Tom Butt
  E-Mail Forum – 2022  
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  The Cost of Rydin Road
September 18, 2022

Figure 1 – RPA member, Vice-mayor and mayoral candidate Eduardo Martinez is in charge of Rydin Road

Figure 2 - Rydin Road RV Camp

The RPA City Council members continue to fritter away public funds on unsuccessful efforts to remove the Rydin Road homeless encampment. On the September 20, 2022, City Council Agenda are two items related to Rydin Road, Item V.1, which delays termination of the camp for six individuals to October 31, 2022, and Item V.2, which also delays termination to October 31 for all campers and describes the methods of distributing $250,000 from the General Fund.

APPROVE a sixth contract amendment and APPROPRIATE $50,000 to Housing Consortium of the East Bay (HCEB) to support residents’ sunsetting from Rydin Road, which was previously appropriated to Community Development; and APPROVE an option for the criteria HCEB shall use to distribute $50,000, in a total not to exceed $250,000 in flex funds; and CONSIDER the extension of the HCEB contract and sunset date to October 21, 2022 – City Manager’s Office (Shasa Curl 510-620-6512).

The Rydin Vehicle Encampment was set to sunset at the end of December 2021. However, at the Special Meeting of the City Council on August 1, 2022, a new sunset date of September 30, 2022, was established to allow for additional time for the transition of the encampment residents. Additionally, contracts with Housing Consortium of the East Bay (HCEB), Collaborising (sub-contract), and $200,000 of Flex Funds with criteria was approved to support the development and implementation of Rydin Road Transitional Plans.

The City has already spent $1,543,975 in public funds for services to Rydin Road in two contracts, one to Housing Coalition of the East Bay (HCEB) and one to Rebuilding Together East Bay North (RTEBN). The proposals on the September 20 Agenda would bring that total to $1,793,975. The staff report indicates there are 28 campers remaining at Rydin Road. That means the City has spent or will spend $64,070 per camper to “sunset” Rydin Road as a homeless encampment. Neither HCEB nor RTEBN have fully accounted for their expenditures despite contractual obligations to do so.

As the word gets out that the City is paying tens of thousands of dollars to homeless persons, it will attract even more to Richmond.

The 2022 Point in Time count indicated there were 632 unhoused people in Richmond at the time of the count. Extrapolating the RPA-designed Rydin Road plan to 604 people (subtracting the 28 at Rydin Road) means the City would have to spend $38.7 million to implement to same plan for the remaining unhoused persons in Richmond.