• Wed. Nov 30th, 2022

El Dorado County Supervisors Not Supporting Homeless Center

ByDebra J. Aguilar

Aug 28, 2022

It appears the El Dorado County proposed homeless shelter/navigation center on Perks Court in Placerville will not be opening this fall. A motion to award a construction contract to build the facility and make the necessary budget transfer to pay for the project failed to win the four-fifths vote needed to move forward at the meeting of the city’s supervisory board. tuesday.

District 4 Supervisor and Board Chair Lori Parlin, who previously supported the emergency shelter, voted against this time around. She noted that the council had earlier at Tuesday’s meeting, in a closed session, voted 3-2 to halt negotiations over a property at 471 Pierroz Road – a site for a long-distance boating center. term.

“Our initial board was to explore Pierroz. I think it could be a long-term location,” Parlin said. “We only have so many dollars and I want the county to do their due diligence, what we are supposed to do as a county, but council voted this morning not to.

“I will not be able to support these agenda items today on an emergency order…”

Parlin recommended continuing the discussion at a future meeting, which other supervisors disputed.

District 3 Supervisor Wendy Thomas argued that a short-term navigation center allows the county to test the model to see if it will work. On July 28, the last time the project was submitted for approval, Thomas withdrew from the vote due to an anonymous complaint submitted to the Fair Political Practices Commission accusing her of having a conflict of interest.

“We already declared a housing crisis earlier this year,” Thomas said. “Continuing to pivot and delay and start from scratch is a disservice to our community.”

District 5 Supervisor Novasel said the county needs to move forward with the proposed Perks Court project.

“The sooner the better,” Novasel said. “We have the ability to do that right now and I say we have to move on.”

District 2 Supervisor George Turnboo, maintaining his opposition to the project, also did not vote in favor of the Perks Court shelter. He was instead in favor of the HOSTESS-run homeless encampment plan filed by Sheriff John D’Agostini that would put camp on land next to the El Dorado County Jail in Placerville.

The sheriff reported the plan, now called HOME, to supervisors.

“All county stakeholders should come together to make this a success,” D’Agostini told the council, adding that the project would need clear direction from county leaders.

The Board of Supervisors room was packed and the discussion turned raucous as county residents showed up Tuesday morning to weigh in on what has been a hot topic in the community.

Edward Ruiz, a 17-year-old landlord who lives near Perks Court, has spoken out against a shelter in his neighborhood. Area businesses, including Walmart and CVS Pharmacy, would be “perfect environments” for homeless activities like vagrancy, pot handling and drug use, he argued.

Ruiz also said Perks Court’s location would only encourage illegal camping in the nearby Weber Creek Canyon.

“I think Perks Court is the best place for the worst outcome not only for the public who shop in those areas, but for those of us who live there,” Ruiz said.

Housing El Dorado director Don Vanderkar was in favor of the navigation center, calling it “the answer to the plight of homelessness”.

“We all agree that homelessness is a huge, far-reaching issue,” Vanderkar said. “Right now in the county people are hurting and dying because they have limited opportunities.”

Previously homeless Emma Robinson said no homeless person would want to attend the sheriff’s run camp.

“While it might not be personal, I feel like it would be a personal stab at homeless people if you put them next to a place they don’t want to be,” he said. said Robinson. “They feel scared, in danger and drugs might be their way of coping.

“This issue needs to be addressed by people who care and not by people who just want to get rid of the homeless.”

In an email to the Mountain Democrat after the council vote, auditor-commissioner Joe Harn said money saved by the county for mental health services could be spent to help homeless people suffering from illness. mental.

“We should discuss that as of today, the county has $15 million in Mental Health Services Act funds in the bank,” Harn said. “I hope the board and the community will take a keen interest in how effectively we use our mental health funds. I am of the opinion that we should do a better job of helping the mentally ill with the large amount of money available that is not being used.