 pm

    This sounds like good news. Let’s hope I get this up and running as quickly as possible.

    • James Toy January 27, 2016, 6:40 pm

      Oops I meant they not I. I relied too heavily on voice recognition software.

  • MYRLEEN FISHER January 27, 2016, 9:42 pm

    I don’t know what the space accommodates, but if there is enough space, could they possibly allow more than 6 cars? There must be a need that is greater than 6.

  • Susan Schiavone January 27, 2016, 10:18 pm

    I am happy to hear this news, and that the City is not just turning away from this need. However, as a county and individual cities we need to do much more. There should be warming shelters, public bathrooms, and laundry so people can at least have that. We should invest money in getting people off the street and into homes as much as possible. We need to stop blaming the misfortunate and finding ways to bring them up from desperation and alienation. It is less expensive, and an example of enlightened self interest in that everyone wins. The extreme poor and mentally ill get treatment and housing and better lives and we get a better society and environment overall.

  • bill leone January 28, 2016, 9:29 am

    In Santa Barbara, they have run a similar program since 2004. It currently services over 100 homeless folks on a rotating basis, providing a full range of social & medical services, & has
    probably Saved the citizens of SB millions in tax dollars. How is That possible. Well,
    all you need to do is read the current literature on the cost-benefit analysis of proving housing
    to the homeless. Just a short Google search will provide you with enough evidence to choke a
    clueless mayor & a few confused councilpersons.
    Also, the city council of Seaside needs to step into the 21st century & reverse its decision to wage a
    mini-war on marijuana, as well as follow up on its pledge to come up with a $1.00 for each resident
    for homeless services, which they promised to do over three years ago. The only adult in the
    room when the Seaside City Council convenes is Jason Campbell.

  • Nancy Peden January 28, 2016, 5:05 pm

    This is totally bogus and amoral of Monterey. I am disabled and divorced and my scum bag landlords of 12 years have harassed and retaliated against for getting monoxide poisoning from an appliance they had never taken care of and I never used. They have ruined my health and my finances. So wish I could find a home. My ex will work to help me pack precious art and antiques. As the house is highly toxic it may be for the best. But as there a few services for single women, I will go to a motel till funds are gone. Maybe my ex will get a job and begin to repay the 45k he owes me. Royal knows this house. We made it too nice when it was a dump. Now these bastards want it back. It will,be worth watching for reports as they plan to enclose their 3 slum houses a fencing in the historic district and may move a son with aids move in. Good luck with that. If anyone can offer help or wants to hear how a woman w a PhD is becoming, look me up. Monterey, shame on you. One last thing. This is just behind Colton Hall.

  • bill leone January 28, 2016, 9:20 pm

    Nancy, you might be able to get some help from a lawyer or para-legal on the limits of eviction.
    There might also be something in the ADA (American Disabilities Act) which prevents your landlord
    from evicting you because you require modifications in your residence to accommodate your disability. A landlord cannot just evict someone, especially if they’ve been renting the
    same residence for over two years. If it is true there is leaking carbon monoxide, you should call
    the building department & report the problem.
    Regarding your financial abuse, you can get help from the YWCA as well as Adult Protective Services. If the financial abuse occurred after your divorce, you may have an extortion case on
    your hands. You need legal help.
    Call 831-384-3388 or 831-238-8386, the Mobile Outreach Service Team (MOST). Or call 211
    for social service assistance. Be patient, if you get someone on the phone who doesn’t have a
    clue, it will be very frustrating; but, if you’re lucky, & you speak to some who is well informed,
    they will be able to give you valuable information.
    There are Many horror stories in Monterey featuring heartless, mean, exploitative landlords.
    I left my phone number in a previous comment, with an offer to help you with my pickup truck.
    If you live near Colton Hall, you should by all means drop in on a City Council Meeting some night & let the Mayor, Ms. Downy, & the other Councilperson, who voted against the Starfish Program how you feel. Make sure you tell Ms. Downy you are Not a “Traveler.” Said “Travelers” are not allowed to sit or lie down in public places: a city ordinance which has been deemed unconstitutional in other cities & towns in the US.

  • Peggy Johnson January 31, 2016, 9:43 am

    I don’t understand why it’s possible to house and feed convicted criminals for years, but seemingly impossible to house and feed the homeless. Even some of our pets are better off than the homeless.

  • bill leone January 31, 2016, 11:50 am

    Peggy, You make a very valid point. We have more people (mostly minorities) in prison than Any Other country in the World, including China & Russia. Many, if not Most, of them are poor, mentally disabled, or the victims of discrimination &/or our unequal law enforcement & criminal justice systems, not to mention Richard (“Tricky Dick”) Nixon’s War On Drugs. We spend billions of dollars keeping our prison system alive & well, & will soon be spending More, after prisons become even more privatized. In fact, many of the libraries, educational facilities, medical & social services in prisons are Better equipped than some of our Public Schools & Health Care Clinics. We have criminalized poverty, mental illness, & skin color.
    That is why, in the long & the short run, it is actually Less expensive to house, feed, educate & provide social & medical services to people in need.
    That is also why in other countries (usually called “Socialist”) there are far fewer homeless,
    & hungry, far fewer mentally ill people living in the streets or in prison, & far few people suffering
    & dying from treatable illnesses, or going bankrupt trying to stay healthy, or keep their kids healthy.
    That is why, in England, which has had “Socialized Medicine,” since just after WWII, there would Never be a case of children getting tortured & killed by adults, as there was recently in Salinas, because it is Mandatory for a social worker to visit, once each week, every single household in which there are infants & children. Of course, this would never happen in the US, because Conservatives would be Horrified by the intrusion of the “Nanny State.” However, these same Conservatives are quite comfortable with over 2 million citizens behind bars….at great public expense.
    Why do we tolerate such inconsistency & contradiction, such stupidity & suffering?
    The answer is: a large number of Americans believe in the myths of Social Darwinism &,
    its fraternal twin, Racism.

  • bill leone February 5, 2016, 7:31 pm

    Well, Good News prevails: I just now heard a KSBW editorial heaping vast amounts of praise on the
    Monterey City Council for reversing their mean & heartless 3-2 vote against the One Starfish parking program for homeless women. This is a surprise to me, since KSBW editorials usually find
    a way to the Wrong side of nearly Every issue.
    Everyone who votes in Monterey should keep in mind the original 2 City Council Members
    who voted in favor of maintaining the program: Allan Haffa & Tim Barrett; they deserve the support of the entire community for their good judgement & heartfelt concern for our under-privileged citizens. This is what courage looks like. As for the rest of the City Council, their original
    votes & speedy reversal, in the face of community outrage, speaks for itself.