Larkin Place – Misinformation vs. truth

 

MISINFORMATION

Larkin Place is for people with the most severe drug addictions and mental illnesses.

TRUTH

Larkin Place is for people who have experienced homelessness for a year or more and have a long-term disability. Disabilities are not limited to substance use disorders and serious mental health conditions; they also include physical or developmental disabilities, chronic health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, seizures, respiratory problems or arthritis, or HIV-related illnesses. Among these, chronic health conditions are the most common for people who meet these requirements in Claremont.

People with physical or behavioral health needs that exceed the scope of the onsite services available will not be candidates for Larkin Place. All residents will complete a thorough vetting process to assess their ability to live safely and independently in a community setting.

Sources: LA County HMIS Database & Jamboree Housing

MISINFORMATION

Larkin Place residents will endanger our community.

TRUTH

Assuming that people experiencing homelessness are dangerous is rooted in stigma rather than credible research. Our unhoused neighbors already live next to schools, parks, and the elderly in retirement villages. Housing these neighbors does not cause an increase in crime; it allows them to stabilize and address any illnesses or disabilities through wrap-around services tailored to meet their needs. In fact, a recent study published by UCI that aggregated crime data with affordable housing projects located in Orange County (including PSH) found that the siting of affordable housing reduces most types of crime, especially violent crime. 

Source: The Impact of Affordable Housing on Housing & Crime in OC, UCI, 2022.

MISINFORMATION

Larkin Place will decrease the property values of the surrounding community.

TRUTH

While it’s understandable that people want to protect their investments, the vast majority of studies have found that affordable housing does not depress neighboring property values and may even raise them in some cases. In the same UCI study mentioned above, researchers found that the siting of affordable housing, including PSH, did not negatively affect housing prices and in fact, surrounding communities saw modest increases in both sales prices and price per square foot.

Source: The Impact of Affordable Housing on Housing & Crime in OC, UCI, 2022.

MISINFORMATION

Residents will not be evicted for illegal activity.

TRUTH

Residents at Larkin Place will have the legal rights and responsibilities that any renter has in the State of California, and eviction may result from lease violations—including

violating the strict visitor policy, non-payment of rent, or any behaviors that threaten the safety and wellbeing of the community.        Source: Jamboree Housing

MISINFORMATION

87 residents will live at Larkin Place.

TRUTH

Larkin Place will house single adults and some couples; no household may include anyone who is not a fully vetted and eligible leaseholder. Larkin Place is not a shared- housing model, so roommates (other than couples who are married or in domestic partnerships) will not be eligible to live there. The anticipated occupancy is 37.

Source: Jamboree Housing

MISINFORMATION

Larkin Place will house criminals.

TRUTH

Thorough criminal background checks will be completed for every tenant to exclude anyone who has been convicted of a serious or violent crime, including violent felonies, sex offenses, arson, and methamphetamine production. Jamboree is required to meet the same Federal and State Fair Housing and non-discrimination law in screening its residents as any other landlord in California.

Source: Jamboree Housing

MISINFORMATION

Larkin Place excludes families and seniors.

TRUTH

Larkin Place will not exclude seniors, and residents may grow their families once they are stably housed at Larkin Place.

Source: Jamboree Housing

MISINFORMATION

Larkin Place won’t house people experiencing homelessness in Claremont.

TRUTH

Residents will be prioritized through LA County’s Coordinated Entry System (CES), which takes into account the places where people call home when determining permanent supportive housing placements. Regardless, homelessness is a regional crisis, and we need to think about this issue on a regional scale if we’re going to make meaningful change. Every city, neighborhood, and neighbor must do their part to bring our unhoused indoors and help end our homelessness crisis. Surrounding cities have done their part; last year alone, 35 people experiencing homelessness in Claremont were permanently housed in projects located in and funded by surrounding communities. Larkin Place is a first step in doing our part to be a part of the solution.

Source: SPA 3 CES Lead & LA County HMIS Database

MISINFORMATION

Jamboree Housing Corporation is an absentee developer without Claremont’s best interest in mind.

TRUTH

Jamboree is a respected, mission-driven non-profit developer with more than 30 years of experience building and operating affordable and permanent supportive housing in Southern California and across the state. Their assets are not an indictment of the agency but rather a reflection of their successful development of supportive housing in wealthier communities amidst vocal opposition. Jamboree has already been a part of the Claremont community for over a decade since its successful affordable housing development, Courier Place, was built in 2011.

Support Larkin Place – Email your elected officials

Email Claremont City Council

%your signature%

You can add formatting using markdown syntax - read more

Share this with your friends:

   

Housing Claremont’s Letter to the Editor on Larkin Place

April 4, 2022

Dear Editor: 

On Thursday night, Jamboree Housing Corporation hosted a community meeting to  share plans for the new permanent supportive housing program, Larkin Place, that  will be built on the vacant lot adjacent to Larkin Park. I listened quietly trying to  identify how the Housing and Homelessness Collaborative of Claremont (Housing  Claremont) can do its best work to support the project, serve as an honest broker of  information, engage in good faith conversations about community concerns, and help  move the discourse away from “how do we stop this” and toward “how do we make  Larkin Place work for the entire community.”  

That night, I heard the frustration many community members feel about decisions  that were made without their input. I heard many questions asked in the spirit of  learning, and I heard the disappointment and hurt from some who have been made  to feel like heartless NIMBYs for expressing their concerns. I heard traumatic stories  of lives impacted by homelessness, doubt about the efficacy of the permanent  supportive housing model, conjecture about the behaviors of people who will  eventually live at Larkin Place, and fear for the safety of our schoolchildren and  seniors. It struck me that what I heard most—and from nearly every person who  spoke—is that helping people who are unhoused is a good thing. That seems like a  good place to start. 

If we can agree that having concerns about the project doesn’t mean that you oppose helping the unhoused, we might also agree that supporting Larkin Place doesn’t mean  that you don’t care about the safety of our community. Maybe we can agree that  Jamboree isn’t trying to pull one over on Claremont and stands behind its  commitment to being a good neighbor. Perhaps we can believe in their tenant vetting  process, staff to tenant ratio, and trained, professional staff. With careful planning  and engaged stakeholders, we can serve the unhoused and maintain safety. We can  engage in a community process to create accountability and safety plans that ease  our misgivings. We might even take ownership and pride in the success of Larkin  Place. 

There are some who will never be convinced that a project like this will work, and I  expect they will oppose the proposed parking easement (resulting in a less  community-oriented design) and $1.5 million city investment (resulting in less  accountability by the City for the project’s success). Both might delay the project, but  neither will derail it because the project is protected under by-right housing law—law  that was enacted to prevent neighborhood opposition to new housing that has  contributed for decades to California’s housing and homelessness crisis. 

Someone on Thursday night worried that the project’s supporters simply “hope” that  it will all work out. In fact, there is ample evidence supporting the efficacy of permanent supportive housing and Jamboree’s success delivering it. But more than that, isn’t hope a good thing? Housing Claremont hopes that the community will come together to show that successful permanent supportive housing is possible in   Claremont, and we look forward to creating opportunities to do so. 

Respectfully, 

Ilsa Lund 

Housing Claremont, Board President

Link to letter

Housing Myths & Facts

MYTH: Supportive housing is another name for drug treatment. 

FACT: Supportive housing (or Permanent Supportive Housing) is an evidence-based housing model used throughout the country that combines housing with voluntary onsite services. Tenants sign leases and have all the rights and responsibilities—including paying rent—under California law. They also have access to onsite counselors to support their long-term housing stability, which may include counseling related to managing substance use or mental health issues. Inpatient and outpatient drug treatment facilities must be licensed by the State of California and operate very differently than supportive housing.

MYTH: Home values go down and crime rates increase when homeless programs move-in. 

FACT: Research on the impact of supportive housing on neighbors and neighborhoods shows that there is a neutral to positive impact on home values and crime rates when small supportive housing developments under 50 units are located in low-concentration neighborhoods.

MYTH: Neighbors can organize to block housing for homeless people.

FACT: For decades, neighborhood opposition blocked much-needed housing in cities like Claremont, directly contributing to California’s homelessness crisis. As a result, new By-Right Housing laws now waive the public process for new 100% affordable and supportive housing.

MYTH: Homeless people are more likely to be criminals.

FACT: Research shows that people who are unhoused are more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violent and serious crime; and the majority of crimes perpetrated by people who are unhoused are the result of laws that criminalize homelessness. These laws are proven to be costly, ineffective, and in some cases, unconstitutional.

MYTH: It’s not safe for children to be around homeless people. 

FACT: Unhoused people are no more likely than housed people to harm children. Research on physical and sexual abuse of children overwhelmingly proves that children are abused by adults they know. The notion that unhoused people present a greater danger to schoolchildren than anyone else is factually incorrect, stigmatizing, and harmful.

MYTH: Creating more programs only enables homelessness and attracts more homeless people. 

FACT: Research shows that homelessness is a homegrown problem and people experience homelessness in the same communities where they were once housed. People experiencing homelessness want the same things that housed people do: to live in the communities where they have family, job opportunities, and social connections.

MYTH: It’s safer to house homeless people away from families, schools, and parks. 

FACT: People who are unhoused have families, go to school, enjoy outdoor spaces, and want to contribute to their communities to make them safe, livable places.

MYTH: Homelessness is caused by mental illness and substance abuse. 

FACT: Homelessness is caused by income inequality, lack of affordable housing, and systemic racism; mental illness and substance use are symptoms of homelessness, not the cause. Housing is the solution to homelessness, and allows people to manage mental illness or substance use issues exacerbated by homelessness.