Creekbridge residents continue to fight Salinas City's plan to build homeless shelters

Neighbors protest outside of Natividad Hospital

Creekbridge homeless shelter rally

SALINAS, Calif. - Residents of Creekbridge Neighborhood in Salinas held signs and raised their voices, Saturday. The group, Creekbridge United, is saying "no" to the city's plans to put two new homeless facilities near their homes.

"We have a county jail. We have a juvenile hall. Now, they want to bring homeless out of the southside and they want to station them here. Next to a jail. Next to a juvenile hall," said Margaret Serna Bonetti, resident of Creekbridge. 

The Salinas City Council voted 6 to 1, in favor of the proposal, back in October. As the months pass, neighbors said their worry only grows.

The city's plans include two facilities. The city said the 855 East Laurel Drive location would serve as homeless shelter, and that 1220 Natividad Road would serve as transitional housing.

"What they're trying to do with the homeless, at this moment, is not the right location for the safety of the kids," Sandra Alcala, resident of Creekbridge.

Alcala protested alongside her young niece and nephew. She said she is worried about the shelters being so close to schools and one of Salinas' largest soccer parks.

"We were not notified of this. We need more meetings. We need to discuss this more. The people need to be informed of what's going on. What is my priority? The safety of the kids that are going to be here," said Alcala.

Creekbridge United said this fight is less about their own worries. They don't believe the new shelters are the best option for the city's homeless.

"I'm not saying that there are not homeless people who would like shelters. I think that's a good thing for homeless people, but what I'm saying that, the city is not considering services. That should be the number one priority for them," said Craig Cox, President of Creekbridge United.

Protestors complain about bad communication. They said they want more information from the city and updates on any new developments.

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