Sunday, January 25, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Let the homeless dialogue begin

marlette column sig

By
From page A8 | March 17, 2014 |

Recent concern for the problems at Lee Bell Park provides a good opportunity for dialogue about homelessness, compassion, tough love and the safety of an entire community. At Mission Solano, we welcome that dialogue.

Mission Solano has been an innovative source for addressing the needs of our most-vulnerable and needy neighbors in Solano County for more than 15 years. Mission Solano pioneered the program and coined the term “nomadic sheltering” to provide an emergency shelter that moves from church to church, 365 days a year.

With our strategic partner HomeAid and the generosity of Solano County, the city of Fairfield, businesses, churches and individuals, Mission Solano opened the doors to the Bridge to Life Center in 2009. This center takes up where nomadic sheltering leaves off. Here, staff and residents address the habits and decisions that led to a life on the street. New habits are formed, lives begin anew and these guests become “the former homeless.” Mission Solano helps them to see life “holistically,” addressing the physical, behavioral, psychological, emotional and spiritual brokenness, thereby breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness.

Unfortunately, not everybody in the homeless community welcomes the help that Mission Solano can provide. Homeless resistance to help, the increasingly urban environment of Fairfield and the proximity to a jail that regularly releases people have all contributed to problems at Lee Bell Park. Unfortunately, Lee Bell Park is not the only place in the county that faces the degradation that comes when people make a park their home.

What can we do and what should we do?

Mission Solano has long advocated tough treatment for those who wish to take over our public places and use them as their home. Because our compassionate community offers so many alternatives, we feel that it is appropriate to demand that the homeless use our services to stay off of the street.

Of course, Mission Solano is limited in its ability to enforce discipline once the homeless leave our facilities. The mission maintains a policy that individuals sacrifice the right to our services if they do not follow the direction of case managers, which includes not loitering in parks or places that are not moving them to housing and self-sufficiency.

We encourage our city and county leaders, along with the law enforcement community, to develop and enforce policies that combine compassionate services with tough requirements to not be a nuisance to the community. If you agree or disagree, we would like to hear from you.

Effectively and efficiently addressing the issue begins with a dialogue that brings innovative and creative partnerships of how to administer compassion that changes the giver as well as the receiver.

Ron Marlette is the founding executive director of Mission Solano. Reach him at ron@missionsolano.org.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 8 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Skeptic ScroogeMarch 17, 2014 - 3:34 am

    The biggest mistake Mission Solano makes is forcing those who need help to socialize with others, "homeless schooling" them. So one says to the other, hey come camp in my RV if you are not allowed at Lee bell. We can crap in the bushes and leave our cigarette butts and trash on other peoples lawn since no one in an RV pays for trash service. Then that guy tells ten more, they all cook some meth, come back to MS when hungry, tell fifty more while standing in line for a forced religious routine, go to the library to feed the ducks with the bread from MS, stink up that place, etc. Quit homeless schooling!!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JacobMarch 17, 2014 - 10:27 pm

    @ Skeptic, I am not creative enough to imagine how one could try to help homeless people through a system of isolation from each other... But I don't deny that there is a some negative peer pressure that goes on akin to your description. Perhaps you highlight the need for more consistent positive influence in their day- volunteer mentors who can come alongside individuals and make a life-changing difference... This could be the missing piece of the institutional puzzle. In the mean time, I applaud the proactively firm hand of Mission Solano in calling for a cooperative and balanced response (rather than operating as either enabler or tyrant) to public dilemmas such as these.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • my2centsMarch 17, 2014 - 6:16 am

    Fairfield Law Enforcement is well aware of the Jefferson Street RV problem and is doing nothing about it. The RVs parked near the jail downtown are a permanent fixture. Why do Fairfield PD do nothing to address these problems?! There are many wonderful homeowners downtown. There won't be for much longer if our City does not ensure our neighborhoods are free of such vehicles. Would FPD allow the RVs to park in Paradise Valley or Rancho Solano development? We don't want RVs parked in our neighborhood either.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mr. SmithMarch 17, 2014 - 6:22 am

    If the city council and FPD don't become actively involved, nothing will change. Mission Solano is doing its part, I believe. Local churches seem willing to do theirs. Thanks to Ron Marlette for sharing his insights and for clearly describing Mission Solano's role and expectations. It is time for the city to exercise some "tough love" of its own. Return our public areas like parks and the library to respectability, so that all citizens can safely use them again. Get these "hard-core homeless" people off the streets and out of the bushes if they refuse to avail themselves of the assistance they need. Find out if other cities have employed strategies that work. Most of all, find the will to tackle the problem.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksMarch 17, 2014 - 7:36 am

    The folks wandering around living in the bushes and shopping carts have done so since I can remember but have only become prolific in the last ten years or so. Like Mr. Smith says, it's difficult to miss as they have "established residence" at the entrances to the city and have not moved on. Is this an “out of sight out of mind problem? Or is there actually a remedy to remove or relocate them for their safety and well- being to the satisfaction of everyone? I’ve heard of the term “towning” (where PD pretty much takes you to the city limits and forces you out) and learned that it is illegal but it seems that’s what many would d like…

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • B. ThiemerMarch 17, 2014 - 7:05 am

    I'll borrow a quote from a column in Sunday's DR: "Do we have abundant services because there is a large homeless community, or do we have a large homeless community because there are abundant services?"

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • FedUpMarch 17, 2014 - 8:47 am

    I am Fed Up with the library and Civic Center Park being soiled for everyone in the community by the homeless.. The homeless sit on the park benches near the library and smoke and do drugs. It is disgusting. I no longer use that park with my kids and I am considering no longer using the library. I can just as easy buy my books on Amazon. The city and library need to get this sitiuation under control.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • concerned citizenApril 19, 2014 - 11:32 pm

    I believe that Mission Solano is excellent and doing its job. It is the homeless that do not want help that are still in streets and polluting parks etc.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Solano GOP welcomes address from King niece

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Nursing students take next step in higher education

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

Friend seeks justice for 1982 Vacaville homicide victim

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Scientists think Earth doomed: I disagree

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
Biggest Little Car Show returns for 31st year

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Solano Safety Net Summit set in Fairfield downtown

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

 
Wine, chocolate pairing comes to downtown Benicia

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Local gas prices dip below $2 a gallon

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Crews respond to residential fire

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Be heart smart all year long

By Gerald Bourne, MD | From Page: C4

 
Kindergarten Readiness Roundup enlightens parents

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Weather for Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
CHP seeks witnesses to I-80 crash

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A5

Saudi monarchy transition a real economic concern

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

 
City seeks input on downtown plan

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

Privatized housing tenants to feel BAH pinch

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

 
Fairfield police log: Jan. 23, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Airman with Fairfield tie completes training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 23, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Suisun City police log: Jan. 22, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
.

US / World

Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
It’s a hoot hanging out with owls at this Tokyo cafe

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2 | Gallery

Avian flu confirmed in commercial turkey flock in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Boy, 13, arrested in fatal stabbing near Los Angeles school

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Abortion opponents express renewed hope at SF rally

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
School: Sea otter conceived in wild is 1st born in captivity

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Man searching by plane finds body of missing son off Mexico

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Kia recalling nearly 87,000 Fortes because of fire risk

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Elon Musk’s SpaceX drops lawsuit against Air Force

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California’s public-worker payroll increased post-recession

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Police: Man shot his family, killing 3, then killed himself

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Company seeks rights to names of iconic Grand Canyon lodges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
1st attempt to lift fuselage of crashed AirAsia plane fails

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Tens of thousands protest after president resigns in Yemen

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Thousands march against socialist president in Venezuela

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Expert says King Tut mask can be restored after epoxy used

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Obama to cut short India trip to pay call on Saudi Arabia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

 
Plea for return of stolen statue

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Not all police are bad

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 25, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for Jan. 25, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: Jan. 25, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Jan. 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

The gift of a new beginning

By Dalia Adams | From Page: C3

 
Mennonite group to build houses in tornado-damaged town

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Yearbooks bring Jewish, Catholic groups together

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscope Jan. 25, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

My dad can’t get over the bad first impression of my boyfriend

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

Mariel Hemingway working on memoir and young adult novel

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Jonathan Franzen to appear at BookExpo America

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

25 years of trying to get it right

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Sharapova, Bouchard into quarterfinals at Australian Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

2 Williams sisters, 2 Madisons into 4th round at Aussie Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Hall of Famer Ernie Banks mourned in sports world and beyond

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Thompson’s record 3rd quarter leads Warriors past Kings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Belichick on deflated balls: ‘We try to do everything right’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki’s surgically repaired hip on mend

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Buckeyes celebrate their title at Ohio Stadium

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Carroll, Belichick excelled after failing the first time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Luck-led Team Carter vs. Romo-lead Team Irvin in Pro Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP Explains: The Pro Bowl, unlike any other All-Star game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Abdullah leads North to 34-13 win over South in Senior Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

As Brady, Gronk know, pre-Super Bowl injury talk always big

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
AP Interview: Selig says MLB could expand internationally

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Could Super Bowl be Lynch’s finale in Seattle?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sherman, Seahawks take the trash-talk lead over Patriots

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Ashley Wagner wins 3rd US title with record-setting scores

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Weber’s 108.5-mph blast gives him hardest shot at NHL skills

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Jimenez, Mediate share lead in Champions Tour opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Grace wins Qatar Masters by 1 stroke

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Matt Kuchar stumbles in, gives away Humana Challenge lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
For streaking Atlanta Hawks, it’s all about the balance

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Upstart wins $400,000 Holy Bull at Gulfstream

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Mischief Clem wins California Cup Derby in photo finish

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

World Cup of Hockey tournament set for 2016

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Hometown report: Bowling

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

Sports on TV for Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B5

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 25, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Business

Anheuser-Busch to buy craft beer company

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Booking a trip to the ER on your smartphone? It’s a breeze

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Higher standard deduction, other breaks for older taxpayers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Tiny Cokes: Less guilt means more money for makers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Recalls this week: cleaners, fitness machines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
First Look: Apple’s HomeKit could help smarten up your home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

.

Obituaries

Don Johnson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Thomas Clark

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Sheila Margery (Smith) Luxenberg

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics