An ad hoc group of Davis residents have started a Change.org petition opposing the location of the Homeless Respite Center. The new Homeless center is proposed for adjacent to the Dave Pelz Overpass near second street. Those opposing the location seem to clearly state that they support services for the homeless like this project, but not next to a thoroughfare for school children on bikes.
This Item was moved forward by the Davis City Council on July 30, 2019. The project would contain “tough shed” type buildings and likely a designated camping area. It is unclear if there will be water or sewer services or what staffing might be provided by the City.
In the staff report, "staff estimates that the day shelter could accommodate up to 40 individuals at one time and the overnight shelter could sleep up to 15 individuals" but with the addition of a camping area as suggested by council member Frerichs the site may be able to accommodate more.
When the Council addressed this issue on July 30th 2019, the staff omitted from their report and presentation to council that the Dave Pelz overcrossing was a safe route to school. There is no part of the staff report that addresses the impact of a homeless encampment on the bike and pedestrian through-way.
This is the table of advantages and disadvantages from the July 30, 2019 Davis City staff report:
This very expensive overcrossing was built to better connect South Davis and East Davis, especially to provide a bikeable route to school for South Davis Junior High Kids.
The petition can be signed at https://www.change.org/p/davis-city-council-no-homeless-shelter-for-schoolchildren-s-safety
The petition reads as follows:
Dear All City Council Members:
As residents in the City of Davis, we strongly object to the City’s proposal to build a homeless shelter at 3559 Second Street. This proposal has simply missed the serious concern on safety and security of our schoolchildren, the most vulnerable population.
The proposed location of homeless shelter lies directly underneath the Dave Pelz bike over-crossing, the only bike and pedestrian conduit that more than 200 schoolkids use to travel from South to two elementary schools and one junior high school in North. The influence of proposed homeless shelter cannot be physically and visually avoided by our schoolchildren. While it is understood that the issue of homeless persons needs to be addressed in every city, we believe that the safety of our schoolchildren outweighs the benefits of this proposed location.
In order for this shelter to operate in its proposed location, the City must comply with a ZERO tolerance policy in order to protect our schoolchildren’s safety, security and prevent undue influences on illicit behavior. If one incident of public indecency or drug proliferation or anything done with a child occurs, residents will demand the immediate and complete closure of the homeless shelter. And this would pale in comparison to the huge financial consequences and prolonged litigation for the City of Davis for any parent of said incident.
We request the City of Davis to please reconsider this shelter location as we believe the mitigation measures that are proposed are simply not enough as an assurance zero incidents must be observed because of the proximity of the shelter to so many of our schoolchildren.
This is the City of Davis Harper Safe Route to School Map with the location of the Homeless Respite Center indicated
This map shows the attendance map for Davis Junior High's demonstrating the large area of South Davis with Kids likely to use the Pelz overcrossing to get to school.