Politicians and charities claim locals want to be part of the solution

Source: Daily Mail

Homelessness in the Bay Area has become such a problem people are being urged to give their spare rooms over to the homeless.

Some charities have urged local families – who are sick of seeing the homeless crisis on their doorsteps – to do something about it personally by taking unhoused people into their own homes and spare rooms – and some schemes have little to no compensation. 

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Christi Carpenter, executive director of East Bay nonprofit Safe Time, which places homeless families and college students in spare bedrooms, for one-six months, told Mercury News: ‘This is something that someone can do when they just feel that despair of ‘oh my gosh, I just can’t stand seeing these poor people on the streets near my home.’ Since 2017, the group has made more than 60 placements.

The mayor of Richmond, a city in the Bay Area 20 miles from downtown San Francisco, meanwhile, has set up a program to match homeless people with local landlords who have empty apartments. 

Funded by private donations, it will pay the landlords a year’s rent up front to encourage them to forgo the usual credit, employment and background checks for tenants.

‘That’s the carrot,’ Mayor Tom Butt told DailyMail.com, adding that they were paid the market rate. 

‘But we have had some landlords come forward and offer it lower, as they want to participate.’ 

Asked whether people expressed concern about the potential dangers of welcoming homeless people into their homes or apartments, he insisted that people care more about the plight of unhoused people and the homeless camps. 

‘They are more concerned with the homeless camps,’ he said. ‘People want to see solutions, and want to be part of the solution.’  

He also claims he has not faced any concerns about the tenants from those housing them, because as the apartments were lower end in the first place – so they would always attract renters with less secure and affluent circumstances. 

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