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The RV Village is Moving Forward!!

This e-news is for those of you who are following the developments related to the RV Village that is intended to provide a managed, safe, sanitary location for the RVs currently located in the very unsafe, unsanitary conditions that exist on Morris Street and the surrounding areas. 
 
There is plenty of good news. The RV Village site preparation is moving forward, with a target date of February 15 for move-in (although that may happen much sooner). A City-wide parking ordinance is being considered, with a target implementation date in early March. The RV dwellers have elected their first Village Council. Outreach by SAVS is in full swing, and the Community Advisory Committee is set to hold its first official meeting this week. All is proceeding well.
 
The recent complicating factor is that a group has filed a lawsuit to delay and/or prevent the opening of the Village. Please see the separate posting on my website for details.  
 
I am hopeful that the recent lawsuit will not get in the way of our efforts to open the Village and move forward with a City-wide solution to the Morris Street situation. I am confident of the City’s actions in approving the RV Village, and I continue to be convinced that the Village, combined with the City-wide parking ordinance change that is being considered, is the approach that will best address the wide range of issues we need to consider in this situation. It’s not perfect, but from my perspective it’s an excellent compromise that takes into consideration our residents, our unhoused, our businesses, and the community at large. 
 
Please feel free to share your comments and input at the upcoming City Council meeting, or by emailing Asst City Manager Mary Gourley. And remember: You can rely on the City Council to continue to do what’s right for this town. 
 
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
  • Attend the City Council meeting February 1, 2020, at 6pm: This is our next City Council meeting. The Ad Hoc Committee will be presenting a report out. Public comment will be invited at the beginning of the meeting on items not on the agenda, and also when the Ad Hoc Commitee’s item is called. The agenda, staff reports, and zoom link will be available here for the February 1 meeting, by no later than the Thursday before. 
  • Email your comments to the City Council. You can do this by sending an email to mgourley@cityofsebastopol.org. Begin your email with the greeting “To Mayor Slayter and Sebastopol City Councilmembers” and it will get forwarded to all City Councilmembers. 
Please reply to: Diana Rich
Sebastopol City Council
 
A. The First Village Council for Horizon Shine, Sebastopol’s RV Village. Ben, Elightza, Ronda, Israel, and Steve. 

B. Village Site Prep Moving Forward! 
C. Horizon Shine E-Newsletter emailed and hand-delivered to neighbors by SAVS team, supported by other advocates.

Horizon Shine

24/7 Safe Parking Village at 845 Gravenstein Highway N. Sebastopol

It's been a rocky ride to get Horizon Shine Village underway but now we're moving forward. In late October, after more than a month of planning and development work, the original site proposed by the Sebastopol City Council Ad Hoc Committee on the Unhoused fell through. With only weeks to find a new site, we needed a miracle.

Miracles occurred - through the efforts of amazing people. St. Vincent de Paul purchased a viable lot and offered to lease it to us. The City Council held more meetings (for a grand total of 13 hours of public hearings on the project). We hosted two additional community meetings where 97 people grilled us and supported us. Their questions and comments clarified many issues and concerns. On December 7th the City Council approved the permits and contracts that established the Village.

Then everything stopped for the holidays, followed by rains that delayed the clearing of the lot. Finally, on January 10th demolition began. Last week, for the first time, Hector Gutierrez, our Project Manager, was able to bring contractors onto the lot to estimate the preparation work. The City Manager informed us that he is confident that all proper procedures were followed and that the City would prevail in any lawsuit.

Demolition at the Site

Public Benefit

Homeless people have lived on Morris Street for over a year. Most of those living there will be able to move to the Village. This means more safety for them, a cleaner Morris Street and much less expense and trouble for Sebastopol.

The Village will hold 18 large trailers or R.V.s and the homeless people who live in them. The sun is coming up. It's a new day for these villagers.

Villagers will receive health, employment and other support services, along with the safety and security they need to concentrate on their goals.

Site Infrastructure

Horizon Shine Village will offer portable toilets, showers, waste disposal services, a common room with tables and chairs, water, sewer, 8-ft privacy fencing with landscaping, quiet hours, and locked gates.

The Village includes a resident gate with security monitoring, surveillance cameras, on-site security personnel, and a 24/7 number for emergencies.

Artist Rendering of Village from the Street

Staffing

The village will have a considerable amount of staff who will oversee day to day operations and work to improve the lives of the Villagers.

Project Manager: Responsible for village operations including initial responses to questions and complaints.

Village Resident Manager, on-site: Responsible for 24/7 phone and smooth operations when other staff is off duty.

Village Case Managers: Responsible for stabilizing lives and moving every Villager into permanent housing. Individualized wrap-around services will range from drug/alcohol counseling to life skills development, housing documentation and employment readiness.

Villagers: Responsible for participation in self-governance, individual self- development, complying with Village rules and completing monthly work hours.

Hector Gutierrez, Project Manager

Good Neighbor Policy

  • Villagers will do weekly litter patrols of the area around the village.

  • A Community Advisory Committee of concerned Sebastopol Residents meets monthly to oversee progress and neighborhood concerns. (see below to join or attend)

  • Violence, drug dealing, open fires, and possession of weapons are not permitted at Horizon Shine.Anyone committing these offenses will be asked to leave the premises permanently without appeal.

  • SAVS will offer its expertise, experience, and some staff time to help solve problems related to homelessness in the surrounding neighborhood.

  • Sex Offenders will not be allowed at the Village.

  • Lingering in the neighborhood is prohibited.

  • Police will be contacted for emergency and criminal situations.

About SAVS

SAVS funding for Horizon Shine Village comes from State and County sources, along with our wonderful SAVS donors.

We believe that everyone has a right to a home. Homelessness in the U.S. has become a community problem that requires community solutions. The quality of life and well-being of the whole community is raised by working in partnership to end the conditions of homelessness.

If you are interested in supporting SAVS and this village, you can learn more about donations atwww.sonomavillages.org/donate

How to Reach Us / Join the Community Advisory Committee

Questions or Concerns: contact the SAVS Board President, Adrienne Lauby at
Ph. (707) 861-0646
email:tinyvillages@sonomavillages.org

Community Advisory Committee: The Community Advisory Committee of concerned Sebastopol residents meets monthly to oversee Village progress and neighborhood concerns.

The initial meeting is Wednesday, January 26 at 6:30 pm, by Zoom. Contact:cynthia@sonomavillages.orgfor the Zoom Meeting link.

Website:www.sonomavillages.org


Diana Rich, Sebastopol City Council
321 S. Main St. #60, Sebastopol CA 95472
drich@cityofsebastopol.org
707 861-0032
FPPC #1430199
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