VACAVILLE (CBS13) — A new plan to build tiny homes for the homeless has a Vacaville community fired up.
It was standing room only as the county held a meeting on Monday to address some concerns. Some Solano County supervisors call it a potential solution to homelessness in the area, but the tiny home development is causing some big controversy as people who live nearby say it’s just too close to home.
“What’s really disturbing to me is how people look at the homeless. You treat them like they’re animals and not human beings,” said one speaker in Monday’s meeting.
More than 100 people packed into the county meeting to talk about tiny sheds to house the homeless that may soon be heading to their community.
“I just feel sorry for this neighborhood. Their market value is going to go down, they’re not going to be feeling safe here,” said Vacaville resident Sandee Lowther.
The Solano County Board of Supervisors green-lighted the 5-year pilot project in August. Five tiny home shelters, which would house 10 people, are now slated to fill the empty field on county property right next to the county’s social services building on the corner of Brown and East Monte Vista Street. But those who live in the neighborhood say it’s the not the right place, especially just blocks away from Markham Elementary School.
“Homeless people do need to get help, I get that, but y’all need to reconsider a location. A mile away from an elementary school is not okay,” said another speaker.
The community also worried about crime and trash.
“With the porta potties definitely comes a smell,” said Vacaville resident Amber Robatille.
Many say they’re upset that the county voted on the project without seeking community input first.
“It was my fault that the community, the larger community didn’t know about it,” said Solano County Supervisor Skip Thomson.
He is spearheading the effort which he says will be fully funded by donations for the first year.
“I understand the neighbors and all of their concerns but I think to simply ignore that the homeless are already here, I think you’re doing yourself an injustice.”
The tiny shelter development would offer critical resources and counseling services in hopes of finding homeless permanent housing and employment. Thomson says residents would be structured and supervised and he says the not-in-my-backyard attitude won’t work here.
“I wouldn’t want this in any residential area. If it’s a pilot program they don’t know the obstacles that could come up,” said Robatille.
Many people had to stand in Monday’s meeting as there wasn’t enough space for all who showed up. The county says it will hold a second meeting for those who couldn’t get into the first one, in the next few weeks.