Antioch Council agrees to spend $150,000 on list of items to help homeless

Effort to wait on $100,000 of items until Unhoused Coordinator is hired fails

By Allen Payton

At their meeting on Tuesday night, Nov. 12, 2019 the Antioch City Council voted unanimously to spend $150,000 from this year’s General Fund budget on seven specific ways to help the homeless. An effort by Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock to delay half of the items at an estimated cost of $100,000 until the Unhoused Coordinator position is filled failed. (See staff report, here: Funds for Homeless ACC111219)

Those items include spending $50,000 annually on what the staff report labeled as Quality of Life: dumpsters and “Sharps” containers for used needles at $5,000, portable toilets for $5,000, portable shower units at $10,000, laundry services at $20,000 and another $10,000 on miscellaneous items.

Another four items labeled Immediate Short-Term Housing, totaling $100,000 include motel services (vouchers) for $10,000, safe parking lots at a cost of $35,000, warming centers for $45,000, and another $10,000 on miscellaneous items.

During public comments, one speaker said, “I certainly think the $150,000 can be raised to $500,000. But, no options for long term solutions were selected until the unhoused coordinator is hired. What happened to housing, first? It’s a land-use issue. Not a consultant issue.”

The council then took up the item.

Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts was first to speak, saying, “We made some decisions and you had some estimates there, but they’re the same. I’m a little confused because we all supported them at the last meeting. I do think it’s critical we have someone on staff who can look at these issues…then look at, possibly, transitional housing.” (See related article).

Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock said, “On the first page we all agreed these are imperative, at the last meeting (referring to the list of Quality of Life items). My request would be we have the homeless coordinator to look into the (Immediate Short-Term Housing) needs. Safe parking lots…motel services. I’m not saying these shouldn’t be done.”

Councilman Lamar Thorpe then made a motion to allocate $150,000, and Motts seconded it.

Ogorchock then asked to split them, to have the first five items totaling $50,000 from the items totaling $100,000, to wait for a homeless coordinator to “come back to do these things. We have no staff person to look into these things. Are we going to just put the money into an account and let it sit there?”

Motts then said, “As I remember we did agree to do all of these…before the unhoused coordinator was in place.”

“You two voted against the homeless coordinator, then we laid these out to accommodate you,” Thorpe said responding to Ogorchock.

“Nobody from staff has been delegated to do these jobs,” Ogorchock stated.

“I too remember discussing this,” Councilwoman Monica Wilson said. “It sounds like we’re about to discuss ourselves out of doing something. We do have the flexibility to spend what we want.”

“The number is $150,000 and we don’t take that lightly and these are the categories,” said Community Development Director Forrest Ebbs. “We do want to get these programs started. We can start coordinating to direct these services to Antioch.”

Mayor Sean Wright then asked for a roll call vote and it passed unanimously.

the attachments to this post:

Funds for Homeless ACC111219

One Comment to “Antioch Council agrees to spend $150,000 on list of items to help homeless”

  1. Jp says:

    Can we get half off at the Dispensary too. That would be great. If you really wanna solve the homeless problem you have to solve the drug problem we have an opioid epidemic in this country. That’s where you have to start on the homeless problem.

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