Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Apr 16th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Offering Solutions

tbsc1SANTA CRUZ > City councilmembers and Homeless Services director announces reform proposals

More than a week has passed since the death of Santa Cruz resident and business owner Shannon Collins, who was stabbed to death by a stranger around noon on Monday, May 7. The suspect is a transient from San Francisco with an extensive history of violent crime. Collins' death spurred a widespread and heated community dialogue about public safety, homelessness, city policies, and more. Today, Wednesday, May 16, three Santa Cruz city councilmembers and the head of the the Homeless Services Center responded by announcing eight proposals for how the city can reform its handling of these issues.

The councilmembers—Vice Mayor Hilary Bryant and councilmembers Ryan Coonerty and Lynn Robinson—explained the proposals in a press release, stating, "We believe these proposals to be common-sense and easily implemented.  They reflect the conversations we have had with police, social service providers, and concerned citizens. None of these proposals in and of themselves would have stopped [suspect] Charles Edwards, but if adopted, these approaches will bring more accountability and targeted resources to the challenges facing our community.”

Monica Martinez, director of the Homeless Services Center, said, “The Homeless Services Center is entirely dedicated to the strategy of reducing the number of homeless people in Santa Cruz County and reducing the cost of homelessness on emergency services and public safety. The Homeless Services Center leadership and Board of Directors are eager to partner with the City of Santa Cruz to accelerate our work towards that goal."

Direct from the May 16 press release, here are the group's eight proposals:
(1) This year and future year's budget allocation to homeless services will require implementation of (a) an identification system (b) a registry protocol currently used in Santa Cruz motels to give police and service providers a better sense of who is using the facility, and (c) rules that prioritize services for residents of Santa Cruz County over people from outside the area—with an exception for the winter emergency shelter and victims of domestic violence who are in imminent danger. We believe that we need to meet the needs of citizens in our community first and foremost. 
(2) We propose that the city designate a police officer to meet regularly with the Homeless Services Center staff to identify homeless individuals who are engaging in criminal behavior and coordinate actions. 
(3) We, as councilmembers, will not support any new homeless service facilities in the City of Santa Cruz. We believe that other jurisdictions in Santa Cruz County need to share equally in the costs and location of social services.
(4) We, as councilmembers, will work with property owners of public housing to screen current and prospective tenants for serious criminal history.
(5) We are partnering with the county to continue and expand funding for mental health outreach workers.
(6) The city and the Homeless Services Center will expand the "Homeward Bound" program using San Francisco’s successful model to provide more bus tickets to homeless individuals to return to communities where they have a support system. 
(7) We are requesting that the County Jail return their prisoners to their community of origin upon completion of their sentence.
(8) Finally, we will ask the judicial system to provide a monthly list of offenders who have failed to appear in court, so that the City Attorney can prosecute them under the city’s repeat offender law.

These proposals will be approached in a variety of ways, Coonerty tells Good Times. Some, such as funds for identification, mental health services, and the Homeward Bound program, will go to the city council for approval. Others, likes the restriction on public housing, will "be pursued individually." Other proposals will be carried out by the Homeless Services Center.

This news brief is a breaking news report. Stay tuned for more coverage on this and related news.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Aries Solar Festival

Sunday is Palm Sunday. Symbolizing victory and triumph, paradise, sacrifice and martyrdom, the Pisces World Teacher entered Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (signifying humility).

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.

 

Printer's Devil

Iconic editor Buz Bezore, who died last month at the age of 68, left a huge mark on Santa Cruz journalism   Eventually, it’s all a blur. You live long enough, and maybe a little too hard at times, so that when you hit the rewind button of faded memory, it moves so fast that you can hardly sort and gather the details. One scene skips to the next, and to the next, without proper editing or sequencing. Chronologies get distorted. Which came first: stealing the chickens or coloring the eggs?
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Yan Flower

Yan Belleville has owned Yan Flower, an affordable Chinese restaurant in Downtown Santa Cruz, with her husband Raymond for eight years, and it’s a family affair. Her brother, sister, sister-in-law, and cousins work there too. Locals know the joint for its massive lunch specials starting at $4.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Comanche Cellars

Pinot Noir 2010 I first tasted Comanche Cellars Pinot when a friend brought a bottle to share over lunch at Center Street Grill in Santa Cruz. Upon trying it, I knew I had to find out more about it.