The time is now to bring a solution to the homeless.
Modesto and Stanislaus County have a homeless problem that they have been working towards coordinating efforts on. Examples are the current attention to the CARE and HEART Program. The attention and energy at the executive level is good. While the multi-jurisdiction momentum and energy is high, now is the time to review a solution.
I am suggesting that they consider doing what the city of Los Angeles is doing… Converting dilapidated “nuisance” motels into supportive apartments for the homeless.
A review of the Los Angeles program
The city of Los Angeles has approved a deal for nonprofit and private developers to convert “nuisance” motels into 500 permanent supportive apartments for homeless veterans. Under the deal, developers will purchase underutilized, often run-down motels from private owners and convert them to efficiency apartments. The city’s housing authority will issue vouchers funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which will cover residents’ rent and provide supportive services, including case management and counseling.
Much of the procedural and bureaucratic pathways are done
Modesto does not have to start from scratch. The Mayor has provided detailed information to all County Supervisors and City council members generated by the Los Angeles Planning commission. I have accumulated even more studies, staff reports and planning documents that can be provided. Having a City so close that is in the midst of solving the homeless is an opportunity that should not be a squandered
Modesto has several hotels that fit the model for conversion
On lower 9th street alone properties exist that fit the description of nuisance” motels. Now is the time to leverage the existing energy towards the homeless problem with the groundwork done by Los Angeles to get this done.
Los Angeles is not the only City converting nuisance properties
Albuquerque, Orange County, Los Angeles, Lake Tahoe, Santa Ana, and Anaheim are among the governments that have several successful conversions complete. Confronting cynicism or “nay-sayers” is an easier when properly educated about the opportunity in Modesto and the track records elsewhere.