180/180 Program–Hope or Hoax? Unanswered Questions

Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2013 13:22:52 -0500
From: phil.kramer1@gmail.com
To: rnorse3@hotmail.com
Subject: UPDATE: “Homelessness” Leadership Council formed

We’re excited to report that the Leadership Council has been formed. The selection process was difficult because so many people – nearly 80 – expressed an interest in joining. This was a good problem to have, though we then had to focus on establishing a group that balanced stakeholder and geographic criteria with the need to have a workable size. We believe we’ve come close to accomplishing this with the twenty-five people who have been initially selected to kick off this important new community working group.

The group selected comprises a broad base of stakeholders, representing all parts of Santa Cruz County, from the San Lorenzo Valley to Watsonville, and places in between. There may be additional and ongoing efforts to recruit specific stakeholders to fill any gaps, but that will be a decision for the new “council” to make. For now, this group of twenty-five committed community members will hold their first meeting on March 13. One of the agenda items for this meeting, as promised, will be to review feedback gathered from the Summit, and a discussion on what to do with this valuable input.

And, we’re making fairly good progress on the other “next steps” that were outlined in the previous update (Jan. 17), though we’re running a little bit behind our original ambitious timetable.

  • We are ready to move forward on education and advocacy work and want to invite all of you, especially everyone who expressed an interest in community (public) education and advocacy, to join us on Thursday, April 18 at 7pm at United Way in Capitola for a discussion on both these topics and areas of interest. Please RSVP if you plan to attend by emailing info@smartsolutionstohomelessness.org.

  • Significant progress has been made on engaging the business community. On Friday, Feb. 15, twenty-three business people gathered at United Way for a discussion on “The Business Case for Smart Solutions to Homelessness”. This group plans to meet again, to work on identifying specific areas where they can have the greatest impact. There is great potential for synergy and partnership, with the leadership council, as a few of the business leaders are also on teh newly formed council.

  • A great number of you also expressed interest in volunteering. While we’re not able to provide a comprehensive list of all volunteer opportunities here, or to personalize them based on your area of interest, here are a few excellent resources and opportunities to get involved, including the huge one-day event in Santa Cruz called Project Homeless Connect, on Tuesday, April 9. Click here to sign up.

A great resource for a multitude of volunteer opportunities is The Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz. And, here are just a few of many other volunteer opportunities with organizations that work on issues related to homelessness:

If there are other volunteers you’d like highlighted in the future please email info@smartsolutionstohomelessness.org.

We look forward to working with all of you on our shared goal to reduce and end homelessness in Santa Cruz County. By working together as a community we can make it happen!

The Summit Planning Team

©2013 Smart Solutions to Homelessness | c/o United Way / P.O Box 1458 / 4450 Capitola Road, Suite 106, Capitola, CA 95010

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Philip Kramer
Project Manager
(831) 334-4976

On Fri, Mar 1, 2013 at 10:44 AM, Robert Norse <rnorse3@hotmail.com> wrote:

Who’s in the group?


Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2013 18:41:36 -0800
Subject: Re: UPDATE: “Homelessness” Leadership Council formed
From: phil.kramer1@gmail.com
To: rnorse3@hotmail.com

Hi Robert,
I don’t have time to type in the 25 people right now. When the group meets for the first time we’ll ask them about how they want to present or publish their names and affiliation.

Thanks, Phil

On Fri, Mar 1, 2013 at 8:33 PM, Robert Norse <rnorse3@hotmail.com> wrote:

Phil:  This sounds neither transparent, accessible, nor respectful to the many people who came to the early December meeting.  People who put their energy into this affair need to know who has been chosen by the chosen few, don’t ya think?  And before the event, not after.  Looks like your paid position here has left Occupy far behind.


Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2013 20:40:58 -0800

Subject: Re: UPDATE: “Homelessness” Leadership Council formed
From: phil.kramer1@gmail.com
To: rnorse3@hotmail.com

CC: ctconnor@pacbell.net; spleich@gmail.com; gailpage@gmail.com; becky_johnson222@hotmail.com; lrevans@ecocentricdesignco.com; jeanpiraino@gmail.com; compassionman@hotmail.com; alex@alexdarocy.com; kimisheo@hotmail.com; killerleslie@yahoo.com

Whoa! Not appreciated Robert. I think it’s only fair that I ask the Leadership Council how they want their names and information shared. I’m helping the group through the process of formation and organizing, that doesn’t mean I make decisions for the group.


On Sat, Mar 2, 2013 at 8:08 AM, Robert Norse <rnorse3@hotmail.com> wrote:


First you write that you “don’t have time to type in 25 names”.  It’s hard to believe you don’t have a list of those names that can be cut and pasted.

Then when that seems flimsy, you move on to suggest that you need to seek the permission of people who were publicly at a meeting.   Skepticism turns to cynicism turns to amusement.

Come on, Phil.

I’m not too enthused about a project that ignores 95% of the homeless population to please merchants who want to eliminate from public view the most irritating group (and then likely ignore or criminalize the rest).  And that ignores attacks on the survival camps of homeless people who are being attacked daily by police and TBSC vigilantes.

Enough with the excuses.  Show respect for the people who spent their time attending the last conference.  Let’s have the list of who the “chosen few” are.

And,while we’re at it, please provide transparent figures on your salary and how much money has been coming in to this project and from what sources.


Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2013 17:36:11 -0800
Subject: Re: UPDATE: “Homelessness” Leadership Council formed
From: phil.kramer1@gmail.com
To: rnorse3@hotmail.com
CC: ctconnor@pacbell.net; spleich@gmail.com; gailpage@gmail.com; becky_johnson222@hotmail.com; lrevans@ecocentricdesignco.com; jeanpiraino@gmail.com; compassionman@hotmail.com; alex@alexdarocy.com; kimisheo@hotmail.com; killerleslie@yahoo.com

Dear Robert,
You brought up a number of points that I’ll try and answer here. As of March 1st I’m working as a volunteer for the Smart Solutions effort. There will be a new person hired by the United Way in the very near future to take on the staffing role for the project.

Since the entire project in a volunteer effort, a couple of folks I checked with who have been quite involved suggest that I wait until the first meeting and let the group decide about publicizing the membership list. Since that group of about 25 people will be making decisions for the project, that seems like the right way to handle it. I am happy to let you know that I am one of the members of the new leadership group, representing the 180/180 campaign. I am also happy to give you an idea as to the makeup of the initial group (which could be expanded after the initial meeting). There are currently 6 “formerly homeless” or self described “advocates”; 5 representatives from local government; 3 from the business community; 3 from faith-based organizations; and 5 representatives from “service provider” organizations.

I think you made an incorrect assumption about the Smart Solutions project. It does not favor any one particular approach to addressing homelessness in the community – it simply stresses broad community engagement and evidence-based practices that are cost effective. It is erroneous to state that this approach only focuses on 5% of the homeless population. Most communities using this approach have elements of their overall plan that addresses the homelessness of a wide majority of homeless persons in their communities.

Regarding your request for transparency, since I’m a volunteer for the Smart Solutions effort at this point, I can report that I receive exactly $0. For approximately one year prior, I was paid a modest part-time wage by a local nonprofit organization to organize the Smart Solutions project but this is no longer the case.

From: rnorse3@hotmail.com
To: phil.kramer1@gmail.com
CC: ctconnor@pacbell.net; spleich@gmail.com; gailpage@gmail.com; becky_johnson222@hotmail.com; lrevans@ecocentricdesignco.com; jeanpiraino@gmail.com; compassionman@hotmail.com; alex@alexdarocy.com; kimisheo@hotmail.com; killerleslie@yahoo.com; rboysen@cityonahillpress.com; gperry@santacruzweekly.com; citycouncil@cityofsantacruz.com; huffsantacruz@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Questions About the 180/180 Program in Santa Cruz
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2013 22:39:36 -0800


One has to admire your temperate tone.

Numerous HUFF members went to your 180/180 December sitdown with a lot more positive hopes and expectations than mine.  The general consensus following the meeting was that your program:

(a) had no interest in fighting the destruction of homeless camps and/or the provision of emergency shelter for homeless folks displaced by that pogrom.   For a fraction of the money spent on social services and costly housing, large survival campgrounds with adequate sanitary facilities could be established that would actually meet the needs of people here and now.  Why not lobby for this?  Ah, because the liberal NIMBY element wants nothing to do with it and we must be “smart” and consider what “is possible” rather than what is right and what is necessary.

(b) relied on the faulty notion that the dealing with the visible  (that is, “the most vulnerable”), most troublesome to businesses, and most costly to social services homeless (5% at most) would somehow encourage more money to be spent on the remaining 95%.   In fact, it’s just as likely that the money “saved” would be diverted to other projects.   Municipalities want to get rid of hard-core cases that run up hospital costs, frighten tourists, and clutter up the streets visibly.   But why not simply drive the rest out of town with more police sweeps, “no sleep” laws (on public property and in public libraries), sitting bans, vehicular harassment, and other favorite Santa Cruz tactics?

(c) had no interest in supporting strong civil rights legislation like Ammiano’s Homeless Bill of Rights, which would allow a larger fraction of the homeless to actually shelter themselves until there’s a meaningful change in the national, state, and local priorities.  Nor was there any interest in those victimized by serious political persecution.  Linda Lemaster was made a figleaf poetry speaker and denied any meaningful forum for talking about her upcoming trial. Could it be that Martinez, Lane, and other fear offending the new right-wing Council cretans running the show and seeing their funding cut or challenged?

(d) accordingly also tended to shut up and shut down any discussion of these more immediate shelter/housing issues (as illustrated by what happened at the WILPF meeting when Ed Frey tried to raise the issue).  This results, of course in the kind of elitist censorship, lack of transparency, and bureaucratic doubletalk that I’m surprised you seem to be indulging in.

(e) bleeds and diverts support from protest and alternate encampment projects that actually aim to deal with real homeless survival issues for the majority of homeless people.  This happens both because such projects fly against the agenda of right-wing pressure groups, city council staff, SCPD, and (in part) the social service bureaucracy–who can’t even seem to squeak up when fanatics are creating a health hazard by frightening City Council into banning needle exchange in the city limits, conflating trash, dirty needles, and “illegal camps”.

(f) raises suspicions that keeping the membership of the “leadership council” secret is a way of limiting access and participation to those who share the very financial special pleading that is going on here, to the broader detriment of the homeless community.

(g) seems sadly consistent with your personal policy of ignoring important questions like how much money has been taken in, from what sources, who is managing it, how much has been spent, and on what?   Your salary last year?   Activists are not as naive as they used to be, Phil.  You may have forgotten the lessons learned at Occupy, but I trust that others have not.

Still waiting for answers.

Thanks, Robert

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