Archive for the ‘Homeless’ Category

Antioch Homeless Encampment Task Force to gather public testimony beginning Thursday

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

About impact in city and to provide recommendations to city council

WHAT: As part of a four-part series of public testimony hearings, the Antioch Homeless Encampment Task Force will gather public testimony from regional, county and city agencies, community-based organizations, homeless advocates and volunteers to build the committee’s knowledge base about the impacts of homeless encampments on communities and services. Additionally, the Task Force will examine current efforts that assist homeless residents in meeting basic needs, gain access to services programs and providers, as well as connected with temporary and/or permanent housing.

WHEN & WHERE: On March May 30th, 2019, Nick Rodriguez Center Center, 213 F Street, Antioch.

WHY: In March of 2019, Mayor Pro-Tem Joy Motts and Council Member Lamar Thorpe requested the establishment of a Homeless Encampment Task Force. The purpose of the Task Force is to study the growing homeless crisis in Antioch, the effects of homelessness including encampments on the community and temporary measures to alleviate homeless encampments until the completion of the Contra Costa County Care Center.

Task Force Members: Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts and Council Member Lamar Thorpe

Public Testimony Hearing 1 of 4 Agenda:

Opening Remarks, 8:45 am

Overview of Homelessness in Contra Costa County, 9:00 – 10:00 am

  1. Teri House, City Antioch CDBG/Housing Consultant
  2. LaVonna Martin, Contra Costa County Director, Health, Housing, & Homeless Services

Deep Dive-Contra Costa County/Regional Efforts , 10:15 – 11:15 am

  1. Michael Fisher, Manager, Contra Costa County Core Teams
  2. Armondo Sandoval, CIT Coordinator, BART
  3. Contra Costa County Fire (TBA)
  4. Robert Weston, Project Manager, CoCo Lead Plus, Health Right 360
  5. Steve Ponte, Chief Operating Officer, Tri-Delta Transit

Deep Dive-City of Antioch, 12:30 – 1:30 pm

  1. Tammany Brooks, Chief, Antioch Police Department
  2. Forrest Ebbs, Director, Antioch Community Development Department
  3. George Harding, Manager, Antioch Animal Services
  4. Jon Blanc, Director, Antioch Public Works Department

Meeting Basic Needs-Education, Medical Services, Housing 1:45 – 2:45 pm

  1. Lisa Perry, Homeless Liaison, Antioch Unified School District
  2. Valentino Walker, Sutter Health Rep
  3. T’Sendenia Gage, Program Coordinator, Student Success & Retention, Los Medanos College
  1. Anthony Aiello, Director, East Bay Men’s Recovery Center

Meeting Basic Needs-Food, Closing, Basic Necessities, 5:30-6:30 pm

  1. Ken Kickner, Shower House Ministries
  2. Joleen Lafayette, Executive Director, Loaves & Fishes of Contra Costa
  3. Nicole Gardner, Executive Director, Facing Homelessness in Antioch
  4. Ashley Mahan, CEO, Urban Upreach, Inc

Overcoming Homelessness, 6:45 – 7:45 pm

  1. TBA
  2. TBA
  3. TBA
  4. TBA

Please note, each panel will be streamed LIVE on Facebook @lamar.a.thorpe and @joymotts2018. At the conclusion of the hearing, the videos will be made available on YouTube (searchable by panel heading). There will be a 30 day comment period following the live stream. All comments submitted in the comments section of the Facebook and YouTube posts will be reviewed and considered public testimony by the committee. *Following the May 30th public testimony meeting, the task force will meet again on June 10, 2019, to gather additional public testimony from residents. The time and location will be announced at a later time.

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New Grace Closet Food Pantry & Clothing Closet to hold Grand Opening in Antioch Sunday, March 10

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

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Contra Costa Health Services seeks volunteers for annual homeless count

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

WHAT: Contra Costa Health Services’ Division of Health, Housing and Homeless Services (H3) seeks volunteers for the county’s annual point-in-time count of residents who are experiencing homelessness.

Volunteers will work in groups at designated locations across the county to interview people and collect data.

WHO: Volunteers must be 18 or older. Spanish speakers are especially encouraged to volunteer.

WHEN: Each volunteer must attend a two-hour training during the week of January 21 and work a two- to three-hour shift during the week of January 28. Trainings and shifts are available across the county at a variety of times.

Volunteers are encouraged to wear warm clothing and comfortable footwear to their shifts and be prepared to stand for long periods.

WHY: Data collected during the count help H3 and its partners to improve services for Contra Costa’s homeless population and is used by federal, state and local government to determine funding for homeless services.

Visit for more information and to volunteer. For questions about volunteering, contact Georgia Lucey at or 925-608-6700.

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City of Antioch gives notice of abatement of homeless encampment on 6th Street

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

They must vacate the site before Monday, April 16

The City of Antioch has become aware of a substantial encampment on the private property near the intersection of 6th Street and McElheney Road in the area immediately east of downtown. As the City is obligated to enforce the Antioch Municipal Code and a series of State and federal regulations, an abatement process will commence in the coming days. The City of Antioch has secured an Abatement Warrant and will post a 72-hour notice no sooner than Thursday, April 12 that will direct the occupants of the encampment to vacate the site before Monday, April 16 when the abatement is expected to occur. The Abatement Warrant authorizes the City of Antioch to take all necessary measures to correct the violations and pursue compliance with all applicable laws.

Based on currently available information, the City of Antioch finds that the accumulation of garbage, human waste, hazardous materials, and similar conditions associated with this encampment violate local zoning laws that prohibit blight and preclude a tent encampment in this zoning district. Further, these conditions may violate regulations relating to the protection of local waterways, as the site is immediately adjacent to a flood control area that discharges to the San Joaquin River. As this is private property, the City will pursue reimbursement for the cost of the abatement from the property owner through its ordinary process.

As part of the abatement process, the City will coordinate its efforts with the Antioch Code Enforcement Division, the Antioch Police Department Community Engagement Team (CET), City of Antioch Animal Control, as well as the Contra Costa County Health Services Community Outreach Referral and Engagement (CORE) team and Contra Costa County Mental Health Services. The Antioch CET routinely works within the community to refer persons experiencing homelessness towards County or non-profit resources for assistance. The CORE team establishes relationships with clients through regular communication and visits to encampments and shelters and serves as a point of contact and referral for many social services. The Antioch Code Enforcement Division has also notified local outreach groups of the upcoming abatement but cannot confirm that any such groups will be actively involved with the abatement process. Any questions regarding this effort may be directed to Forrest Ebbs, Community Development Director, at or Curt Michaels, Code Enforcement Manager, at

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County eyes MicroPAD miniature homes as new tool to reduce homelessness

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

A MicroPAD miniature home can be towed to its location. Photos from Panoramic Interests website.

By Daniel Borsuk

Perhaps by this time next year, Contra Costa County officials will be offering MicroPADs as a new alternate form of housing in its repertoire of programs designed to reduce homelessness, a major economic and social issue that is, at least in this East Bay county showing signs of fading away.

Rendering of a MicroPAD interior.

The number of homeless individuals in the county declined seven percent from 2016 to 1,607 homeless persons as of Jan. 25, 2017, an annual report stated and accepted by the supervisors on a 3-0 vote at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

Board chair Federal Glover was absent due to a death in the family and Supervisor Diane Burgis of Brentwood was absent because she was recovering from a surgical procedure.

The county’s success in decreasing the number of homeless individuals or families living outdoors or in cars can be credited to the county’s wide array of federal and state funded programs and services worth $15 million last year.  Those services range from emergency shelters, support services only, transitional housing, rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, street outreach and preventive programs.

MicroPAD interior view.

Next month the county expects to learn how much money it will receive from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development in its newest service designed to further drive down homelessness – the MicroPAD, said Lavonna Martin, Director of Contra Costa County Health, Housing and Homeless Services.

The MicroPAD miniature, stackable home is a relatively new weapon in the fight against homelessness.  It is now in use in San Francisco, a city and county well known for its high cost of housing and homeless population problems.

Each 160-square foot modular prefabricated dwelling unit comes with a furnished bedroom, private bathroom, and kitchenette.  In Contra Costa, in order for a homeless individual to be eligible to occupy a MicroPAD he or she would have to pay 30 percent of their monthly income (i.e. SSI) towards rent, said Martin.

Contra Costa County could have as many as 50 MicroPADs available for eligible homeless persons.

Supervisors wanted to know if a site had been selected to place the MicroPADs, but the county homeless director said that a site has not been selected even though the county and City of Richmond were co-sponsoring a presentation at the same time the Board of Supervisors meeting was in session.  At the Richmond Civic Center presentation, a MicroPAD was on display for the public to see.  A similar MicroPAD presentation was conducted on Wednesday at the Richmond Civic Center.

Another interior view of a MicroPAD miniature home.

District 1 Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond was slated to appear at Tuesday’s civic center presentation following the board meeting.

“We do not have a site set yet,” Martin told supervisors.  “We’ll be working on that over the next few months.”

“It’s going to be challenging to find the right location,” acknowledged Gioia.  “The homeless will not get off the street if you offer them shelter, but this (i.e. MicroPADs) will get them off the street because it is housing.  The challenge will be finding an appropriate location.”

Supervisor Candace Andersen of Danville was also supportive of the MicroPAD concept that the county is pursuing.  “What can we do to effect a positive situation?” she asked.  “I am excited about the MicroPAD program with its small units and the support services that will be available for occupants.”

To view a news report by KRON 4 TV news with video of a MicroPAD home, click here. To learn more about MicroPADs click here.

Supervisors Accept Winter Storm Preparedness Report

During the Tuesday meeting, Supervisors also approved a report that the county is prepared for whatever amount of rainfall this winter season will bring.  The report on Winter Storm Preparedness in Contra Costa County was presented by Tim Jensen of the Public Works Department.

The report highlighted Walnut Creek Intermediate School’s “Stay Out Stay Alive” publicity campaign to warn students and the public about the dangers of Walnut Creek especially when it is full of raging water during a major rain storm.  Two years ago, two persons died when they fell into the rain swollen creek that that bisects the school.

The report also informed the public about the county’s sand bag stations, media outreach, newsletter, and flood control district webpage –

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County’s annual homelessness count shows drop in number, shifting population

Friday, July 14th, 2017

Contra Costa’s annual survey to document people experiencing homelessness showed a 7 percent drop overall in 2017 compared to last year, but a substantial rise in Central County, according to a report released by Contra Costa Health Services’ Division of Health, Housing and Homeless Services (H3).

H3 and its community partners, including many volunteers, surveyed county residents living in emergency shelters or outdoors on Jan. 25 and released detailed findings this week in the 2017 Point in Time Count report, available at

The report shows that 1,607 people without housing during that 24-hour period were counted, including 911 who were living outside. About 1,100 were documented living outside in 2016.

“We are glad that we found fewer people experiencing homelessness. But there is a great deal more work to be done, and the housing market makes it more difficult,” H3 Director Lavonna Martin said. “It’s not surprising that 80 percent of those we surveyed lost their housing right here in Contra Costa County.”

Substantially more people were counted this year in central Contra Costa – 331 living outdoors without shelter – after an atypically low count in 2016. Numbers did decline elsewhere, including East County, which had experienced a 30 percent increase from 2015 to 2016.

Since the count, H3 and the Contra Costa Council on Homelessness have launched Coordinated Entry, a new initiative to streamline service delivery and enhance collaboration among the county’s network of nonprofit, faith-based and government providers of homeless services.

Concord, Martinez, Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek all joined the effort this spring. Martinez and Pleasant Hill split the cost of a full-time, county-operated outreach team to connect homeless residents within their borders with shelter and services. Concord and Walnut Creek are splitting the cost of a second team, and Contra Costa’s Public Works Department also funds a team for the county’s creeks and waterways.

Those city-specific Coordinated Outreach, Referral and Engagement (CORE) teams join three other CORE teams that operate elsewhere in the county. Other elements of Coordinated Entry include:

• Regional service centers connecting clients to shelter, medical and mental health care, case managers, substance use disorder treatment and services, benefit counselors, and long-term housing;

• Overnight warming centers that supplement existing emergency shelters;

• A universal, web-based information management system used by all providers of homeless services in the county to maximize use of their collective resources;

• A standardized intake and assessment system that streamlines delivery of housing and other services to the most vulnerable clients.

Coordinated Entry is funded in part through $1.2 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Contra Costa’s point-in-time count also fulfills a HUD requirement to document the extent of homelessness within jurisdictions receiving its funding.

Visit to read the 2017 Point-in-Time Count report.

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County Board of Education recognizes November as National Homeless Youth Awareness Month

Friday, November 4th, 2016

At the October 19th Board Meeting, the board approved a resolution to recognize and raise awareness of the issue of youth homelessness.  The goal of the resolution is to highlight the issue of youth homelessness within the county and our schools. Currently, Contra Costa County has over 3,000 children and youth living in homeless situations, as reported by the county school districts, charter schools and the Contra Costa Council on Homelessness. This includes children ages 0-5 and students in grades Kindergarten through 12.

In California, more than 298,000 youth up to the age of 18 experience homelessness each year. During November all students, schools and community members are encouraged to engage in discussions on this topic to raise awareness.

Below are some suggested activities for school sites:

  • Send a flyer home with students or create a display to inform students and families of homeless education rights and resources available at your school and in Contra Costa County.
  • Make a presentation to school teachers, staff and board members to raise awareness of homelessness in your community or school district.
  • Organize a food drive and donate to the local food bank or pantry.
  • Make a donation or volunteer at a local shelter.
  • Participate in Contra Costa Community Donation Day on November 19th.

The Contra Costa County Office of Education (Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program) coordinates the following:

  • Provides technical assistance regarding the proper identification, enrollment, and service needs of homeless students and their families.
  • Conducts professional development trainings for school personnel and community agencies regarding the rights and responsibilities of homeless students.
  • Educates students, parents and guardians on their educational rights, and promotes their participation in school-related activities.
  • Facilitates the school enrollment process to ensure equal access to educational services, free-or-reduced price meals, tutoring or other programs.
  • Assists unaccompanied youth with enrollment procedures, school placement options, and retrieval of records.
  • Provides assistance with transportation, backpacks, school supplies and clothing.
  • Provides medical, dental, and mental health referrals, in addition to other school/community services.
  • Provides assistance to specialized populations of homeless students, including pre-schoolers, homeless teen parents, children with special needs, and unaccompanied youth.

For more information, contact CCCOE’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth program at (925) 942-3300.

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Antioch Council hears blight and homelessness report, gives go ahead for Sycamore area apartments rehab

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

By Nick Goodrich

On Tuesday, October 11th, the Antioch City Council heard a report on the city’s ongoing efforts to combat blight and homelessness, and also oversaw a public hearing concerning the proposed financing of the Delta Pines Apartments.

Public Comments

During public comments at the beginning of the meeting, and the Council once again heard from Save the Yard supporters, as well as a few Antioch business owners.

Joy Motts, a leader in the Save the Yard effort, read aloud from the city’s General Plan, which presented Antioch’s waterfront as a possible “major attraction.” She and several others expressed their frustration that the city had decided to build townhomes on the property, rather than a park and event center.

“The Beede Lumber Yard is a perfect place for a park,” Motts said. “Houses are not a legacy that anyone will remember you for. It’s time that you incorporate a public discussion into the decision of the Beede Lumber Yard.”

Two business owners in downtown Antioch also spoke before the Council on the state of the city.

Antioch resident Jim Lanter, a 12-year downtown business owner, listed several concerns, including the state of downtown at night, and blight affecting much of the surrounding area. He suggested installing better lighting to make people feel safer in downtown Antioch at night, and encourage businesses to stay open later.

Nicholas Olivier, owner of Urban Jumble in downtown Antioch, agreed with Lanter. He asked for increased police presence downtown, especially at night.

“Downtown is beginning to grow, but we definitely need help,” he said.

Efforts to Eradicate Blight & Homelessness

Ron Bernal, Assistant City Manager and Director of Public Works for the city, was on hand to give the report on blight and homelessness to the Council. He noted that the 2008 recession had contributed greatly to the blight problem by leaving behind a number of neglected residential properties and vacant buildings of businesses that were forced to close their doors.

The city was forced to shut down its Code Enforcement department and let go several park and street workers who had previously helped keep Antioch clean.

Since that time, the city has gradually built up the department, including the hiring of three new Code Enforcement Officers, one technician, and two laborers. The city has also reinstated the 40-hour work week, allowing Code Enforcement to do more each week.

In addition, Bernal reported that the Antioch Police Department’s hiring of an outside company – SP Plus Corp. – to ticket and tow vehicles, has seen great success. In the past six months, 528 unregistered, inoperable, or illegally parked vehicles were removed from Antioch’s streets.

The Council recently approved a three-year extension of the contract with SP Plus Corp. Bernal cited several other successes, such as the restriping of streets and curbs, and a new shopping cart ordinance slated to go into effect on November 1st, as signs that the city is making strides in combating blight.

“We’re trying to be very responsive to things that are offensive in our community, we’re making every effort to do that,” he told the audience at Tuesday’s meeting.

Bernal then addressed the homelessness problem in Antioch. In the last year, the city has seen a 33% increase in its homeless population, from 122 to 164. That increase paces East County’s 33% raise, while West County actually saw a 45% decrease.

The closure of the Don Brown Center earlier this year, which had provided services and resources for many of the East Bay’s homeless, and of Shelter Inc.’s transitional housing on Delta Fair Boulevard, created problems, Bernal said.

The city currently has budgeted $50,000 for the funding of homeless services, and the Antioch Shelter Project, which aims to replace the closed Don Brown Center, is in the process of finding a new location.

But Bernal emphasized the importance of the community in fighting the city’s homelessness problem, noting that faith-based institutions and individual citizens continue to do their part.

“Everybody needs to get involved,” he said. “We all need to try to work together.”

Delta Pines Apartments

Council also oversaw a public hearing on the proposed financing of the Delta Pines Apartments, on Sycamore Drive.

Delta Pines was constructed in the 1970’s and consists of 186 units on 7 acres, and is part of Antioch’s affordable housing stock. The Council voted 5-0 to approve a $35 million bond issued by the California Statewide Communities Development Authority for real estate investment firm Levy Affiliated to finance the complex.

The proposed financing will include its purchase and renovation by Levy Affiliated, which aims to provide energy upgrades, handicap accessibility, and new kitchens, energy-efficient appliances, and floors to the units.

No representatives of Levy Affiliated spoke on behalf of the project during the hearing, and no opponents spoke against it.

“I’m grateful that this is happening,” said Councilmember Monica Wilson, “That we have organizations coming in to rehab some of our older buildings, to make them handicap accessible, and for our low income and affordable housing. So hopefully we see some more of these come up.”

Mayor Pro Tem Lori Ogorchock agreed, citing recent rent increases.

“I’m just happy that they’re doing them, and that they’re making them ADA compliant,” she said. “We have several people with disabilities that were forced out of their rentals because their rents were increasing. So we need more of these.”

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