Five FEMA trailers for temporary, transititional housing for homeless delivered to Antioch

Caltrans employees towed the five FEMA trailers to the City of Antioch’s maintenance faciliyt on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2019.

Expected to be located in Fitzuren Road lot; will serve as residence for eight months

Inside one of the trailers.

By Allen Payton

Five of the state’s 100 FEMA trailers left over from the Camp Fire, were delivered to Antioch on Saturday, as part of the governor’s response to the homeless crisis in California. They will be used as temporary, transitional housing for homeless residents in the city to move them out of encampments, provide better access to services, and ultimately into permanent housing. (See related article)

Mayor Sean Wright and all four Antioch City Council members were in attendance for the arrival of the trailers at the city’s maintenance yard, as well as City Manager Ron Bernal, Lavonna Martin, the Director of Health, Housing and Homeless Services for Contra Costa County, a representative of Senator Steve Glazer’s office, and Jo Bruno a homeless resident in Antioch. They each took turns looking inside the three of the trailers.

Each trailer can house between six and eight people.

Antioch Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts and Councilman Lamar Thorpe tour the inside of one of the trailers.

Who will occupy the trailers and where they will be located have been the main questions from Antioch residents. In addition, officials in attendance were asked when they will be occupied.

According to Antioch Councilman Lama Thorpe, who was one of the two members of the council’s ad hoc committee on homeless encampments, “the state has criteria for who gets to live in the trailers. Today marks the beginning of the timeline. Plus, the property needs to be found. I think the state’s focus is for those currently living in encampments.”

Asked if they would go to families with children who are currently living in cars, Martin responded, “we have individuals sleeping outside without any protection. It’s very difficult to provide services to them when they’re moving around. Families with children aren’t typically outside sleeping without protections.”

“Many encampment dwellers have already been living together for a number of years. That’s their family of choice,” she continued. “How do we work with them to help them into permanent housing?

An employee from the city’s maintenance department shows the outside sink, refrigerator and stove.

“Right now, we are working to push out a request for qualifications for a non-profit organization to be a provider of services. Our CORE teams are already out in the community identifying individuals living outside,” Martin shared. “The governor has not mentioned a timeline. It’s no longer an eight-month program. These are now being supplied to the cities so we can work with them as long as it takes to move them into their permanent residence. Then that opens it up for another encampment.”

Asked where the trailers will be located, City Manager Ron Bernal responded, “we will be going through the planning commission and city council approval process for the location. This is for emergency housing for homeless. The property on Fitzuren Road is in the process of being transferred from the county to the city. It’s our primary location we’re considering. It has electricity there, it has sewer and water close by, it has gravel down. The fire department has determined it can serve that location.”

The planning commission is expected to vote on a recommendation at one of their meetings, this month and then the council will make the final decision in April, Bernal explained.

The five trailers currently located in the city’s maintenance yard.

 

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FEMA trailer outside


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FEMA trailers arrive


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