I am writing to express my support for the Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless petition to lease City Owned Property for the purpose of providing a “Warm Room” for this winter season. This is the right thing for the council to support on many levels not the least of which are Humanitarian and Financial Stewardship for the City of South Lake Tahoe. Many of the clients of the Warm Room are the working poor of our community, persons with mental illness, those suffering from addiction and others. If you look at the statistics regarding the financial impact of those served and how much strain this population adds to the cost of City Services I think you will agree it is also a wise cause to support. It is known that lack of services for the homeless creates a cost burden to the City; Police, Fire and other Emergency Services. The hardship on the homeless person can be literally life threatening in our community. As Gandhi said so well, “A true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” Let us be an example of the change we wish to see. Please use your voice and your vote to help the Coalition in the noble task to which they have set themselves.
Thank you for allowing me to contribute to this discussion.
Connie Alcamo, South Lake Tahoe Citizen
Please support the Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless by permitting them to lease the City-owned property at 1195 Rufus Allen Blvd. With no other viable locations that are also zoned for temporary shelter available, this space would work as a temporary shelter. With the pressure of the winter cold upon us, it is imperative that we have a space if we are to prevent potentially fatal situations or situations in which homeless adults use ER and jail facilities to stay out of the cold. The TCH as a strong track record of being a good neighbor, managing processes and procedures to ensure that guests are respectful and safe, and that neighbors and the community are safe.
As a 2- year volunteer at the Warm Room, I am writing to express my support for the City of South Lake Tahoe leasing a building to the Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless to operate the Warm Room this winter season.
The combination of sky high rents and the opioid epidemic have resulted in the continued need for a shelter for our citizens in the winter months. Peoples’ lives depend upon the operation of the Warm Room. So many of our guests are working low wage jobs, and are unable to afford an apartment or even a room here in South Lake Tahoe, and the housing crisis is just worsening.
Additionally, South Lake Tahoe is not immune to national trends, including the opioid epidemic. We have guests grappling with addiction issues, with no inpatient programs available in our community.
The Warm Room volunteers want to be good citizens and neighbors. We share that goal with our guests, and have been successful over the last two years. Unfortunately, we are unable to locate a facility to lease, and therefore it is imperative that the City work with the Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless to address this problem.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment,
As the interim Executive Director at Tahoe Youth & Family Services and former Dean at Lake Tahoe Community College, I am strongly encouraging the City Council to allow the Tahoe Coalition for the homeless to rent the property located at 1195 Rufus Allen Blvd. The Coalition has proven that they have the resources and infrastructure required to be good tenants and the youth in our community need a safe, compassionate, and warm place where they can access information and social services during our brutal winter months. TYFS operates a drop-in center for homeless and semi-homeless youth up to the age of 24. Without the warm room, our clients risk life-threatening conditions at night. They are also given the implicit message that their lives don’t matter to those of us who *do* have the resources to find reliable housing. I know many of our community college students attempt to survive the winter in their cars or camping in the meadow. Allowing the Coalition to provide this life-saving space sends a message of compassion to the most vulnerable citizens in our community. We have all needed help at some point in our lives. Clients of the Warm Room are counting on *you* to help them change their life circumstances. During the holiday season, a decision to care for our fellow human beings is definitely the right thing to do.