Hot Sheet #24 – 3/31/2020
Intersection of COVID-19 with unresolved homeless vagrant issue show dangers of inept leadership
In response to COVID-19 related problems, Reno City Council has scrambled to deal with grocery store hoarding, quarantines, hospital space, thinly-stretched emergency personnel, and business closures. This is understandable because COVID-19 was an unforeseen emergency affecting 250,000 Reno residents.
Simultaneously, the city has been forced to spend an excessive and disproportionate amount of time and money to apply COVID-19 guidelines to hundreds of chronic homeless-by-choice vagrants downtown, and hundreds more in unsanitary, illegal camps that have been allowed to exist for years. This part of the COVID-19 frenzy is NOT understandable because it is solely due to dysfunctional city leadership and weak law enforcement that has repeatedly refused to take decisive action. The homeless problem should have and could have been solved years ago. However, the problem has not been managed well, so it now seriously interferes with the Council’s ability to put maximum effort and resources into COVID-19.
QOL-Reno has repeatedly proven that our vagrant-by-choice population exists and continues to grow for just two reasons.
1) Chronic vagrants refuse to obey the law, maintain sober lifestyles, and utilize the abundant employment opportunities and subsequent affordable housing options that currently exist. The vagrancy problem is NOT due to a lack of resources, but a misunderstanding and mishandling of the real issue.
2) The City Council and RPD refuse to enforce existing laws that hold homeless vagrants accountable for their unlawful behavior thereby removing their motivation to change it.
Thus, when a health emergency like COVID-19 arises, Reno’s vagrants-by-choice are NOT housed, NOT employed, and NOT part of the solution. Instead, Reno’s policies have resulted in 1,000+ dependent vagrants-by-choice who over-utilize already stretched emergency services, consume resources that Reno cannot afford, and continue to maintain unsanitary camps that are incubators for future disease outbreaks.
Dozens of job openings in Reno – Today – Starting at $16.50/hour
In the midst of the fear and worry about COVID-19, it’s reassuring to hear that a number of Reno businesses are hiring. A company at USA Parkway told its employees to tell all of their clean/sober, hardworking, and honest friends that they have dozens of current openings for jobs beginning at $16.50/hour. The jobs are for both day and evening shifts. More information is available by contacting QOL-Reno at (775) 685.8200.
Solve Reno’s Homeless Problems for 5¢ per Day?
The Reno/Sparks area could solve its homeless problems by passing a property tax that would cost property owners just 5¢ per day. This modest amount (less than $20/year/property) would raise more money than Reno/Sparks currently spends to operate the homeless shelter and wrap-around services. It would enable the governing bodies to not participate in federal HUD funding. What is the benefit of NOT accepting HUD homeless funding? No strings. HUD money requirements dictate that individuals who are sheltered or housed in HUD-funded shelters and housing are:
• NOT required to drug test,
• NOT required to seek employment,
• NOT required to participate in mental health counseling if needed, or even
• follow basic rules in order to access the shelter and its offered services.
Funding the shelter with county funds instead of HUD funding would allow the region’s cities and county to require client participation in rehabilitative programs and possibly even charge a very minimal nightly fee to motivate clients to respect the facility, to participate in helpful programs and services, and to offset the expense of the shelter and staffing. There is NOTHING preventing the Reno/Sparks City Councils and the Washoe County Board of Commissioners from discussing the feasibility of self-funding homeless services in order to gain total control of its operation.
The BEST place to get the truth about Reno’s potential bankruptcy direction
If you’re not aware of the website www.RenoTaxRevolt.com, you need to be.
Operated by long-time community watchdog and current Washoe County School Board candidate, Jeff Church, this site has numerous articles that detail the irresponsible, bankruptcy-threatening financial policies being pursued by the City Council. Council members have repeatedly shown their indifference toward responsible fiscal policies. RenoTaxRevolt.com consistently provides critically important information that is seldom mentioned by local media. The site presents some possible solutions to help voters make informed decisions.
A few weeks ago in Oakland, CA, a group of homeless mothers decided to solve their lack of housing by illegally moving into a vacant home, claiming it as their own, and refusing to move out. Oakland authorities took no action to remove them.
Last week, another group of homeless mothers decided to illegally occupy a vacant home in Los Angeles, announcing that their plans include illegally occupying additional homes as well. Again, local authorities have thus far done nothing to correct the unlawful behavior. (LA Times article)
Last week in Reno, a Nextdoor post told of local vagrants breaking into a woman’s barn, turning on the heat, sleeping there, leaving a mound of liquor bottles, while attempting to claim her barn on her property as their own.
Based on QOL-Reno’s most recent conversation with Reno Police, if this woman had called them for help, she would be told what RPD has told QOL-Reno: “You are picking-on our most “vulnerable population” (vagrants-by-choice), and we have no intention of arresting them for illegal camping.”
Is this the wave of the future for how cities, including Reno, will solve their lack of housing? Does Reno law enforcement let illegal squatters simply steal what they don’t have?
New trend for Police Departments:
Refusing to respond to calls for help
Cincinnati, Ohio’s police department recently announced that they will not be personally responding to a variety of crimes, including assault, breaking and entering, major theft, criminal damage, and more. (WCPO article)
Cincinnati’s Chief of Police comforted community residents by telling them they could report any of these crimes by phone or online. He justified this action by citing the need to limit officers’ exposure to COVID-19, but did not say that the policy would be eliminated once the virus threat has passed.
Reno Police are ahead of the curve with this trend because for more than two years, they have been refusing to enforce violations of the Reno Municipal Code by homeless vagrants for crimes such as large-scale theft, possession of stolen merchandise, possession/use/sales of illegal drugs, and illegal trespassing.
What are people talking to QOL-Reno about?
Downtown vagrants stealing irrigation pipe
“I own an office building in downtown Reno. Last week, I met my landscape company at the building to turn on our sprinkler system.
When we removed the protective cover on our back flow device, the brass back flow device and piping had been stolen! No doubt the work of some of our finest homeless “citizens.” It’s so tiring. Shame on me for not having a metal cage in concrete! I learned my lesson the hard way.” (downtown property owner)
WCSD prevents parents from seeing the truth about its schools
“I called my daughter’s elementary school and told them I wanted to schedule a drop-in visit to her classroom in order to get a realistic, unrehearsed view of her behavior and what goes on at her school. I was told it would take at least 3 weeks (!) to arrange, and it would have to be scheduled well in advance.” (single mother of an elementary student)
If WCSD schools NEVER re-open, what would your kids miss?
Fears related to COVID-19 have closed WCSD schools for the foreseeable future. Politicians speculate that they might not re-open until next August. Initial parent reaction has been, “I’m worried that my children will miss out on their learning.” But will they? Based on national statistics, as well as information from a recent QOL-Reno teacher survey, here’s a partial list of what students will miss by not attending WCSD schools.
• The opportunity to attend schools consistently ranked among the worst in the U.S.
• The opportunity to be among the 90% of WCSD high school graduates whose ACT test scores indicate that they do not have the skills to enroll in even the most basic college-level classes.
• They will miss being in a school environment so disrespectful and out-of-control that 60% of the WCSD teachers who responded to the QOL-Reno survey said they had either been assaulted by a student or knew a teacher who had been.
• They will miss the opportunity to be allowed, if they choose, to do nothing in class but sleep and play on their phones.
• They will miss the opportunity to be in a campus environment where drug/alcohol use is so pervasive that some high schools have taken the doors off of their bathrooms in an attempt to try to control the problem.
When the schools re-open, parents of WCSD students must honestly ask themselves if trading their children’s future for 6 hours/day of free child care is the right move. There are a number of affordable, non-public school options available to parents. Contact QOL-Reno for more detailed information.
The QOL-Reno Homeless Premise and Challenge
PREMISE: The City of Reno, right now, has an abundant, available supply of food, employment, housing, and mental health treatment for ANYONE. There is NO need for the City Council to spend one dollar more on “homeless services.” Doing so is wasting taxpayers’ money and making the homeless problem WORSE.
CHALLENGE: There is not ONE person living on Reno’s streets whom QOL-Reno cannot get housed and employed within 72 hours, IF the individual is willing to comply with the following:
• Be clean and sober
• Be willing to work
• Be willing to obey the law
• Be willing to accept mental health treatment (if needed)
Attention all parents of school-age children:
• WCSD schools rank among the last in the nation
• A QOL-Reno WCSD teachers poll confirmed student discipline, strong moral values, and objective teaching to be almost non-existent
• School leaders totally deny the facts about this situation
Why would any parent keep their child enrolled in WCSD? Contact QOL-Reno for a wide variety of education options for your child.
Police, City Workers, and WCSD Teachers:
The Community needs you to speak up!
YOU know the firsthand truth about how our city and schools are being run. The community needs to know about it. Contact QOL-Reno in complete anonymity: (775) 685-8200.