Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 13th
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


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Hot in Here

This ain’t no Burning Man—the MAH’s GLOW festival flames on


Mercury Direct in Libra, Columbus Day, Libra New Moon

Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Film, Times & Events: Week of October 9

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Seoul Food

Santa Cruz’s new Sesame Korean is a great introduction to an ancient culinary tradition


Is there evil in the world?

Yes, some people don’t think right because they have been treated badly. Milo Robbins, Scotts Valley, Second Grade


Dos Aguilas Olive Oil

Aptos company is letting locals pick their own olives in October


What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When people say they’re “going down” somewhere, and they’re actually traveling north. Julia Ragen, Santa Cruz, Psychologist