As a result of extensive research and numerous interviews, it became apparent that the safety issues stem from the practices of the nearby Day Resource Center (DRC). The DRC is managed by the Homeless Services Center. Though the HSC leadership has the ability to fix the safety issues, they do not want to discuss safety issues with our team. When we ask to meet to discuss safety, they reply that they will meet but it will be to discuss homelessness. So far, they (1) have declined 4 meeting invitations (2) have not completed the team’s questionnaire; and (3) have ignored the request for a written response to the team’s 10 Safety requests.
The team has tried to overlook the tone and simply keep chugging away. Each month, we will continue to keep the City, County, and HSC’s leadership informed about the DRC’s safety issues. In the meantime, here is the summary of our activities:
February -The HWCS was formed to identify safety issues in the Harvey West area.
March – The team interviewed 18 businesses about safety and documented the impact to the community. From these interviews, the team learned that the greatest disruption to the HW community was the DRC. The team began to research identifying DRC best practices. The team began interviews with the management of Prado, which is a well run DRC in San Luis Obispo.
April – The City Council hosted a Homeless Study Session. Their findings statistically bolstered the team’s research. Encouraged by this, we sent our team’s findings to the City Council in hopes we could get the city to enforce the safety measures.
May: The team presented the request for 10 changes to 3 City Council members at 3 separate meetings.
June: Our research found that the SC DRC rules are not handed out and the SC DRC does not require a client to sign up with case management. A comparison of rules used at a well run DRC against the rules at the SC DRC was sent to the City Council.
July: The team posted a petition requesting 10 DRC changes on the TBSC Facebook page. 310 people sent the petition to the City, County and the DRC.
August: To keep the City Council up-to-date, the team sent 3 links of sexual offenders who have given their address as 115 Coral Street in the past month.
September: The team has asked the DRC for the email addresses of the DRC’s Board of Directors. We have not received a response. Additionally, a Sentinel article “Security Guard Alleges Harassment at the Homeless Services Center” confirms our understanding that the DRC is a difficult environment.
Simply so there is no confusion, our entire focus is about SAFETY. Our focus is not about homelessness. The Day Resource Center’s open intake policies need to change to make the HSC and community safer. The team researched other California DRC’s but could not find any city or county funded DRC that provided services without any intake restrictions.
If you would like to view the teams documents, they are located here:
HARVEY WEST SAFETY TEAM DOCUMENTS