Valley Water to consider ban on encampments along South Bay waterways – NBC Bay Area


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Citing a rise in safety and security dangers and ecological dangers, the main water source company for Santa Clara County will certainly consider a statute Tuesday that intends to minimize homeless encampments along region waterways.

Homeless supporters, nevertheless, have actually called the suggested regulation inhumane and slammed it for outlawing those experiencing being homeless.

On Tuesday, the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors will certainly examine and make a decision whether to accept a statute that bans encampments, public problems like radios or fireworks, and tasks that can produce a danger to Valley Water staff members or the general public.

Valley Water authorities claimed there had actually been a rise in armed dangers of physical violence, spoken attacks, physical run-ins, savage pet experiences and fire-related incidents that have actually intimidated the safety and security of Valley Water team that mainly function along creeks, waterways and supply of water centers.

Valley Water agent Matt Keller described that a number of the area’s flooding defense tasks are being harmed by the encampments.

“The damage being done to our creeks is a big issue and then also the fact that sometimes our workers are facing safety issues when they go into the creeks, and they can’t do their work,” Keller claimed.

A record from Valley Water additionally specified that dangers or safety and security issues need an examination, analysis and application of reduction steps, which can usually take days to total, “possibly suspending or delaying mission-critical work at that immediate location.”

While challengers to the regulation state they comprehend the demand to tidy up the waterways, several have actually revealed interest in exactly how encampment clean-ups will certainly displace at risk populaces with no place else to turn.

A letter authorized by leaders of not-for-profit companies PitStop Outreach, St. Joseph’s Family Center, South County Compassion Center, Carry the Vision, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley and MADDAD claimed in the lack of enough real estate and sanctuary, the creeks provide the “best of the bad options available.”

“Especially now, in the midst of a life-threatening heatwave, it seems inconceivable to contemplate barring sick and elderly people from sleeping in any cool spot they can find. However, Valley Water is considering just that,” the letter specified.

“If people are now driven off Valley Water properties, they will have no other refuge and are likely to shelter in downtown doorways and behind local businesses,” the letter proceeded. “They will have no consistent location, place to store medications and papers needed for housing, and will not be easy to find by caseworkers, mental health teams, and outreach teams.”

Todd Langton, executive supervisor of San Jose not-for-profit Agape Silicon Valley — which offers individuals living outdoors with apparel, food and water — called it inhumane to ease off individuals without providing an area for them to go. He claimed Silicon Valley’s whack-a-mole approach to dealing with being homeless simply kicks the can in the future and usually causes redundancies and threw away cash and sources.

“I just wish that all of our agencies and nonprofits could work together,” Langton claimed. “The city and the county and Caltrans and then also Valley Water, they don’t work together, which is part of the problem. And all these big nonprofits, they’re not working together either. So just the way of dealing with homelessness here in Silicon Valley is extremely dysfunctional.”

Valley Water’s conference is established for 1 p.m. Tuesday at 5750 Almaden Expressway in San Jose. The conference can be watched online on the company’s internet site.

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