The Fremont City Council held a Work Session on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, to review 11 potential City-owned and privately-owned sites analyzed by City staff for locating a temporary housing navigation center in Fremont. The sites were based on previously recommended Council-approved criteria from the June 18 Council Work Session. After discussion from City staff, the City Council, and public comment, the Council selected two sites to further evaluate and directed staff to provide additional analysis on each location for the implementation of a housing navigation center, including cost estimates, and conduct community outreach.
City staff will further analyze the following two sites: Parking lot at Fremont City Hall (rear area) and the Decoto surplus property (unleased property next to Regan Nursery). Both locations are within one-half mile of food services and bus stop/bus services to BART, utility connection points abut property, and located outside of a fault trace zone.
The temporary navigation center will provide 45 beds and up to 6 months of housing to homeless adults while they are supported and focused on finding stable, permanent housing. The navigation center will be operated by Bay Area Community Services (BACS) who will provide 24/7 staffing and supportive services to the residents of the program. BACS also operates the Berkeley navigation center and two navigation centers in Oakland. Since 2013, BACS has successfully transitioned 1,006 individuals into permanent housing using the navigation center model. The creation of a navigation center in Fremont is in response to the growing homeless crisis. Recent data from the 2019 Point-in-Time Count indicated Fremont’s homeless population grew by 27% over the past two years, rising from 479 homeless individuals to 608.
Most crimes reported within the homeless population are of the lower level crime types, and while scholarly articles nationally show there is a higher proportion of criminal activity within the homeless population, they are often acts of drinking, petty theft, and trespassing. In Fremont, police data from 2018 through April 30, 2019 have shown that criminal activity within the homeless population is slightly higher proportionally than the general population, and mirrors the national trend with misdemeanor-level crimes such as drugs, trespassing, petty theft, and battery/domestic violence. In a similar navigation center operated by BACS in Berkeley, they have reported less than a handful of calls to the police for that location.
Throughout the summer, City staff will conduct outreach to obtain community input and comments on the two potential sites selected. At a City Council Meeting in September (date to be determined), staff will return with completed analysis and community feedback to present to the Council. It is anticipated that the Council would then select a final site to locate a temporary housing navigation center and City staff would proceed with procurement of contracts to implement the center.
Watch the recording of the July 9 City Council Work Session.
Access copies of the full staff report and exhibits.