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Two Views on SAY Dream Center: NO

  • Russell Wyatt, 57, who lives near the former Warrack Hospital site, is among those opposed to the SAY Dream Center's location in a residential area. The project is slated to get its first review by the Santa Rosa Planning Commission on Thursday. (Christopher Chung / The Press Democrat)

Social Advocates for Youth needs to be more honest about its capabilities and who it serves. The Dream Center's objective is not to serve aged-out foster system youth, which account for just 15 percent of Tamayo Village tenants. It is to serve homeless 18- to 24-year-olds from Sonoma and other counties with minimal staff and little accountability.

No goals are set for their tenants. True transitional housing directly and continuously addresses three concerns to a finite conclusion: Getting a degree, getting a living-wage job and being clean and sober. It should be staffed not with “people who care” but rather with “people who care and are trained and licensed.”

SAY commits to run the Dream Center housing as it does Tamayo Village on Yulupa Avenue with a few additional background checks. Twelve Sonoma County probation officers have declared the center's 63 beds wholly inappropriate for a residential area, and its residents would be very different from what SAY describes.

The center's 63 beds is 2 times that of Tamayo's bed count. Guests are allowed, so the actual number would be higher. SAY may cap the number but is not obligated to. The public project file reveals Tamayo's client privacy policy which includes the fact that staff cannot open a client's locked door under any circumstances. According to SAY's Jan. 7 filing, tenants would be screened at admittance, but only those seeking emergency shelter would be drug tested. And there would be no exclusionary consequences.

SAY thinks Tamayo's 25 beds having 20 police calls a year for felonious and other anti-social behavior is OK. Sixty-three beds means at least one call per week. Calls to many addresses on Warrack's nearby residential streets are one in 20 years.

The city trusts SAY to perform screenings and have security at Warrack based on SAY's history and reputation. SAY's whitewashing of tenants' histories, deflecting residents' and professionals concerns, manipulating and shading information and repeated misrepresentations of plans for Warrack have many hundreds of residents not trusting SAY to deliver.

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