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SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) — San Rafael is exploring whether it should emulate a plan used by the city of Albany to reduce the number of homeless people in the city by paying them to move.
Last Friday was the deadline for homeless to move out an area known as the Albany Bulb in exchange for a $3,000 payment – an arrangement included as part of a settlement in a lawsuit against Albany over homeless evictions.
San Rafael Mayor Gary Phillips told KPIX 5 he was philosophically opposed to paying people to leave but in some cases the plan could help people return to their families.
“If we find homeless individuals that have parents or relatives willing to accommodate them, we might assist them returning to that home location,” Phillips told KPIX 5.
Phillips also told the Marin Independent Journal the idea of paying homeless to relocate is worth considering.
“At this point, I’ve certainly thought about it,” Phillips told the Marin IJ. “I’ve received a number of emails just this week about encampments at Dominican [College]. They’re up in arms.”
Two homeless people at Boyd Park in San Rafael told KPIX 5 they would “take the money and run,” although one of them said $3,000 isn’t enough to really change the situation in the long run.
More than 933 homeless people live in Marin County, about half of those are in San Rafael, according to the county’s latest homeless census in 2013.