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Concord Council Discusses Homeless Issue

Citizen complains about not feeling safe with prevalence of homeless behind her back fence.

Sparked by a citizen’s complaint about homeless people congregating behind her back fence, the City Council on Tuesday night discussed the social issues of homeless people in Concord.

Corri Muller of Gill Court, a Concord resident for 10 years, said her back yard borders the state property along Highway 242. Homeless people who are drinking, using drugs and using the area as a bathroom have been prevalent lately.  

“It has become a huge safety issue near the (Mount Diablo) high school,” she said. “The city police do a good job of moving them along but they’re back the next day. We need a better solution.”

Muller, who recently had a baby, said, “I don’t feel safe in my own house.”

Councilman Bill Shinn, who serves on a county council on homeless issues, said collaboration among jurisdictions has been increasing.

“The big thing is to try to get them into a program,” he said. “We need to keep working with neighboring jurisdictions to make sure we’re working collaboratively to solve social problems.”

He said an all-county count in January showed increasing numbers of homeless in Concord and other area cities. Shinn noted that Concord police, the district attorney’s office and social service agencies worked together last week in t on Lowe’s property on Arnold Industrial Drive.

“Some homeless people get in trouble but not all and not most,” said Councilman Dan Helix. As the city was reviewing its tentative 2011-12 budget Tuesday, Helix said the city, in its fiscal belt-tightening, had eliminated many community service general fund grants, harming programs that deal with the homeless.

“It’s my hope that next year we’ll be able to revisit those programs and provide some needed assistance,” he said. “I think one of the functions of government is to help people get back on their feet and that’s really on my mind.”

Mayor Laura Hoffmeister said city staff would set up a time for Muller to meet with police and discuss the issue on Gill Court. 

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