Sonoma County proposal would evict paying renters to give free housing to homeless

(KTVU/KPIX video screenshots)

Elected officials in one California county reportedly seek to spend millions in taxpayer funds to purchase three massive properties, evict the current rent-paying tenants and replace them with presumably non-paying vagrants from a nearby homeless camp.

Thanks to a ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, however, local authorities may not evict the reportedly drug-addicted, lawless homeless from their camp.

“The [Sonoma County] houses, listed at a combined $3.14 million, are part of a nearly $12 million suite of measures proposed by county staff to address the camp, which has grown to 220 people during the past several months and contributed to what county officials have called a public health crisis,” The Press Democrat reported Thursday.

“Two of the homes are in central Santa Rosa: a seven-bedroom, three-bathroom home at 811 Davis St., listed on Zillow at $999,000; and a Craftsman-style, six-bedroom home at 866 Sonoma Ave., priced at $1,150,000. The third, a complex of homes at 8190 Arthur St. in Cotati, is listed at $995,000.”

County officials reportedly plan to eventually purchase a total of six homes and jam them up with homeless people from the camp along the Joe Rodota Trail.

(Google Maps “Street View” of 811 Davis St., Santa Rosa, California)

Besides the money issue, this proposal presents several problems, one of which pertains to the men and women reportedly already renting units in these properties.

“I’m sure the tenants have been asked to leave,” local resident Allen Thomas, who lives near the 811 Davis St. property, said to San Francisco station KPIX.

“It’s just insanity,” Karen Sanders, another Santa Rosa resident, added.

Hear from them and other locals below:

The other problem, according to locals, is the homeless themselves.

“Million-dollar homes; million-dollar homes for these transients living on the trail,” Sanders complained in disgust.

And not just any transients, but lawless ones.

Sher Ennis, a Santa Rosa resident who lives near the Davis street property, said she was once attacked at her home by a man who’d been taking part in a re-entry housing program.

“Are we getting dangerous criminals?” she asked of the homeless to be housed on her street. “Are we getting felons? Or are we getting people who are simply down on their luck?”

Brenda Gilchrist, the co-founder of a neighborhood group called Citizens for Action Now, has claimed the homeless camp along the Joe Rodota Trail is replete with “drug addiction, lawlessness and vagrancy.”

She’s further claimed the problem won’t be solved “by housing first or houses/shelters and sanctioned encampments or tent cities.”

“Low or no barrier shelter or housing or encampment will result in the same criminal activities, lawlessness and vagrancy issues that impacted the homeowners and renters that lived behind and/or around the (Joe Rodota Trail) area,” she reportedly wrote in emails last week.

According to The Press Democrat, the county does plan to institute rules and chores that the homeless will be forced to abide by to live in the purchased properties. However, some of the homeless have made it clear they aren’t about the rules/chores lifestyle.

“David Martin, a trail camp resident for the past five months, said he and many of his fellow campers aren’t good with orders, saying ‘we feel beat up by society,'” the outlet confirmed.

It’s not clear if he realizes that law-abiding taxpayers feel similarly about California’s left-wing government and its endless desire to cater to the interests of vagrants, illegals, criminals, etc.

In a profile published last month of two homeless Los Angeles residents who were forced back onto the streets after being offered free housing, the Los Angeles Times revealed that while “[g]etting off the streets was relatively easy” for the duo, “[t]he greater challenge, once they were inside, was to abide by management’s rules and regulations.”

It’s a challenge they failed.

During a community meeting Friday in Santa Rosa, multiple locals expressed concern not only about the problems caused by the homeless but also about the potential problems inherent in the properties plan.

“You guys have dropped the ball and you haven’t done your job and I’m tired of paying my taxes when you don’t do your job,” one resident said.

“I’m scared to walk in my neighborhood, not that homeless people are scary, but drugs are scary,” another added.


“Where do I sign up? I’d like a house,” homeowner John George said of the proposal to house the homeless. “If you give them a house it will be trashed in a month, because what’s going to change? They have no accountability, no structure.”

“I’ll leave and they can have my house because right now I can’t even rent it,” he added sarcastically in reference to his home’s declining market value.


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