Dear District Judge Vince Chhabria
RE: Case No. 3:18-cv-01955-VC
Nicholle Vannucci et al., Plaintiffs, v. County of Sonoma (County), City of Santa Rosa (City) et al., Defendants
The Vannucci injunction applies unreasonable and nearly impossible-to-implement conditions to shelter requirements for homeless individuals. Under the injunction, homeless individuals may decline shelter for nearly any reason tied to inadequacy of the shelter offered by the City or County, where such inadequacy is based solely on the homeless individual’s definition of inadequate and solely on such individual’s description of personal disability or fears, with no need for an independent, third-party confirmation of same. No medical check is necessary; no proof of pre-existing disability is required. This has tied the hands of law enforcement, preventing enforcement of no camping laws and regulations and has directly caused our homeless situation to spiral out of control in the City and County.
Homeless individuals are routinely offered shelter by law enforcement and outreach workers, and routinely decline this shelter, while continuing to branch out nearly unabated into City and County public spaces, including parks, creeks, sidewalks, business fronts, business parks, and neighborhoods. Routinely now, homeless individuals time and again choose to live in public spaces, allowing many to purchase, sell, trade, and exchange illegal drugs, unfettered by City or County law enforcement and unconstrained by the use restrictions typically in place at City and County homeless shelters. Mental illness, the result of long-standing or heavy use of such drugs, including fentanyl, methamphetamine, and heroin, is now readily apparent, with multiple instances of homeless individuals walking into public streets, acting erratically, placing their lives, and those of others nearby, at risk. Numerous fires, set by homeless individuals, at times likely while cooking drug mixtures, have taken place in the City, since onset of the injunction. Increasingly, those living on public spaces are accumulating massive amounts of trash, garbage, and personal property within such spaces, routinely blocking the use of key sidewalks, in contravention of federal ADA laws and regulations.
Something must be done.
We respectfully ask the Court to protect residents of the City and County, who have been disproportionately negatively impacted by crime, drugs, garbage, and human waste.
This is not a housing shortage; it’s not some big problem needing large infusions of money and capital. Instead, this is a lifestyle choice for a majority of homeless, fueled by drug addiction and mental illness. It is time to repeal or sunset the Vannucci injunction and save our community from further decline.
3 people die on the trail.
A sexual assault on a 10 year old.
Rampant drug dealing.
6510 SRPD calls for service in and around the area to police over a 6 month period between July and Dec.
1404 HRI-homeless related incidents on and around the trail.
150 calls and emails to the Parks Dept.
An environmental health disaster.
Residents in nearby housing developments who cannot use their public spaces.
Residents who feared for their family’s and their own safety.
Numerous first responders give their expert opinions on the problem because they experience it firsthand every day.
We continually sound the alarm publicly while vilified for being hateful and NIMBYs.
Read the entire petition.
Some of the things we proposed were put into motion.
Some of the things we warned would happen did.
We are being heard.
Keep up the fight.
We support sane, reasonable measures to get people that WANT help the help they need. We have many wonderful non-profits that do good work.
We also want our elected leaders to allow law enforcement to their job addressing the ones who WILL NOT comply with reasonable requests to move to shelter and services offered, despite vigorous and repeated attempts.
Finally, we need to make the uncomfortable but necessary step to help those that CANNOT help themselves through involuntary admittance for mental health treatment and drug abuse treatment.