RPD teams up with local agencies in Quality of Life sweep

In October of 2018, the Redding Municipal Code for camping on public and private property was suspended due to a court case decision in Idaho (Marin v. Boise). Once suspended, the Redding Police Department could no longer enforce the camping ordinance which resulted in an immediate increase of camps throughout the city limits. Although we were unable to enforce the camping ordinance, officers still gathered the complaints filed by citizens online and responded to each location to help provide those individuals with resources such as Hill Country Clinic and the Good News Rescue Mission. The Redding Police Department’s Community Cleanup Crews also continued to work diligently to try and keep the camps clean by removing thousands of pounds of excess trash and debris.

Since the suspension, City of Redding officials worked on a new camping ordinance which conformed to current case law. The new camping ordinance was approved by City Council and went into effect February 16th, 2019.

Today, the Redding Police Department partnered with the Anderson Police Department, Shasta County District Attorney’s Office, and the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control in conducting Quality of Life enforcement all over town, specifically in areas where we received the most complaints about illegal camps. Officers spend the day proactively patrolling the areas of Downtown, Hilltop Drive, Parkview Riverfront Park, Caldwell Park, and the Sacramento River Trail. The enforcement was very successful and resulted in officers contacting over 130 people, issuing 37 Redding Municipal Code citations, making 7 warrant arrests, and removing over 7,500 pounds of garbage.

The Redding Police Department would like to thank the neighboring agencies who assisted us today. We would also like to thank the citizens of Redding who continue to use the online reporting system to notify us of illegal camps in their area.

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9 Responses

  1. Avatar Russell Hunt says:

    They moved back into the brush infested canyons of west Redding. So nothing has been accomplished. The Mission should only feed people in their care. And for SSI folks , the Mission should have a 120 day program contingent on them depositing $500 a month with the Mission. Upon four months expiring, the SSI person would have enough money for first, last and a deposit for a room in a home. No Jesus requirement.

    • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

      To rent anywhere whether it is Redding, Phoenix, or Cheyenne also needed is proof of income three times the rent cost. Working or retired. Also rental history with no evictions. In high rent areas, anywhere in California, the three times income is almost impossible.
      To house the homeless will take community support. In many areas the locals are quite willing to pay taxes to house the homeless but not in their neighborhood.
      Homelessness is a national emergency but the only ones stepping up are churches, with opposition. I say this as someone who has actually worked with the homeless hands on and not telling others what to do.

  2. Avatar Candace C says:

    Russell,
    Interesting idea. I’m wondering about the “room in a home”. What home? Who’s home? As stated before on ANC we have a shortage of affordable living homes, apts., etc. in Shasta County. Renters typically don’t just look at cash as a prerequisite to renting a room to someone in their own private home do they? . Or do you mean the Mission would have the wherewithall to find rooms in homes for them if they implemented your “ savings account” program?

  3. Avatar Tim says:

    A minimum wage worker in California earns $2,080/month working 40 hours/week. That gives you ~$700/month for rent, which in Redding can get you a pretty nice 1 bedroom, an older 2 bedroom house/apartment or a 3 bedroom mobile.

    So Redding has plenty of affordable housing; it has a lack of people working at least 40 hours/week who don’t have a long history of late payments, evictions, criminal convictions, or own aggressive breeds of dog.

    • Avatar Patricia Barrett says:

      Tim,

      Redding’s rental vacancy rate was less than 2 percent even before the fires, which means that there are hundreds of potential applicants for every available unit (I’m also not sure I agree with your figures). In addition, as often as not that available housing goes to crowds of Bethel’s supernatural students, who offer to pay more than local families and individuals can afford.

      • Avatar Tim says:

        Redding has ~39,000 housing units serving a population of 92,500: 2.4 people per housing unit (the US average is 2.53 people per housing unit so Redding homes are less crowded). ~48% (18,720) of Redding housing units are rentals so a 2% vacancy rate equates to 374 empty rentals.

        None of that suggests there is a shortage, despite constant claims to the contrary… Those making these claims generally benefit from the process (e.g. a certain 2-letter Sacramento-based investment group with close ties to a former mayor gets grants, low interest loans, and sweetheart deals on city-owned land to build new apartments as long as they reserve a few units for below market rate).

        As a personal anecdote: I had a recent vacancy in west Redding and tried raising the rent from $650 to $700 on a low-end (but HUD compliant) 2 bedroom/1 bath apartment. I didn’t get 100s of applications; I got 7 — in two weeks. Of those 7 apps, none qualified (verifiable 3x rent, no prior evictions, no violent convictions, no current credit delinquencies). Let’s just say it is amazing how many “self employed” people in Redding don’t file tax returns…

        Anyway, I backed the rent down to $650 and I got ~30 applicants, 5 of whom qualified. This tells me that above $650, people have plenty of (nicer) choices in Redding (Craigslist currently has 25 listings under $700 within 5 miles of 96002)

        Full time minimum wage: $12/hr × 40 hrs/week × 52 weeks/year = $24,960/year or $2,080/month. Divide that by 3 and you get $693/month.

  4. Avatar Patricia Barrett says:

    Redding’s new anti-homeless ordinance actually does NOT conform to current law, as the warning letter sent to the Redding City Council from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty made clear.

  5. Avatar Candace C says:

    Tim, my question posed to Mr. Hunt wasn’t meant to be snarky. I was legitimately wondering who he thought would rent a room or an apt. to those homeless folks staying at the mission who chose to take advantage of the “ savings account” program he suggested if it existed. Not so much because of a lack of affordable rentals (something you’re refuting) but because of prior rental history, etc. reasons that you bring up. Thus my question to Mr. Hunt regarding the mission’s involvement in finding said “rooms”. I think his idea may have some merit for some homeless folks (?) and at this point I’m willing to keep an open mind before I simply knock the idea.

    • Avatar Tim says:

      Sorry, I just bristle at the “affordable housing” claim because I hate competing with political cronies backed by taxpayer dollars – especially when those dollars do nothing to address the actual problems.

      But yes, there are lots of gaps in our system:

      1) Few minimum wage jobs offer full time hours. For this, I largely blame society placing social safety burdens on employers rather than equally among taxpayers. Thus a full time worker is entitled to health care and a worker in a 4 hour shift is entitled to a paid break. So you get entry level jobs like McDonald’s offering 3 hour shifts so that the franchisee can pay closer to $13/hour for a worker earning $12, rather than the $15-16/hour it would cost for them to pay a full time worker making that same $12/hour.

      So the worker then needs to work multiple jobs to get full time hours which costs them extra in time and transit. The extra hassle & expense is incredibly demotovational for workers on the fringe – many give up and just work the 18 hours over 6 days…

      2) Those who legitimately cannot work full time find that it can take years to use all of society’s available safety net (especially if they are capable of doing a little work, but not full-time). They may have to file repeated appeals to get SSI and the wait list for a HUD voucher is years.

      3) There are some who clearly qualify for full disability, but who are unable/unwilling to apply. $900/month disability and a HUD voucher really only helps someone who can sorta take care of himself. Granted, if there are medical reasons for their inability to care for themselves, there are more services available. But if the root cause is mental illness there is just this giant gaping hole.

      4) From there you cross an Old Testament line into those largely seen as undeserving of aid because they actively created their own situation via life choices: criminals, drug addicts, and incorrigible spendthrifts. There is actually a lot of overlap with mental illness and adverse life experiences, but this category is still largely seen as undeserving of societal help.

      Here are the biggest gaps: Something as simple as bad credit will put you at the bottom of a very long list of HUD applicants. If you’ve ever been evicted from section 8 housing you’re effectively banned for life (other evictions require at least 5 years and still put you at the bottom of the list).

      Imagine being in an abusive relationship where the police get called to 3 disturbances in 1 year. You’re the victim, but you both get evicted from your section 8 home. You eventually divorce and try to set your life right only to discover that you are forever banned from getting HUD benefits because your now Ex used to wail on you. Gaps in the system…

      6) The pitbull thing. You’ve been living on the streets and victimized in numerous ways when you find a kindred spirit in an abandoned pitbull. The dog offers protection & companionship and you can no more leave her behind than you could your own child. Unfortunately, this is going to severely limit your housing options because various rental insurance policies prohibit “dangerous breeds” and most landlords are fed up with the many unresponsible pitbull owners before you whose dogs were either a nuisance to neighbors or whose dogs did tens of thousands of dollars worth of property damage.

      Those are the main barriers I see and building new housing units won’t do anything to remove them.