Archive for the ‘Homeless’ Category

$12.3 million homeless motel program approved on 3-1-1 vote by Antioch City Council

Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

The Executive Inn on E. 18th Street will be used for a transitional housing program for the city’s homeless residents. Herald file photo.

Will also look at other city- and privately-owned properties as part of Request for Proposal; forms Human Rights and Racial Equity Ad Hoc Committee; agrees to form new city department

By Allen D. Payton

Following another round of public input and council discussion, during their meeting on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, the Antioch City Council, on a 3-1-1 vote approved spending $12.3 million to lease the Executive Inn on E. 18th Street for transitional housing for homeless residents. with Mayor Pro Tem Mike Barbanica voted no and District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock, who had been opposed to the project at that location, was absent. The program is projected to cost $12.3 million over five years for the 30-room motel with a portion of funding will hopefully come from the state’s HomeKey program.

After postponing the decision for more information from city staff, District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker gave her support to the project. (See related article)

“I have been clear, very transparent around this project,” she said. “Just when it costs taxpayers money. It costs us less to do preventative care. It costs us more to put people in jails and prisons than to give people opportunity with resources. We’re irresponsible with taxpayers’ dollars when we don’t get unhoused folks off the street…with no resources.”

“I want to see other opportunities, as well,” Torres-Walker continued. “I don’t think anybody’s stalling. I think there were other questions that needed to be answered and we got those answers.  Look at the cost of not doing anything. I hope we can do both, today. Move forward with this and look at other options.”

“It’s absolutely ridiculous…to make an issue of making an investment of $12 million over five years to house people, to move people through those rooms to permanent housing,” Mayor Lamar Thorpe said. “We’ve housed people at the executive Inn then transferred them to the Delta Landing in Pittsburg.”

“We’re literally wasting taxpayer money, right now moving people from corner to corner cleaning up encampments,” he continued. “Literally, the Abatement Team, today was formed to clean up encampments.”

“The $12 million is if we pay for this, ourselves and don’t pursue HomeKey,” Thorpe stated. “I’m tired of people trying to hold up…the executive Inn. We need to get this done, today.”

District 4 Councilwoman Monica Wilson moved approval that the City of Antioch authorizes, 1. Pursuit of State of California’s HomeKey Program Funding; 2. City commitment of an initial five-year pledge of local resources that amount to a subsidy of $12.3M dollars in local funds; and 3. Staff initiation of a formal solicitation of a developer partner for the subject property located at 515 East 18th Street. Torres-Walker seconded the motion. It passed on a 3-1-1 vote.

During the following agenda ll four council members present were in support of pursuing other opportunities and properties for transitional housing for the city’s homeless residents

“I think we need to be very specific,” Thorpe said. “I would encourage council to be very specific about what properties council is talking about.”

“The Delta Fair site,” Torres-Walker said. “I don’t know of other sites. That is as specific as I can get.”

“I just didn’t want to give vague instructions to staff because we own a lot of property,” Thorpe stated.

Assistant City Manager Rosann Bayon Moore suggested including privately owned parcels…“with the intent of maximizing the quality and intent of the partner we bring to the city.”

“I’m open to looking at other options and talking with the Delta Veterans Group about helping veterans,” Barbanica said.

Wilson was also in support of pursuing other properties in general.

“General it is,” Thorpe stated.

Forms Human Rights and Racial Equity Ad Hoc Committee 

On a 4-0-1 vote with Ogorchock absent, the council approved the formation of an Human Rights and Racial Equity Ad Hoc Committee for six months and appoint Thorpe and Torres-Walker as the members.

Agrees to Form New City Department

On a 3-1-1 vote, with Barbanica voting no and Ogorchock, absent the council gave direction to City Attorney Thomas L. Smith to return with an ordinance forming a new Public Safety and Community Resources Department, as previously discussed. (See related articles here and here)

 

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Antioch City Council hires Bay Bridge engineering firm to design new Bicycle Garden

Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

Bicycle Garden rendering. Source: City of Antioch

Will locate it at Prewett Park; postpones vote on homeless motel funding due to lack of information from city staff; formation of new department also postponed

By Allen D. Payton

During their meeting Tuesday night, April 26, 2022, the Antioch City Council voted to postpone a vote on spending $12.3 million over five years to lease a motel for transitional housing for the city’s homeless residents. Mayor Lamar Thorpe spoke of holding a special meeting on the matter, possibly this Friday. The council also unanimously voted to approve up to $550,000 on the proposed Bicycle Garden and locate it at Prewett Family Park. At the end of their meeting, the council on a 2-2-1 split with Thorpe stating he would be abstaining, the formation of the proposed Department of Public Safety and Community Resources was postponed until issues being discussed about the matter in closed session are worked out

The Executive Inn on E. 18th Street is proposed to be used for transitional housing for homeless. Herald file photo.

Homeless Motel Funding Vote Postponed

Following public comments and a history about the project by Thorpe, the council members offered their reasons for how they were going to vote on approving $12.3 million to lease the Executive Inn on E. 18th Street for five years.  Executive Inn Homekey Program staff report ACC042622      Executive Inn HomeKey Financing presentation ACC02622

“This is bridge housing for stability,” Thorpe said. “I don’t want people giving out misinformation about our decisions up here. People have told us that we couldn’t. But dammit, we’re doing it.”

Mayor Pro Tem Mike Barbanica said, “I’m in favor of getting people off the street. But I’m not in support of this location.”

“At $2.3 million that’s $82,000 per room per year. We’re only talking about 30 rooms,” he continued.

Barbanica then spoke of the impacts to the shopping center in Pittsburg where the  Walmart store  is located, since the Motel 6 on Loveridge Road was converted to the Delta Landing transitional housing facility for homeless in East County, and the need for more security there, as a result.

“We’re fooling ourselves if we think there won’t be other impacts in that neighborhood,” he said about the area around the Executive Inn.

District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker mentioned she lives in the neighborhood near the motel.

“I don’t think having the Executive Inn converted to transitional housing will cause any more problems in that neighborhood,” she said. “If it was good enough to put a school there for children then we can house people there living on the street.” She was speaking of the Rocketship Delta Prep charter school on Cavallo Road.

“I would like to see efforts for beautification and safety in this neighborhood,” Torres-Walker continued. “I do think we should move forward with leasing the Executive Inn. I really want to support the application for HomeKey for the Executive Inn and other potential sites. I do agree this one site is not the end all be all. We do have time. The application doesn’t have to be in until October.”

“It is a topic we’ve been working on for a very long time. I believe that we should have a presentation from Dignity Moves…on other properties,” District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock said. “I have heard from Focus Strategies that $12.3 million is conservative. So, our reserves will be depleted. The $12.3 doesn’t include services. I’m not in favor of this site. I want to look at other opportunities.”

“The figure $12.2 does include wrap-around services,” Thorpe stated, correcting Ogorchock. “Every budget assumption has us going in the red. Generally, our sales tax does better than we project. So, to look at this number as a fixed number is an assumption.”

District 4 Councilwoman Monica Wilson spoke next saying, “People have said ‘why don’t we have services for homeless?’ We’ve had migration in the Bay Area, east. Services haven’t followed.”

“I’m in agreement we do need to look at other opportunities. But the cutoff date is coming up pretty soon. We shouldn’t leave money on the table,” she continued. “We have a second date coming up. But I don’t want to keep going ‘this isn’t a good site’. Nobody’s going to be 100% happy with any site we choose. I’m saying we should move forward with something, so we don’t leave money on the table. I’m for voting for this tonight so we get the ball rolling and not keep kicking the can down the road.”

“We’re not applying for Round 2 on May 2nd. That would be an impossible effort. We are applying for Round 3 funding…in October,” Thorpe explained.

Assistant City Manager Rosann Bayon Moore spoke about research that she could make available to the council members showing “the Executive Inn is the only site that can compete with the aggressive timeline. As soon as they make their decision in December, we have to show we can bring the units online within eight months.”

“I would have preferred to see that before this and that didn’t happen,” Torres-Walker said, referring to the research by city staff. “I would also like to hear from Dignity Moves and from Home First so we can have a balanced presentation and not just Focus Strategies. Tonight, I cannot support this item without that.”

“So, we need to postpone this,” Thorpe said. “We can’t kick this can down the road. We have to move. We can meet on Friday.”

Torres-Walker then made a motion to postpone the item and Wilson seconded it. “Most votes on homeless have been 3-2 votes,” Thorpe stated. “I keep hearing it’s about this reason or that reason. It’s values. I’m sick and tired of hearing the reasons.”

The motion to postpone then passed 4-1 with Barbanica voting against.

Bicycle Garden concept video screenshot. Source: City of Antioch

Bicycle Garden Design Funding & Location Approved

Antioch Parks and Recreation Director Brad Helfenberger provided a presentation on the proposed Bicycle Garden and said the Contra Costa Transportation Authority would be the lead agency on the project.  Bicycle Garden staff report & presentation ACC042622

During discussion about the Bicycle Park, the council chose the location of Prewett Family Park for the Bicycle Garden and to spend up to $550,000 for planning and design by San Francisco-based T.Y. Lin International, the global civil and structural infrastructure engineering firm that designed the Eastern Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The funds are not currently in the budget but will be spent from the General Fund.

Council members were then asked their top two preferred locations. Torres-Walker and Barbanica supported Gentrytown Park as their first choice and Prewett Family Park as their second for the location. But Ogorchock, Wilson and Thorpe supported Prewett as their first choice and Gentrytown as their second choice.

“So, Prewett moves forward,” Thorpe said.

The council then approved the expenditure and location on a 5-0 vote.

Proposed organizational chart for new city department. Source: City of Antioch

Formation of New Department Also Postponed

The council then discussed the formation of the proposed Department of Public Safety and Community Resources.  (See related articles here and hereNew department formation staff report ACC042622

Ogorchock asked to change the name to Public Services.

“As one of the committee members, of course I’m in support of this,” Wilson said.

“I would like to see this come back and have staff develop a policy on the Department of Public Safety and Community Resources,” Torres-Walker said. She also wanted the director’s position included in the ordinance.

“Not including it doesn’t mean you can’t hire one,” City Attorney Thomas L. Smith stated.

“Do we normally include the positions in an ordinance?” Thorpe asked.

“Sometimes we include the top positions. You don’t have to. You can leave it out.” Smith responded.

“I don’t think it needs to be in the ordinance. Staff needs flexibility. I think that’s too much,” Thorpe stated.

“If it doesn’t have to come back in the ordinance and can come back another way, through the budget, I’m fine with that,” Torres-Walker said.

Proposed staffing chart for new city department. Source: City of Antioch

“I get what the mayor is saying. I’m happy to move this process forward,” Wilson said.

“So, everyone is in support of moving this forward?” Thorpe asked.

“I’ve been consistent ‘no’ on this,” Barbanica said.

“So, is that three in favor and two opposed?” Smith asked.

Thorpe said he was going to abstain.

“Should I bring the ordinance back?” Smith asked.

“We’ve been having these discussions in closed session. I’d prefer to get some of that worked out, first then bring it back,” Thorpe said.

So, the formation of the new department was postponed until an unspecified time in the future.

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Two years later five FEMA trailers intended for Antioch homeless gathering dust in city’s maintenance yard

Thursday, April 14th, 2022

The five FEMA trailers still in the City of Antioch’s maintenance yard seen from W. 4th Street on Wed, April 13, 2022, where they’ve been since March 2, 2020. Photo by Allen D. Payton

PIO refuses to answer questions; Public Works Director, other department heads including police chief not allowed to speak to media by interim city manager’s orders; no answers to two council members from interim city manager, staff; Public Records Act request submitted, goes unfulfilled

“I have knowledge that other cities could have used these trailers” – Councilwoman Ogorchock

By Allen D. Payton

Two years after five FEMA trailers arrived in Antioch to much fanfare, to serve as temporary housing for the city’s unhoused residents, they sit in the city’s maintenance yard gathering dust. What the plans are for them are a mystery as no one inside City Hall seems to know or is willing to say. (See related article)

Donated by the state and delivered on March 2, 2020, the city council had planned on using the trailers, which can sleep as many as six to eight people, as transitional housing for five families or groups of homeless individuals who have been living together in encampments or on the street. But the council and city staff couldn’t find a suitable location for them that didn’t have opposition from neighbors. (See related article)

Following up on a question from an Antioch resident, the Herald sent an email to Public Works Director John Samuelson on Feb. 28 asking, “What happened or is happening with the FEMA trailers for the unhoused the city received, please? Are they still in the maintenance yard?”

He responded that evening with, “I am forwarding your question to Rolando to respond.” That referred to the city’s Public Information Officer Rolando Bonilla.

The email was then forwarded to Bonilla that same evening with, “This is another question from a resident. So, please respond in order for the public in Antioch to be informed.” But no response was received as of March 4.

The email was then resent on Friday, March 4 to Bonilla, copying City Attorney Thomas Lloyd Smith, Interim City Manager Con Johnson, and department heads including Samuelson, Finance Director Dawn Merchant, Administrative Services Director Nickie Mastay, Community Development Director Forrest Ebbs, as well as all five council members with the additional following information: “I’m resending this email that I sent you on Monday because I haven’t heard back from you all week. What happened or is happening with the FEMA trailers for the unhoused the city received, please? If I don’t hear back from you by Monday, March 7, 2022 at noon, consider this a formal Public Records Act request for the information, including any and all communications between any Antioch city staff member and any others, anyone in state government and/or Antioch council members regarding the FEMA trailers and their dispensation.”

Barbanica, Ogorchock Say They Can’t Get Answers, Either

Only Mayor Pro Tem Mike Barbanica and District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock responded to the questions from the Antioch resident sent to them by the Herald. Barbanica said he had asked about the trailers, as well but was not provided an answer.

In an email response on Saturday, March 5 Ogorchock wrote, “Rolando has nothing to do with the trailers. That is an item that is/should be on the [6-] month list. I brought it up quite some time ago and so has Mike. We have them at the Public Works Dept., from my understanding.”

When informed that Samuelson had forwarded the question to Bonilla and directed the Herald to obtain the answer from him and reminding her that Rolando was there the day the trailers were delivered, Ogorchock responded on Sunday, March 6, “I just sent your email to Con to get answers. I have a feeling that since the question is coming from a news outlet, all have been told to direct their questions to Rolando. That’s my guess, let’s see what he says.”

Later that day, Ogorchock emailed an additional response to the Herald writing, “I’m looking at the 6-month list, which is way over, this issue was raised by me on 12-8-2020, and then by Mike on 1-5-2022.”

The city had 10 business days to respond to a PRA request.  As of Tuesday, April 12, the Public Records Act request had not been fulfilled.

One more attempt was made via email on Wednesday, April 13 to obtain the requested documents or answer to the question, “What happened or is happening with the FEMA trailers for the unhoused the city received?”

4/16/22 UPDATE: On Thursday afternoon Assistant City Manager Rosanna Bayon Moore responded, “The City is in the process of identifying a suitable arrangement for transfer of the trailers.  We have consulted with the State of California and at its direction, the City coordinated with the Contra Costa County’s Continuum of Care to solicit letters of interest.  Panel interviews were conducted last week with interested organizations and a staff recommendation will be presented to the City Council within 30 calendar days.”

4/16/22 UPDATE: “Nothing to date is happening with the FEMA trailers,” Ogorchock shared in an email on Saturday, April 16. “I had asked for this to be on the 6-month list since December 8, 2020. As you can see way past the 6-month deadline.  I have knowledge that other cities could have used these trailers in communities built for such trailers.”

“It’s been shared with me that there is a possibility that a church, Grace Bible (Fellowship) specifically, would like to have them.  There could be another nonprofit that could be interested. But I’m not sure,” she added.

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Antioch Council approves zoning change to allow for homeless hotel on split vote

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022

The Executive Inn on E. 18th Street is proposed to be used for transitional housing for homeless. Herald file photo.

Torres-Walker supports in spite of pointing out “great concern” in her neighborhood

By Allen D. Payton

During their regular meeting on Tuesday, February 22, 2022, the Antioch City Council approved a transitional housing zoning overlay district on a 3-2 split vote for the Executive Inn on East 18th Street, moving forward a plan for the motel to be used for homeless residents. It allows the owner to apply for a use permit for the motel to be converted to a transitional housing facility. After first making a motion to approve the zoning change, Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock withdrew her motion and then along with Councilman Mike Barbanica, voted against it. Transitional Housing Zoning Overlay District ACC022222

Council Doesn’t Finalize Lease with Congressman McNerney

At the beginning of the meeting, City Attorney Thomas Lloyd Smith reported out of closed session that the negotiations with Congressman Jerry McNerney regarding the lease of office space in the Antioch Community Center at Prewett Family Park, “price and terms of payment, there was no reportable action.” The negotiations occurred following the attempt by Interim City Manager Con Johnson to evict the congressman whose lease runs through Jan. 3, 2023.  (See related article)

The blue outlined and highlighted area of the map shows the location of the transitional housing zoning overlay district specifically for the Executive Inn at 515 E. 18th Street. Source: City of Antioch

Transitional Housing Zoning Overlay District

Community Development Director Forrest Ebbs provided a brief overview of the transitional housing zone overlay district for only the Executive Inn at 515 E. 18th Street, which was proposed to be used for Antioch’s homeless residents during a press conference by then-Councilman Lamar Thorpe and then-Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts in July 2020. (See related article)

“This is about a zoning overlay,” Mayor Thorpe said, attempting to narrow the focus of the public hearing. “There will be plenty of time to discuss the actual use at the planning commission.

Andrew Becker was the only member of the public to speak.

“I don’t think that the director dove into transitional housing and the requirements for transitional housing,” he said. “I sent him and the council…the state’s definition of transitional housing in 2007 the state of California and passed legislation, that mandated that cities allow for transitional housing…holding those developments to the same standards. That’s a permanent by-right transaction.”

“If you look at page A3 in your packet…you will see residential uses,” Becker continued. “You will see at the bottom this new transitional housing overlay. You will see all of these residential areas…in all of those columns it doesn’t show a permitted use for transitional housing. Instead, it shows one restrictive use for transitional housing for all the City of Antioch…that isn’t even residentially zoned. It’s zoned hospitality. You’ve said developers can come in and build a permitted development. It would allow the review and could be shot down by the planning commission. I equate that to redlining.”

“The housing element must have the same standards as other residential zoning,” he continued. Becker proposed zoning the entire city for transitional housing.

Council Discussion and Vote

Torres-Walker asked Ebbs to respond to what Becker said

“We have a new housing element coming forward that will…be fully compliant with all state laws,” Ebbs explained.

“Should we be waiting for the housing element before moving forward on this?” Torres-Walker asked.

“It wouldn’t affect this zoning change,” Ebbs responded.

“It would provide for commercial zone for just this property?” Torres-Walker then asked.

“We can always come back” for other changes, Ebbs said.

Ogorchock asked, “What about the neighborhood and Rocketship school?”

“We’ve met with them,” Thorpe said. “The city manager and assistant city manager met with them.”

“The parent group was notified of this meeting,” said Assistant City Manager Rosanna Bayon Moore.

“There will be a use permit hearing before the planning commission,” Ebbs pointed out.

Ogorchock then moved approval of the creation of the transitional housing zoning overlay district. It was seconded by Monica Wilson.

Barbanica then said, “I know I’ve been at odds with several people on this. I believe, as I’ve stated all along…it is my belief that this is harmful to that area, to the businesses.”

“This is just an overlay on that property. It says we can do this if we choose,” Ogorchock pointed out.

“Without this that would be a dead issue, correct?” Barbanica asked Ebbs.

“That’s correct. They could not apply for a use permit at this location,” Ebbs said.

“We can’t keep kicking this can down the road. I believe this overlay is the right direction,” Wilson said. “This has been an issue for many years. It has to be addressed. We need to stop and pause. We listen to people online bully us. Let’s vote on this.”

“I’m going to support this, tonight,” Torres-Walker stated. “What makes me not want to vote for this is it should be citywide, not just one property. Spreading out the responsibility citywide just makes sense. Nobody up here lives in that community. But I do and there’s great concern.”

“I don’t believe the can has been kicked down the road,” Barbanica responded pointing out what the current council has done to assist the homeless, providing them motel vouchers and helping some get into the county’s Delta Landing facility at the former Motel 6 in Pittsburg.

“Mayor, I withdraw my motion,” Ogorchock then said.

Thorpe then asked Wilson if she withdrew her second, saying, “if you don’t withdraw your second then the motion stands.”

Wilson said she didn’t.

However, Attorney Smith corrected him saying, “She can withdraw her motion, but obviously someone else can make a new motion.”

Wilson then made the motion to approve the overlay district.

“I just want to say, for years we’ve said, ‘it’s the county’s responsibility’,” Thorpe said. “We took our time to do our homework. We recognized…the city is not an expert in social services. We also realized if we continue to rely on the county, we’re going to be going in circles.”

“The biggest concern is…when we move them from corner to corner this is no place for them to go,” he continued. “They aren’t randomly showing up. They have a connection to this community. Those are the challenges that we face.”

“We are committed to solve homelessness, not put a bandaid on it,” Thorpe continued. “It’s never been about limiting. It’s about doing something, and we have to start somewhere.”

The motion then passed 3-2 with Wilson, Torres-Walker and Thorpe in support.

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In memoriam: Antioch homeless resident Tyrone Marshall passes at 64

Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

Vigil Thursday evening

Tyrone Marshall

Sunrise August 2, 1957 – Sunset December 20, 2021

Tyrone was born to the late Dorothy and Mayweather Marshall. In 1969 he earned his Scholarship of Fine Arts from UC Berkeley. Tyrone used to work for the shipyard, loved to exercise and studied martial arts from a Bruce Lee book. In 1981 he had his first and only child, April.

Tyrone will be remembered by his daughter; April, grandchildren; Eric and Cheyenne, sisters; Renee, Denise and Monica, brothers; Lamont, Spencer and Robert. His countless loving cousins, nieces, nephews and the community.

The viewing of the body is from 11am -12 and his funeral is from 12 to 2 pm at Dan Scales Funeral home at 107 W. 8th Street in Pittsburg, CA on Friday February 7, 2022. The burial will be at Oak View Memorial Park at 2500 East 18th Street in Antioch, CA.

“And now abide; faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13

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Homekey Program brings innovative interim housing for homeless at former Pittsburg motel

Wednesday, December 8th, 2021

Jason Elliott, Senior Counselor to Gov. Gavin Newsom was joined by (L-R) Contra Costa Health Services Deputy Director Lavonna Martin, Pittsburg Mayor Merle Craft and Supervisor Federal Glover for the grand opening ceremony of Delta Landing. Photo by Karl Fischer.

State, local officials celebrate during grand opening; will open later this month after extensive renovation is completed; year-long program already serving about 40 Antioch homeless residents, has waitlist

The Contra Costa Health Services hosted a grand opening ceremony for Delta Landing, a 172-unit interim housing site in Pittsburg, on Monday, Dec. 6, 2021. It will be among the first in California to open thanks to the state’s Homekey program to provide shelter and on-site services to help county residents experiencing homelessness to regain housing.

“We are going to ensure we will continue to serve as many as possible with this resource…as we open this site as a permanent fixture,” said Deputy Health Services Director Lavonna Martin. She is the former Director of Health, Housing, & Homeless Services for Contra Costa County Health Services.

Rendering of the Delta Landing transitional housing site. Source: CCHS

Delta Landing, recipient of a $21.5 million Homekey grant in 2020, will open later this month after extensive site renovation. In addition to new paint, roof, furnishings, laundry and fire sprinkler system, clients can make use of a new wellness center for physical and behavioral health needs and co-located services to help them regain permanent housing. (See related article)

“We are grateful to California and Gov. Gavin Newsom for the opportunity to add critically needed services in East County for residents without housing,” said Diane Burgis, chair of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors. “Historically there has been a severe lack of beds in this part of the county, and Delta Landing is a great first step toward addressing that need.”

The site at 2101 Loveridge Road was previously a Motel 6, used since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic as a non-congregate emergency shelter for county residents with funding from the state’s Project Roomkey program.

The Homekey award allowed Contra Costa to negotiate the purchase of the motel and provide the necessary renovations to make a state-of-the-art interim housing facility with services such as basic healthcare, housing navigation and case management provided on site.

One of the rooms at Delta Landing viewed during a tour of the facility following the grand opening ceremony on Monday, Dec. 6. Photo by Karl Fischer

“This is a bit of a full circle moment. 524 days ago, the governor stood right there at the end of this walkway, right there and announced the new thing in the state called Homekey. It didn’t exist. Now, we’re here today,” said Jason Elliott, Senior Counselor to Gov. Gavin Newsom and one of the governor’s point-people on housing and homelessness. “What we did was we created a program and we provided funding. What the local governments did was make this happen…172 units of critically needed units.” (See related article)

Clients staying at the site were temporarily placed at other Project Roomkey locations in the county during renovations and will relocate back to Delta Landing this month.

“We know that the first service that people experiencing homelessness need is a stabilized living situation,” said Contra Costa Supervisor Federal Glover, whose district includes Pittsburg. “Delta Landing provides that stable place, so clients can make full use of the services and supports to transition into permanent housing.”

Previously, Glover said about 40 Antioch homeless residents are currently participating in the year-long program and there already a wait list. (See related article)

The county’s most recent homeless point-in-time count, in January 2020, showed that one-third of residents living outdoors in Contra Costa were in eastern Contra Costa – more than 500 people. But, before Delta Landing, there were only 20 available shelter beds in the county east of Concord.

Contra Costa’s Public Works Department led nearly $6 million renovation project. Homekey will also $4.196 million toward operation of this permanent facility, which is managed by Bay Area Community Services (BACS), a contractor of Contra Costa Health Services’ Division of Health, Housing and Homeless Services (H3).

Visit cchealth.org/h3 for information about services for people experiencing homelessness in Contra Costa County.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Grand opening of interim housing center for homeless Contra Costa residents in Pittsburg Monday

Friday, December 3rd, 2021

Gov Newsom speaks at Motel 6 in Pittsburg to announce the state’s new Homekey program on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Herald file photo.

Former Motel 6 site renamed Delta Landing; it’s been closed for renovations during which residents were relocated; year-long program has waitlist; already serving about 40 Antioch residents; Antioch subcommittee’s proposal to spend $300K might not help 15 more unhoused residents

The former Motel 6 in Pittsburg is now the site for the County’s Delta Landing transitional housing program. Photo by Motel 6.

By Allen Payton

Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) will host a grand opening ceremony for Delta Landing, a 172-unit interim housing site that will provide shelter and on-site services to help county residents experiencing homelessness to regain housing. It’s located at the former Motel 6 which was purchased by the county, last year. (See related article)

Delta Landing is one of the first projects completed with funding from California’s Homekey Program, which allowed Contra Costa County to purchase, renovate and transform a motel into interim housing.

The site was previously used to house homeless residents during the pandemic through the state’s Project Roomkey. But the former motel has been undergoing renovations during which the residents were relocated according to Supervisor Federal Glover. “We didn’t put them back on the street,” he said. “We will have a grand opening next Monday.”

Glover didn’t know when residents would move in but added, “That will be shared during the event.”

The event will be held from 12 to 1 p.m. Monday, Dec. 6, 2021 at 2101 Loveridge Road in Pittsburg. The event begins in the central courtyard.

Google Map of Motel 6 from ParcelQuest Lite.

The event will begin with prepared comments followed by a question-and-answer session for news media and guided site tours including rooms, the site’s new wellness center and other features.

It will help Contra Costa County to address critical need for more services for residents experiencing homelessness in the eastern part of the county. The most recent point-in-time count showed about 500 East County residents may be without shelter on any given night. Prior to Delta Landing, there were only 20 shelter beds available east of Concord in Contra Costa County.

Antioch Subcommittee’s Proposal to Spend $300,000 Might Not Help 15 More Unhoused Residents

On Tuesday, Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe announced that he and District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica, as members of the city council’s Unhoused Residents Ad Hoc Committee, proposed spending $300,000 to help get 15 homeless residents into the Delta Landing program. (See related article)

Asked about the proposal, Glover said, “we’re already serving Antioch residents” and estimated that figure to be about 40 people. “We welcome partners who want to contribute financially to support the program. We had enough money from the state to purchase the motel, and the County has budgeted some funds for the ongoing costs. But we’ll be applying for grants and looking for others to contribute.”

He also said there’s a wait list for rooms and shared they “expect residents to be there for about a year. But hopefully some can move on, sooner. It depends on each individual.”

The $300,000 proposed by the Antioch council’s subcommittee would be used to pay for current program costs and may not result in helping 15 more unhoused residents from living on the streets.

Questions were sent to Thorpe and Barbanica, asking if they were aware of how the $300,000 funds would be spent by the county and if the funds could instead be spent to ensure 15 additional unhoused Antioch residents would be helped off the street by using voucher at the Executive Inn on E. 18th Street or other motels in the city. They were also asked how soon the Antioch program would begin now that the Planning Commission has voted to recommend approval of the Transitional Housing Overlay District for the Executive Inn.

Please check back later for any updates to this report.

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Antioch Planning Commission to consider forming Transitional Housing Zoning Overlay District for homeless motel Wednesday night

Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

The Executive Inn on E. 18th Street is proposed to be used for transitional housing for homeless. Herald file photo.

Located at 515 E. 18th Street

By Allen Payton

During their meeting Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m., the Antioch Planning Commission will consider creating a Transitional Housing Zoning Overlay District for the Executive Inn on East 18th Street, to provide temporary shelter for the city’s homeless residents.

The proposal moves forward the effort announced in 2020 by the council’s Unhoused Residents Ad Hoc Committee by Mayor Lamar Thorpe and then-Mayor Pro Tem and committee member Joy Motts. The council on a split vote of 3-2 approved pursuing funding for the program, earlier this year. (See related articles here and here)

The staff report for the Planning Commission meeting agenda item 2 reads as follows:

“The City of Antioch is presently working to address its unhoused resident population by pursuing opportunities to provide facilities and services to directly address unmet needs. The City recognizes the importance of connecting unhoused residents with housing solutions while also introducing them to critical services. The goal of this combined effort is to provide the stability and resources to enable unhoused residents to transition into full time housing. This complement of housing and services is commonly referred to as transitional housing.”

The staff report also provides the definition of Transitional Housing of “Dwelling units with a limited length of stay that are operated under a program requiring recirculation to another program recipient at some future point in time. Transitional housing may be designated for homeless or recently homeless individuals or families transitioning to permanent housing as defined in Cal. Health and Safety Code § 50675.2(h). Facilities may be linked to onsite or offsite supportive services designed to help residents gain skills needed to live independently. Transitional housing may be provided in a variety of residential housing types (e.g., multiple-unit dwelling, single-room occupancy, group residential, single-family dwelling). This classification includes domestic violence shelters.”

In addition, the staff report reads: “Presently, Transitional Housing is defined, but is not otherwise regulated or permitted in the Antioch Municipal Code; additional action is required to create opportunities for transitional housing in the City of Antioch.”

Location of the Executive Inn at 515 E. 18th Street. Source: City of Antioch staff report

Transitional Housing Zoning Overlay District Update – The City of Antioch proposes to amend Title 9, Chapter 5 of the Antioch Municipal Code to establish a Transitional Housing (TH) Zoning Overlay District and to apply the proposed TH Zoning Overlay District to the property at 515 E. 18th Street (APN 065-143-018).

RECOMMENDED ACTION(S):

1) Approve the resolution recommending:

  1. that the City Council adopt the ordinance amending Title 9: Chapter 5 of the Antioch Municipal Code (Zoning Ordinance) to create a Transitional Housing Overlay District; and
  2. that the City Council adopt the ordinance amending the zoning of the parcel at 515 E. 18th Street (APN 065-143-018) to be located within the Transitional Housing Zoning Overlay District; and
  3. that the City Council approve a Use Permit for Transitional Housing at 515 E. 18th Street.

The resolution forming the overlay district for the motel includes the following:

“1. The granting of such Use Permit will not be detrimental to the public health or welfare or injurious to the property or improvements in such zone or vicinity.

The proposed transitional housing project will be subject to operational restrictions imposed by the City of Antioch through separate process and agreement. These restrictions will ensure that proper management and property maintenance occurs and is sustained for the proposed land use.

  1. The use applied at the location indicated is properly one for which a Use Permit is authorized.

The concurrent amendments to the zoning map and Municipal Code amendments create a Transitional Housing Overlay District and apply the new zoning to the property at 515 E. 18th Street. As such, a transitional housing land use may be permitted with a Use Permit.

  1. The site for the proposed use is adequate in size and shape to accommodate such use, and all parking, and other features required.

The property was evaluated for project suitability and found to be adequate. The proposed land use is functionally comparable to the existing hotel land use.

  1. The site abuts streets and highways adequate in width and pavement type to carry the kind of traffic generated by the proposed use.

The project site is located adjacent to 18th Street, which is a major thoroughfare in the City of Antioch and capable of accepting traffic resulting from this land use.”

How To Submit Public Comments

There are two ways to submit public comments to the Planning Commission

  • Prior to 3:00 the day of the meeting:  Written comments may be submitted electronically to the Secretary to the Planning Commission at the following email address: planning@ci.antioch.ca.us. All comments received before 3:00 pm the day of the meeting will be provided to the Planning Commissioners at the meeting. Please indicate the agenda item and title in your email subject line.
  • After 3:00 the day of the meeting and during the meeting:  Comments can be made directly to the Planning Commission through the Zoom webinar. Please use the link for the specific meeting to attend the webinar and click the ‘Raise Hand’ icon to notify staff that you wish to speak. Or, use the ‘Submit Public Comments’ Link below, and your comment will be read into the record (not to exceed three minutes at staff’s cadence).

The meeting is online only and can be viewed at antiochca.gov/pcmeetings.

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