Manteca — as some contend — is not doing “nothing” about the homeless.
You can find out what the city is doing, what they hope to do, what constraints they are up against, and ask specific questions about homeless related issues during a live online Homeless Summit featuring two sessions on Tuesday, April 27, at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. via Zoom.
The addresses to participate are:
*11 a.m.: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89066670867
*6 p.m.: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82304552357
One of the various efforts underway is focused on getting the most problematic homeless off the streets that are also highly unlikely to eventually be convinced to take steps to do so on their own by accessing various services.
It involves identifying and targeting the five most egregious individuals based on behavior.
Manteca Police Community Resource Officer Mike Kelly working with the city attorney builds a case that can be taken to court.
“You can write all the citations you want but it isn’t going to get the homeless off the streets,” Kelly said.
That’s because most are misdemeanors and often reflect actions they need to survive on the streets. When they do snake their way through the system judges have limited options.
But if a case can be made that documents a pattern of misdemeanors and such that clearly demonstrate the homeless individual’s behavior is having a major negative impact on the community other than the fact they are simply homeless and trying to survive, a case can be made in court to try and order remedies that could includes being jailed.
Once jailed an effort can be made to get them into diversion programs.
“I have one lady who I’ve written 30 citations on so far,” Kelly said.
Those 30 citations on their own would not trigger a judicial solution, particularly one that would result in the individuals not simply being released back onto the streets.
Keep in mind people — whether they have a home or not — aren’t going to be jailed for a long list of misdemeanor crimes.
But if the city can document behavior and its impact while demonstrating they have tried to work with the individual they have a chance at securing judicial relief.
“It takes a lot of time,” Kelly said of the process.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com