Inyo Supervisors discuss homeless issue

Inyo Sups 2013The local problem of homeless people in Inyo County came up when the temperature went down. Local groups confirmed that they do what they can for the homeless with food, temporary motel rooms and camping supplies. Many of these same groups formed what’s called a state-sanctioned Consortium of Care. When they met this week, the Inyo Supervisors okayed the COC filing for a grant.

The Supervisors also shared that a recent conference clued them in on the growing homeless problem. So did Health and Human Services Director Jean Turner. She said that currently her department is helping four homeless families with seven children. They have received motel vouchers.

Turner said her programs normally see single adults. They have cared for 49 single homeless men between the ages of 21 and 64 and 15 single women of the same age group. Turner said many know each other. Some have RVs and stay together. Turner confirmed that there is a hole in community services to adequately care for the homeless. She said she welcomes the opportunity to dovetail services with the COC.

County Administrator Kevin Carunchio added that Inyo doesn’t want to build up services and attract the homeless from colder areas like Mono and Alpine Counties. He suggested a workshop. Supervisor Jeff Griffiths said he asked Larry Emerson of IMACA to come to the Board of Supervisors in January for an overview of the Consortium of Care. Carunchio also said that the COC funding could “free up County resources.”

The grant proposed by Wild Iris and IMACA on behalf of the COC amounts to $168,000. Apparently more funds will become available in the future. Supervisor Rick Pucci said this is extremely important. At a recent conference, he said he listened to the story of a girl who had been homeless for nine years. He said, “We need to address the issue better than we do now.”

Supervisor Matt Kingsley admitted that he did not know homelessness was a problem in Inyo County. He said the numbers presented by Jean Turner were “striking.” He said the idea of agencies working together on this “is not an option. It’s a responsibility.”


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59 Responses to Inyo Supervisors discuss homeless issue

  1. Help the poor December 12, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    When the number of homeless is increasing daily, while at the same time the number of millionaires also grows – something has gone monstrously wrong. Give until it hurts. Nothing is trickling down.

  2. Trouble December 12, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    Kevin Carunchio comment that he doesn’t want to build up services , because it may attract homeless from other areas makes me sick. Let’s see him tell that to some ten year old kid living at pit for the last 3 months. You lost my vote Bubba!

    • Pedro December 12, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

      I’m with Trouble. Winter weather can KILL you here and Inyo doesn’t want to build up services to help keep current residents safe because someone else might come here to NOT DIE?! Before I say WTF!, maybe SW could ask Carunchio to clarify why we spend money to rescue tourists but not locals?

  3. Dee Younger December 12, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

    You can’t vote for Kevin. Show me the ten year old and I’ll see they get help. This isn’t brain surgery, but sometimes compassion has it’s limits.

    • Trouble December 13, 2013 at 7:05 am #

      Drive up to the pit, I know of several families that have lived up there in the last year. I guess their landlords had their compassionate limits.

      • Trouble December 13, 2013 at 7:14 am #

        Dee- sorry, my last comment was to strong. Kevin’s comments just really irked me. I do know of two working families that did end up at the pits for months this year, after being evicted. They were able to save up and find homes. It is nice of you to offer help.

  4. John Barton December 13, 2013 at 8:08 am #

    “…compassion has it’s limits” says it perfectly. I lived in Humboldt county for a few years where they catered to the homeless and as a result the community of Eureka is overrun with “homeless” draining the city’s resources. The citizens have woken up and seen the affect of their over-compassion and are now trying to take back their town. I applaud Kevin for his forward thinking in this case.

    • Mark December 13, 2013 at 11:31 am #

      it’s draining city resources all over the State. It’s also draining State resources. I just read somewhere this morning that the population of California has increased by some 330,0000 people. It made me immediately wonder how many of those babies were born and now being cared for at the taxpayers expensive.

      It is a hec of a way to take over a country though.. illegally immigrate then start having babies that can vote.

      • Benett Kessler December 13, 2013 at 11:58 am #

        Isn’t that the way all immigrants from decades past managed things? We are a nation of immigrants.

        • Ken Warner December 13, 2013 at 1:07 pm #


          No, not all immigrants. My Grandparents on my mothers side came from Italy — legally. They raised legal sons and daughters.

          I’ve heard the “…we are a nation of immigrants…” dodge way too often. We are not a nation of illegal immigrants or didn’t used to be.

          • Benett Kessler December 13, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

            I don’t consider it a dodge, but this is my opinion. Not everyone has the same ability to “get legal.” In the 80s, our news service helped two Russian scientists to defect. Their struggle for legalization was surprising. I guess I prefer the attitude expressed by the Statue of Liberty. Many immigrants pay taxes, and in our area Health and Human Services says they get few benefits.

          • Desert Tortoise December 13, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

            I come from a family of immigrants and my fiancee is an immigrant, all fo whom were legal immigrants btw. It can be done legally, lots of good Americans do this every day. We deeply resent those who elbow the honest immigrants out of the queue and come here without following the law. If they break the law to come here without consequence you cannot expect them to respect our laws once here.

          • Benett Kessler December 13, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

            Like I said, let’s create a better system. If Congress would quit playing slap the other party in the face, we might get that done.

          • Ken Warner December 13, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

            We have a system. The keystone of that system is don’t enter the country illegally. And don’t hire people who are here illegally. That’s a perfectly good system. It’s just not being enforced.

            Here’s an interesting article. All illegal immigrants are not only from Mexico. They are from all over the World.


            About 11.7 million immigrants are living in the United States illegally, a population that has not varied much over the last three years but may recently be increasing again, according to new estimates published Monday by the Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends Project.

          • Benett Kessler December 13, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

            To DT’s point – highly unlikely anyone is going to arrest and deport 11.7 million people.

          • Boat People December 13, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

            So the boat people here are upset that the boat people from the south were less successful in attempted genocide and their mixed blood is walking north? Interesting!

          • Charles O. Jones December 15, 2013 at 9:58 am #

            @ Ken

            According to our Constitution, the sons and daughters of your grandparents are no more “legal” than any other child born in this country.

        • Mark December 13, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

          Absolutely, but I also think times have changed.

          If we are opening our Southern Boarder to illegal immigration many (probably most) who come here are homeless and we had better be prepared to give them shelter.

          and Ken is correct “…we are a nation of immigrants…” is a dodge of the real issues involved.

          • Benett Kessler December 13, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

            I disagree. It is not a dodge. It is the truth. If we want a better path to citizenship, then create one.

          • Desert Tortoise December 13, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

            We have a fine path to legal citizenship and lots of honest hard working immigrants gain their legal residence and citizenship through it.

            We fail to punish those who refuse to obey the laws that govern the path to citizenship, in effect making fools of immigrants who play by the rules. The solution is to arrest and deport those who refuse to follow the existing body of law that leads to legal residence and citizenship. Too many have a misdirected sympathy for those who break our nation’s laws to come here and to seize the businesses and imprison the business owners and managers who chose to hire illegal immigrants. If our laws had teeth, and employers punished for hiring illegal immigrants the problem would be largely eliminated.

          • Benett Kessler December 13, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

            Not going to happen. We’re not talking sympathy. Practicality and the need for a system that does work.
            Benett Kessler

      • Draining Resources December 13, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

        Iraq/Afghanistan $ 1,000,000,000,000 to $6,000,000,000,000

  5. John December 13, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    Kevin Carunchio should team up with Dan Paranick.

    • waxlips December 14, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

      What!! Dan Paranick isn’t even a fixture anymore!

  6. Ken Warner December 13, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    There are just too many people. When I was born, there was about 2 billion people in the whole World. Now there are over 7 billion people.

    At the same time, technology and progress has made it easier for one person to produce more goods and services than ever before. Jobs that used to be essential not to long ago just don’t exist anymore.

    More and more education is required to be competitive in the work force. More and more people are less and less educated. At the same time, the cost of goods and services is continually rising.

    What’s going to happen? The individual tragedies easily found in the news today are going to become more and more common. At the same time, more and more political pressure is reducing the aid and help to people who need it. What’s going to happen?

    The same kind of concerned person who today worries about Climate Change use to worry about population control; birth control. Those concerns produced nothing just as Climate Change concerns today are really producing nothing.

    There’s likely going to be a big population die off from Climate Change and population pressures in the not too distant future as water and arable land is reduced by drought and flooding by rising oceans and wars are fought for what’s left. The U.N. predicts 15 billion people by the year 2100.

    There is a storm coming and I’m glad I’m not a child today.

  7. Mark December 13, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    “doesn’t want to build up services , because it may attract homeless from other areas”

    California’s the place we should be, so we loaded up the truck and moved to Bishop

  8. Give me your tired, your poor ... December 13, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    Once again the personal greed that is typical of many today makes those who believe they are the ultimate Americans makes a disgusting mockery of the Statue of Liberty’s : “Give me your tired, your poor, …”
    These conservatives are no different than the 3rd Reich.

    • Mark December 13, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

      Time’s have changed.

      Human population is creating new social and invironmental issues. I think NASA needs more money because we’re going to need some more living space in the way of another planet soon.

      A little birth control would slow the process down.

      • Ken Warner December 13, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

        Mark, the idea that human kind will some day migrate to another planet is just a lie that is being fed to us by those most responsible for the destruction of our own planet. “Hey, don’t bother to clean up — we’ve got another one right over there.”

        The amount of energy and resources necessary to send one person just to low Earth orbit is beyond the comprehension of most people. The idea that we can send large numbers of people to Mars is simply impossible regardless of all the pretty movies that portray that event.

        • Wayne Deja December 14, 2013 at 9:16 am #

          Let’s face it…..For a LOT of reasons,this planet won’t be sustaining life for a long period of time,from here on out…none of us will see it happen….not our kids,or even grand kids…about three generations from now things will be over,or close to it.The population will be TOTALLY out of hand,with survival and crime getting out of hand because of it….the “authorities” or “authority wanna-bes” unable to do much about it or try to control it..bringing on bickering between citizens of the U.S.A.and other Countries..probably wars..the weather changes…..people won’t be able to migrate or survive in the real cold areas that aren’t over populated…animal population and crops won’t be enough to sustain human life…by the year 2250,this World will either be gone,or in a whole lot of trouble…maybe sooner…..

          • Ken Warner December 14, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

            I just watched “Soylent Green” again. The movie’s time frame is 2020. I think that’s a little premature. But by 2120??? There’s going to be a lot of people then. What are they going to eat — besides each other?

          • Desert Tortoise December 16, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

            The sun is in it’s main sequence now, but it won’t remain so indefinitely. It is slowly but surely consuming hydrogen, fusing six hydrogen atoms into a helium atom to sustain it’s fire, but as the proportion of hydrogen and helium changes over time, the sun will gradually expand and heat up. It will remain in the main sequence for another 4.5 billion years, but long before that the increasing heat will render Earth uninhabitable.

            When the sun leaves the main sequence it will rapidly expand into a red giant, with a diameter beyond that of the Earth’s current orbit. The sun will either pull the Earth in and incinerate it, or push it outward and roast it’s surface, maybe even reliquify it. If all of that is not enough, the sun will blow off a huge amount of it’s mass in a nebula.

            Ultimately mankind has to find a new planet or planets to inhabit if we expect to continue our existence. Fortunately we have around a billion years before the Earth becomes too hot for liquid water and at the rate technology is progressing I have no doubt mankind will find a way to survive and perservere.

          • erik simpson December 16, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

            Whoa, DT. As a retired astronomer, I can’t help myself here. It takes FOUR hydrogen atoms to make helium. The sun is already a little past the main sequence, although it’s going slow. It’ll gradually (very gradually) speed up. As it gets larger, it actually cools, although the luminosity increases.

            You’re basically right that in about four billion years or so the earth will be toast. As a matter of fact, it’ll probably be uninhabitable by anything we’re familiar with long before that.

            But be of good cheer.. the average non-rodent mammalian species just lasts around six million years, so all we have to fear is fear itself.

          • Ken Warner December 17, 2013 at 10:58 am #

            Wikipedia thinks hominids are about 6-7 million years old. Homo Sapiens are about 300,000 to 400,000 years old.

            Given the ferver and commitment we attack the planet and each other, the idea that we — as a species — may live another million years seems optimistic to me.

            But who knows? The future may be all shiny glass and metal with flying cars…..

        • MajorTom December 14, 2013 at 11:08 am #

          Ken, you need to watch more Star Trek. Why let current realities limit our imagination for the future. On the other hand, it probably is not good planning to expect to move the population of the earth to a new planet to avoid being responsible for the messes we’ve made here.

          Most of our environmental problems are actually economic problems – our economic system undervalues the natural environment. If we fix that, I think things could improve dramatically and quickly.

      • sugarmagnolia December 15, 2013 at 11:01 am #

        You can blame the catholic church for the lack of birth control, especially in countries that can least afford over popluation. Of course, in our country, republicans are a close second….not only trying to outlaw abortion but even coming out against birth control that blocks implantation of the egg. Those same people who are trying to make abortion and birth control harder to get are the same ones who don’t want to ‘help’ raise the child…ie. force child support, assist with quality child care, and preventative medical care etc.

        I hope to god we never try to populate another planet. I think destroying one planet is enough for mankind.

        Most likely, before we tip the threshold to a mass catastrophe, we’ll have mini-catastrophes that will decrease mankids population…think of what happened with the black plague. I put my money on infuenza, or perhaps, the complete failure of antibiotics due the overuse in our food industry. or maybe a hemorrhagic fever type illness, but not ruling out a massive nuclear incident.

        However, none of this is relevant to the homeless problem in the US. The homeless issue is of course complex, but I think it can be categorized into two main causes:

        1. lack of pay. While the people paying the salaries get richer and richer (think mulitple milliondollar homes, million dollar planes, huge discrectionary spending), the salaries they are paying do not allow a person to support themselves, let alone a family. Why do we accept this, I cannot understand. Asking for a pay scale that pays for the basics is not ‘a handout’…its asking to be paid a decent wage for a days work. Simply put, if people could make enough money to pay their basic bills and have a little extra each month, most people would chose to leave the ‘system’ and work.
        Being on the system lowers ones sefl-esteem and for some reason, seems to encourage more unhealthy behavior. Getting the lower income people working instead of sitting on their duffs, would be a huge improvement to our country.

        2. Alcohol and drug (including prescription) issues. This one’s much harder to solve. And let’s not kid ourselves, alcohol is the biggest problem out there. Obviously prohibition didn’t work. You can send someone to rehab all you want, but until they’re ‘ready’ to change it will not be successful. Putting them in homes is only enabling the behavior. The fact is, the people who are living on the streets because they have thrown their lives down the tubes by drinking, are pretty much unhelpable. THe only think I can see doing is opening a shelter (nighttime only with cots only) when the temp dips below a certain temperature.

        Anyone else have any ideas that might help get these people healthy?

        • Ken Warner December 15, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

          Mosquito transmitted AIDS is one of my favorites. Or air born ebola or other hemorrhagic fever. And then there’s the good old stand by smallpox.

          As the population grows and population centers get more crowded, a pandemic of something can spread like fire through dry brush.

          And re-read Orwell’s 1984. It lays it all out. The three basic classes –High, Mid and Low with slave labor as a fundamental part — in a hierarchical system where continuous war drives production and consumption. Hard to read it without seeing the stark parallels with today’s society.

          • sugar magnolia December 16, 2013 at 10:32 am #

            Oddly enough, 1984 was not on my high school reading list. You’d think it would’ve been, as I graduated in 1984! I’ve never read it. Sounds like an interesting read though.

        • Desert Tortoise December 16, 2013 at 11:08 am #

          Most income support programs effectively permit businesses to pay their employees less than a living wage. The middile income taxpayer ends up picking up the difference. The net effect is that taxpayers end up subsidizing employers by supplementing their meager wages with our own tax money. Nice, isn’t it.

          We compound the problem by taking benefits away dollar for dollar for each dollar earned above the minimum threshold, and take all medical care away completely. I have a cousin in this boat. Her husband’s bank collapsed, was sold to a competitor who laid off thousands of employees. Late fifties and unemployed, no one would hire him and the stress led to an aneurysm, brain surgery and permanent partial disabilitty. His family is accessing public assistance and his wife was able to get a job after his mother died and the wife no longer had to take care of her daily. Their conundrum is this, if the wife increases her hours, every dollar she earns reduces her income support by a dollar, and the medical care they receive from the county will be cut off entirely while her employers health care will not even begin to cover her husbands current medical needs. This is a man who has worked full time since age 16 and is a self taught IT expert, but no one will touch people of his age any more for any job, even fast food or Walmart.

          But some pollies will stigmatize him and his family as “takers”. Nice country we live in.

    • Tom O December 14, 2013 at 7:50 am #

      ooooh….theres the Nazi comparison. When you cant make a point or win an argument…call the other guy a Nazi…..its a tired and failed tactic bro.

  9. Don December 13, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

    The homeless have arrived down this path from many directions and due to any number of internal and external situations which I’m not in a position to Judge.
    Many years ago, I was a legal emigrant to the United States, served in the USMC, in Viet Nam, Honorably discharged, became an American citizen and have never regretted very step.
    To me there are a number of issues being, unfortunately, blended, homeless needs, legal immigration, illegal immigration and immigration reform(perhaps work permits).
    I know of a number of families who are doing everything they can to simply survive.

  10. familygal December 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    Benett- When and where is the January Meeting:

    “Supervisor Jeff Griffiths said he asked Larry Emerson of IMACA to come to the Board of Supervisors in January for an overview of the Consortium of Care.”

    This is an important issue and I think as many of us as possible should attend.


    • Benett Kessler December 14, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

      The Board did not say when this might happen, but we will watch for it and do a story in advance of the Board meeting.

  11. Mark December 14, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    I’d bet money most of the illegals in California are from Mexico due to the easy access.

    and why should I obey our laws when the illegals don’t and law enforcement does nothing about it.

    If law enforcment is going to chose which laws they will enforce, I’m going to chose which laws I obey.

    I’m off to tear out some FOI road blocks

    • Benett Kessler December 14, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

      Terribly mature response, Mark.
      Benett Kessler

    • Desert Tortoise December 16, 2013 at 11:11 am #

      The largest current immigrant group are Asians and Pacific Islanders.

  12. waxlips December 14, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    Oh my…

  13. Ken Warner December 15, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    It turns out that my “boat people” grandparents were U.S. Citizens before Native Americans. What a slimey comment although I expect nothing less from you under any fake name you use.

    And for all you Constitutional Scholars —

    The most recent judge to weigh in on the issue as to whether a constitutional amendment would be necessary to change the policy is Judge Richard Posner who remarked in a 2003 case that “Congress would not be flouting the Constitution if it amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to put an end to the nonsense.” He explained, “A constitutional amendment may be required to change the rule whereby birth in this country automatically confers U.S. citizenship, but I doubt it.” Posner also wrote, that automatic birthright citizenship is a policy that “Congress should rethink” and that the United States “should not be encouraging foreigners to come to the United States solely to enable them to confer U.S. citizenship on their future children.”

    • Charles O. Jones December 15, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

      Judge Posner Is a US Circuit Judge – which is far from being a member of the SCOTUS. I’m willing to bet you a coke that Judge Posner will NEVER have the opportunity to actually weigh legally on this or any other Constitutional decision.

      And you can find a wide variety of opinions on virtually any legal topic from circuit court judges, (CA 9th Circuit is particularly notorious for this). So whether you agree with him or not, Posner’s opinion is far from becoming the law of this nation. If/when his opinion is ever considered by the SCOTUS, the issue could be discussed from that perspective.

      But here in the real world, your implication further up the thread that your American-born family members are somehow more “legal” than other American-born citizens just comes off as good old-fashioned arrogance. If I have misinterpreted your intent, please feel free to clear it up for me.

      • Ken Warner December 15, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

        CJ, I can’t help how you perceive the world around you.

        Mark December 13, 2013
        It is a hec of a way to take over a country though.. illegally immigrate then start having babies that can vote.

        Isn’t that the way all immigrants from decades past managed things? We are a nation of immigrants.

        Ken Warner December 13, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

        No, not all immigrants. My Grandparents on my mothers side came from Italy — legally. They raised legal sons and daughters.

        • Pedro December 16, 2013 at 12:24 am #

          Ken, You do know that Italians at that time were allowed to become naturalized citizens because they were white. Then there was a backlash against eastern and southern Europeans with arguments that they weren’t white enough. Native Americans could not use the same paths available to your grandparents even if they wanted to. And you do know Apache and Paiute were still actively defending their nations when your grandparents were naturalized.

          • Desert Tortoise December 16, 2013 at 11:29 am #

            Native Americans want to be members of independent nations and yet have full rights as US citizens. No immigrant group has this expectation. The situation wrt native Americans is very different than it is for immigrant groups.

          • Pedro December 16, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

            Some Native Americans HAVE (not “want”) dual citizenship, yes. The USA relation with Native nations is very different as you say, and immigrants from other nations should have no expectation whatsoever of the same rights. Still, these rights of Tribal citizens came much later than those established for white immigrants. Even tribes that were allies of the colonists were betrayed, ignored and forgotten for centuries.

        • Charles O. Jones December 16, 2013 at 9:40 am #

          “CJ, I can’t help how you perceive the world around you.’

          And vice-versa my friend.

          FWIW, I am quite happy with the world around me. But if these message boards are any indication, you seem to be far from happy with the one you live in.

    • Slime December 15, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

      So boat people did prefer boat people over foot people then too.

  14. Mongo The Idiot December 15, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    I’m real concerned about the old-timer who sleeps in front of Subway in Independence.
    I have a hair on shearling waistcoat I would give him if I thought he would keep it.

  15. JeremiahJoseph December 16, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    Awesome to see this a issue they’re talking about, we know the ability to have shelter for those who would want or in need of the help is possible.

  16. Desert Tortoise December 16, 2013 at 11:31 am #

    The state needs to re-establish a system for caring for those with mental health problems. Ronnie closed the state hospitals and threw everyone out on the street, where they remain today. It should not be left to counties or individual cities to deal with the problem in an ad-hoc way. The state should take responsibility for this problem and we taxpayers should fund it.


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