Compassionate Communities update

Board member and PEC member Carol Wyatt writes:

The 2nd fold priority for discussion at NCPC this month is the continuous drug sales in the encampment. While the community was told it was necessary to be somewhat tolerant as there are addictions among some of the encampment residents, this didn’t extend to sales. And there are community members who have had eyes in this area and are frustrated and disappointed that there seems to be little accountability among our law enforcement and the encampment regulatory and self-governance resources surrounding  this.

Though our community leadership and representatives, we will ask Encampment members who are these identified as the oversight governors to also attend the meeting because this agreement with the encampment and the community is a 2-way street and we want to make sure everyone is abiding to this test model.

The community has not seen OPD manage this as was suggested in the FAQ that CP McElhaney posted on the Clawson & Friends Facebook page on October 21st.

Below is the Oct 21st update for the Compassionate Communities Encampment. We need to do a comparative accountability checkup.

I am going to ask anyone who had something they want to know to be present and vocal with listening being the operative word.

With the passing of several housing measures and pocketbook issues (parcel taxes), many in our community are asking for and in fact demanding accountability on how this money is being utilized where we will obtain impacts. I’m sure there will be mental time tables that will be used as a basis on candidate selections in later elections so please be prepared to share next steps being taken to eradicate the concerns of the community as it relates their THEIR frustrations.

They want accountability from not just these things but the already countless taxes being charged for items including what goes to Measure Z.

Be ready for a year of accountability requests since this has now become very expensive for the community but results have been graded D.

******

Day 4 –

OPD pleased with progress thus far.  Better access to the public right of way; better visibility for motorists.  Stench is gone.

Dept of Human Services (DHS) – pleased that 100% participation from Day 1 (outreach workers thought we’d need to allow for more time to see if people would really agree to participate).  There is some meth & heroin use among the campers; sharps boxes have been distributed for safe disposal.  Outreach workers recognize the need for more education about appropriate use.  Other observations:  the campers are routinely cleaning the area, which prompted one staffer to ask “what’s different now?”  Response: “Well somebody finally cares about us.” (Or something to that effect.)

CONCERNS (from this and other camp sites):
*Donations:  Some well-intentioned members of the community will sometimes bring in large amounts of food to camp sites (e.g. left over trays from events) but not always with means to serve the food.  These types of gifts can create vector issues.  Other donations could be used furnishings, mattresses etc. that can result in large piles of items that others consider illegal dumping.

-What to do?  We’re not sure but will bring this up with the campers at the next community meeting
-We are working on a means to accept donations from the public, both cash and in-kind services.  Not ready to announce but we are working to pull it together.

FAQs

Q:  What’s to keep the camp from growing?
A:  We have informed the campers that resources for the pilot are limited and our ability to get additional resources will depend on our success.  We want to help EVERYONE but we do not yet have the funding to do so.  Their success is contingent upon our ability to serve them well so they must maintain the community census

Observed:  When others have attempted to move into the camp this week, the community members did not permit it.

Q: What about the drug use / drug dealing we’ve observed?
A:  This model meets people where they are to provide support that they need to obtain housing first.  There is no desire to police use; however, community members are asked to be safe and to avoid being involved with or engaging in violence.  Drug dealing is a crime and community members have been advised that OPD will enforce the law.

If you have additional questions or suggestions, please post below or email to me at LMcElhaney@Oaklandnet.com

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