Hundreds of Fremont residents showed up at a City Hall meeting Tuesday to oppose a proposal that could put a homeless navigation center at one of two sites in the area.
About 250 people came to speak on the subject, filling overflow rooms at City Hall.
One of the two sites being considered is next to the Reagan Nursery on Decoto Road. The other is in the parking lot behind City Hall.
The city said that homeless numbers are up 27% since 2017 and that something must be done.
“Everybody says ‘it’s a great idea but not in my neighborhood,’” said Suzanne Shenfil of Fremont Human Services. “The challenge is finding the place that’s going to be most acceptable.”
People living near Decoto Road worried about an increase in crime. “I don’t want homeless people around here checking my doors when I’m not home,” said Charles Casey, a local resident.
Locals also have concerns about the City Hall site. While some argue that it’s closer to transportation and other services, many feel that it isn’t a good site due to its proximity to new businesses and preschools.
Mike, a homeless man in Fremont, asked people to consider what it’s like for people experiencing homelessness. He said, “You have to ask yourself, if you were down and out and in trouble, wouldn’t you want services to be offered to you?”
The city will host two public meetings on this topic in August.