Protect Our Kids At Tustin Legacy

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To City Manager Jeffrey C. Parker and Members of the Tustin City Council,

We vehemently protest the decision to open and operate 50 emergency beds just 500 feet from Heritage Elementary School on the corner of Red Hill and Valencia. Not only is the proposed location in close proximity to residential communities, retail, and business centers, but it is adjacent to an upcoming toddler splash pad and park for children.

There was no community input on the placement of the temporary shelter and the City has shared very little with its residents. The City has not been forthcoming with information about how the facility would operate, what population it would serve, what security measures or safeguards would be put in place, or even why the current proposed location is the most viable option.

We are upset and greatly concerned by the City’s decision. We are aware of the studies in which researchers have found that supportive housing facilities serving the homeless and other vulnerable populations do not lead to higher crime rates. In fact, the well-run Village of Hope has the support of many community members. The studies, however, come with caveats. First, the studies looked at supportive housing, not emergency shelters. Second, studies have shown an increase in crime within 500 feet of some residences. Significantly, the elementary school is within the 500-foot radius of the proposed shelter. It is unacceptable to place children’s safety at risk.

We strongly urge the City to reconsider its decision and to move the emergency shelter facility to a location that would not impact the safety and health of children. We strongly urge the City to reconsider its decision. The City should incorporate input from the residents of Tustin as well as the local schools and business in order to find the safest way to serve our homeless population

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