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Crown Harbor Homeowner Association

Alameda Medical Respite and Wellness Center

Alameda Point Collaborative (APC) is a supportive housing community that uses all its resources to help families and individuals break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. They are the largest supportive housing provider for homeless families in Alameda County, and their wide range of services give residents the tools they need for long-term success. APC plans to develop the Alameda Medical Respite and Wellness Center on the Federal property adjacent to Crown Harbor.

"When any act of charity or of gratitude is presented to our sight or imagination, we are deeply impressed with its beauty or feel a strong desire in ourselves of doing charitable or grateful acts also."
— Thomas Jefferson*

Crown Harbor will not take a position as a homeowner association. Instead, the individual owners and residents will be given information, and each can act individually. The Crown Harbor community can choose to support or oppose the project. As the position on the project is not unanimous, no association money will be spent on supporting nor opposing the establishment of the facility.

McKay Avenue Site

The Federal property originally consisted of 6 buildings. One building has been razed as part of the Crab Cove Expansion that is proceeding as planned. The APC  project includes the renovation and adaptive re-use of the 5 remaining buildings at the site, located on McKay Avenue next to Crab Cove.

site plan

alameda point collaborative

McKay Avenue Project

  • Population Served

    The Center will serve persons experiencing homelessness in Alameda County, with an emphasis of serving seniors, persons with complex health challenges, and high users of the health care system.

    • This facility will benefit Alameda County, not just the City of Alameda.
    • The County of Alameda has in excess of 5,500 homeless individuals.
    • The City of Alameda has approximately 200 homeless individuals.

    Hospital patients are referred by hospitals, health providers, and the Community Paramedics program. For medical, it is not a drop-in service. There are no plans to operate an outpatient drug clinic at the site.

    As a resource center for the homeless, APC  estimates 7 to 10 clients per day.

  • Site Selection

    APC  selected the site because that is where the Federal buildings are located. Federal law also dictates that surplus properties be made available to those serving the homeless.

    APC  didn't choose the location, the location chose APC , via the Federal homeless determination process. APC  considers it an ideal location to provide homeless elders and others with acute medical and end of life conditions with a dignified place to live out their days or to recuperate after hospitalization. APC  notes that the site is within reasonable distance of a number of hospitals, including Alameda Hospital, that see homeless patients in their Emergency Room on a frequent and repeated basis, and it is well-served by public transit. In addition, APC  will also have vans and other transport to get clients to and from appointments.

  • Services

    National Health Care for the Homeless is providing technical assistance to APC  to develop the program.

    The Center will provide 24/7 on-site health care, trauma-informed case management, integrative care, and safe housing placements:

    • 90 units of supportive housing living for aging, homeless and medically vulnerable individuals in Alameda County
    • 50-bed Medical Respite program for homeless individuals with medically complex conditions departing from hospitals or undergoing intensive medical treatment
    • Federally Qualified Health Clinic (FQHC) for on-site medical and behavioral health care for residents and clients
    • Resource Center to serve Alameda County residents experiencing a housing crisis or homelessness.

    There will be no drop-in overnight stay opportunities at the center. All intakes will come from hospitals or other medical providers such as the Alameda community paramedics programs, and all discharges will be into housing or shelter. The typical stay will be 1-3 months followed by discharge to transitional or permanent housing.

  • Staffing

    The complete staffing for the project is still to be worked out, and depends on the medical acuity of the clients (higher acuity = more staff) but APC  expects 50 FTE on site:

    • 24/7 medical and behavioral health staff, kitchen, 24/7 security, drivers, etc.
    • local college and university interns to assist in activities of daily living
  • Security

    • As with any facility on McKay, APC  is only responsible for issues inside the gates of the facility.
    • APC does not expect issues from the patients under their care, seniors living on their premises, or the 7-10 clients per day that take advantage of the resource center.
    • Although The Urban Institute report noted that most disorderly conduct reports occur with 500 feet proximity of the supportive site, those fall under the jurisdiction of the Alameda Police Department.
  • Community Benefits

    • The surrounding neighborhood will gain an enhanced physical environment with the transformation of vacant buildings into well designed, landscaped and attractive facilities.
    • A number of new employment opportunities will be created.
    • The City of Alameda and Alameda County will expand resources for vulnerable residents and attain cost savings across systems (police, ambulance, mental health, hospital and long-term care).
    • $40M will be spent locally to improve the site.
  • Next Steps

    • APC  is preparing a financial plan to show that the project is feasible.
    • The Federal government needs to accept APC 's proposal.
    • An Environmental Analysis (EA) should be available in May 2018. If the EA has a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) [the expected outcome], a full Environmental Impact Assessment/Report (EIR) is not required.
    • The property will be conveyed by Quitclaim Deed, after further review of APC 's financial plan, City zoning changes, and the Environmental Assessment.
    • The City Council needs to approve a zoning change for McKay Avenue to remove the government (G) designation.
    • APC  will select a Developer for the project.
    • APC  has 3 years to complete any rehab and begin operations.
    • There will be numerous public hearings and community meetings to go over the plans in detail.
    • APC  will be establishing Stakeholder Advisory Groups to guide the project and ensure that the project enhances client well-being as well as strengthens the surrounding Alameda community. The Groups will be comprised of residents, small businesses, health care partners, public agencies, and nonprofit service providers.

Issues for Adjacent Neighborhoods like Crown Harbor

Though Crown Harbor residents are not unanimous with regard to the project, the issues (appearing on that could potentially affect adjacent neighborhoods (including Crown Harbor) are:

  • Reduction of Property Values

    According to, homeless shelters tend to appear in lower-priced neighborhoods:

    "Homeless shelter
    The drag: 12.7%
    Homeless shelters can be unloved and unwanted misfits in residential areas. Even though there's no rule that homeless shelters are usually accompanied by higher rates of crime, shelters do certainly attract motley groups of people, necessitate emergency calls, and require more police in otherwise quiet, safe neighborhoods. Shelter locations, listed on, are often limited to less prime areas in the city where home values are about 13% less."

    The plans for a warming center have been dropped. Even without the warming center, APC 's community presentation notes that the facility will be a "Resource and Drop-in Center for Alameda [County] residents at risk for homelessness or newly homeless."

    In contrast to, according to

    "A study released by NYU's Furman Center in 2008 found that supportive housing in New York City does not have a negative impact on nearby property values. In fact, the authors found that, five years after a supportive development opens, nearby property values tend to have risen more than in similar areas with no such facility."

    According to a study that included the National Association of REALTORS®:

    "Myth: My property value will decline if you build supportive housing nearby.
     Fact: Property values do not decline when supportive housing is built nearby."

    As the article points out, supportive housing tends to be located in poorer areas where property values are declining, so it is no wonder that the article (as well as The Urban Institute) noted an increase in property values in areas where facilities were established as this was an improvement in what existed prior.

    Unlike the areas in the studies, Crown Harbor property values are not currently in decline. Recently, units in Crown Harbor have sold for ~$1.2M. A 12.7% drop in value is $154,200. With 76 units, that a loss of $11,582,400 for Crown Harbor owners and valuation for assessment of property taxes for the City of Alameda.

    Would establishment of this facility cause realtors to consider Crown Harbor as a low income area where buyers can submit a lower offering price?

    "In this hyper real estate market, I'm not even sure you can do a fair assessment of the impact of a facility on the surrounding neighborhood. For example, Shinsei Gardens, a supportive housing project, was built after Bayport was opened, and home values in Bayport have skyrocketed after its construction, but likely not due to Shinsei Gardens being built. I've actually reached out to Saint Mary's College (we have a strong partnership with them) to see if one of their grad programs would be interested in taking on this research."
    — Doug Biggs, Executive Director for APC 
  • Increase in Crime

    According to

    "Statistically speaking, an individual who is homeless is much more likely to be a victim of a violent crime than actually commit a violent crime," explained Mark Heinert, Homeless Program Manager for Youthworks, a statewide agency aiding young people in need of assistance.

    According to The Guardian:

    "Crime can play a big part in rough sleepers' lives. Nearly 30% admitted to committing a 'minor crime such as shoplifting or anti-social behavior' in the hope of being taken into custody for the night."

    According to a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information:

    "Violent crime associated with drug treatment centers is similar to that associated with liquor stores and is less frequent than that associated with convenience stores and corner stores."

    According to The Furman Center of New York University:

    "Myth: Crime will go up in my neighborhood if you build supportive housing nearby.
     Fact: Crime does not increase when supportive housing is built."

    Studies aside, concern about crime is backed up by a Crown Harbor resident with observations and experience of working in San Francisco. This is often not the result of the homeless but a criminal element that invades the area to prey on the homeless. As is the case in San Francisco, the concern is that the Alameda Police Department will be inundated with calls that they cannot respond to.

  • Noise Pollution


    "The residents of this area probably have good reason to be concerned about drawing this population to that site. I live adjacent to what is now becoming the Jean Sweeney Park, and that site was a draw to a homeless population, with major consequences to safety and quality of life. There was a stabbing, there were multiple accidental fires set, and used needles left all over. There was fighting and screaming, day and night, sometimes for hours at a time (that's not hyperbole, for example, someone yelled "I will beat your f^%$ing ass!" over and over again for 4 hours on one occasion. That kind of thing was common). There were large breed, off leash, unattended dogs. There were incidents of one kind or another almost daily. I understand people camping out in the field is different then what would hopefully go on at this proposed facility, but some of the chaos I saw here could certainly start happening at Crab Cove if enough people struggling with those types of problems were drawn to the area. Perhaps this facility is a worthy project, but IMO the discussion about the potential consequences should be honest and consider all the possibilities."
    — Matt Bruun, Middle Alameda

    Persons with serious health, drug, or mental issues sometimes create noise of shouting, fighting, and screaming.

  • Proximity to Schools

    The Crab Cove Visitor Center connects school children of all ages with the marine and shoreline life, as well as Alameda history. Mixing children with persons with serious health, drug, or mental issues is ill-advised. In addition, the facility would be located near Montessori, Paden Elementary, and Encinal High schools.


    "8:00 AM. Just finished walking my dogs at Crab Cove, turquoise tent pitched behind the Park Webster apartments, Lower Washington bathrooms next to the low income housing. Then at the beach, 200 feet away, a young man with two toddlers had a fishing pole stuck in sand, line in the water. He was reading to the two youngsters from a book while waiting for a catch."
    — Barbara Thomas, Gold Coast
  • Improved Support for Veterans

    Many of Alameda County's homeless are veterans who have served our country. Alameda Point is slated to have a Veterans Hospital. In appreciation of their service, closer proximity of the facility to the Veterans Hospital would offer symbiotic benefits.

  • Maintenance of McKay Avenue Infrastructure and Facility

    McKay Avenue, its sidewalks, and its trees are in poor condition — not up to City code. APC  reports that the road is currently owned and maintained by the state, and there are a variety of access easements under and across the road that need to be sorted out. Some of the utilities such as water and sewer are shared with EBRP and need to be separated out. The pump station is also part of the Federal property and needs to be better maintained and upgraded. APC  thinks the long term maintenance and disposition of the infrastructure is a topic for all of the property owners on that avenue to work on.

    To date, the City of Alameda has not claimed any responsibility for the avenue. Recently, the City would not even install a stop sign at the intersection of McKay and Central Avenues.

    In addition to the infrastructure, long term, APC  will be responsible for the upkeep of the facility. GSA is currently providing minimal upkeep. APC  is discussing with GSA taking over maintenance and insurance for the site as soon as possible to avoid any deterioration of the facility. If APC  lacks funds to even maintain the facility, how can they maintain the infrastructure?

  • Lack of an Open Process

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has conditionally approved the project, and the Environmental Impact Report is already in progress yet opportunities for public comment have not been available. Nothing is on record with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). Public involvement in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and California Environmental Policy Act (CEQA) review process is critical for the overall framework of informed decision making. Public review serves as a check on accuracy in analysis. Public comments inform agencies about public opinions and values.

    APC is in the process of creating forums for community input and has been meeting with various groups. They are currently interviewing people who can assist them with organizing a meaningful community input process, and they should begin holding meetings in May or June. While this is great, these meetings are not binding. This is quite different from documented minutes from a public hearing or a City Council Meeting. In addition, if citizens in opposition voice their concerns in these forums and request termination of the proposed project, the only people in authority that hear them are APC representatives, and they are not inclined to kill the project regardless of the validity of the concerns.

    This is reminiscent of the process used in the allocation of the immediately adjacent Federal Property that was slated for developer Tim Lewis where voter outcry resulted in the property being allocated to the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) for Crab Cove expansion.

  • Stakeholder Advisory Groups Have No Impact

    Previous experience with the City of Alameda and "stakeholder input" on projects such as the Central Avenue lane reduction have been ineffective in mitigating issues that Crown Harbor faces. There is no guarantee that advisory group feedback will be considered in a deliberative manner and timeframe.

  • Fair Share

    Although it is estimated that the City of Alameda has a few hundred homeless people, the City has designated 34 acres to APC  on the former Naval Air Station to serve the homeless. With a few thousand homeless people estimated for Alameda County, what are the cities of Fremont, Hayward, San Leandro, Livermore, Pleasanton, Union City, Dublin, Newark, Albany, Emeryville, and Piedmont doing to provide wellness and respite for the homeless? Isn't the City of Alameda already providing its fair share? If no amount is too much, shouldn't the City's service locations be centralized on the former Naval Air Station?


Issue Specific to Crown Harbor

There is one issue that is specific to Crown Harbor:

  • Water Pollution

    According to Research Gate:

    "Harmful hospital wastes composed of waste group of infectious, pathological, cutter-piercing, genotoxic, pharmaceutical, chemical, heavy metal and radioactive waste... can cause hepatitis A-B-C, AIDS, typhoid, bronchitis, anthrax, infection diseases, and allergy etc. As well as the wastes spoil the appearance of environment, they have come into question with features such as chemical, radioactive, and clinical waste, because of threatening people and environmental health too."

    The Federal property adjacent to Crown Harbor has an easement where drainage from that property flows into Crown Harbor drains, so anything that flows from the facility directly impacts Crown Harbor.


Issues for Friends of Crab Cove

The issues that could potentially impact Crab Cove also appearing on include:

  • Ignoring the Will of the Voters

    According to The Mercury News, only Solano County ranks behind Alameda County in open space:

    "When counties are ranked by the acres they have permanently protected in parks, wildlife refuges, and open space preserves, the Bay Area's largest county, Santa Clara County, is first, with 229,800 acres... Next is Marin, with 185,400 acres; Sonoma with 171,200; Napa with 122,700; Contra Costa with 119,100; San Mateo with 111,000; Alameda with 106,000; and Solano, with 57,000 acres."

    Alameda County and Contra Costa County residents have the expectation that 7.5 acres of surplus Federal properties are designated for the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD) based on the passage of Measure WW in 2008 by 72% of the Contra Costa and Alameda County voters. To date, only 3.89 acres have been used for Crab Cove expansion. There are differing opinions if Measure WW or the homeless suitability/surplus designation takes legal precedence. Even if courts ruled in favor of Measure WW, EBRPD may not have the resources to acquire the property and factor it into their Crab Cove expansion plans.

    The parcel map attached to Measure WW clearly includes the land that GSA is handing over to APC .

    Measure WW Map

  • Homeless Loitering or Encampment

    Though APC  notes that the facility is not a homeless shelter but a respite center, here is a Google Map image of the Phillip Dorn Respite Center in Concord, CA:

    Phillip Dorn Respite Center

    People are congregating outside of the Concord facility.

    Although APC  claims that this would never happen at Crab Cove, here are images from Crab Cove, April 2018 posted on

    Crab Cove April 2018

    Homeless are already camping and sleeping at Crab Cove. Discarded needles litter the path. The concern is that the facility will attract more of this, not from patients being treated by the medical facility, but those waiting to make use of the resource center. It is quite possible that even APC  recognizes this as plans for a warming center were removed from the facility. APC  expects only 7-10 clients per day, but what is the remedy if that is not the reality?


Express Your Support or Concerns

  • Provide Feedback to APC  and GSA

    Crown Harbor community members are encouraged to ask questions and provide feedback.

    At this point, in a settlement agreement between the State, EBRP, and the Federal government, the State and EBRP agreed that they will not interfere with the use or transfer of this property, and that GSA can develop transfer or convey the property as they see fit, which GSA has done.

  • Contact the City

    Crown Harbor community members can email the City Council to express their support or objection to the project:

    The project is endorsed by the City as part of its plan for the homeless.

  • Contact the State

    Crown Harbor community members can email State officials to express their support or objection to the project:

    The state has ownership of McKay Avenue.

  • Contact the Park District

    Crown Harbor community members can email EBRPD to inquire about the district's support or objection to the project:

    As part of the settlement between the City, Tim Lewis Communities, and EBRPD, EBRPD agreed not to interfere in the disposition of the remaining Federal property in exchange for receiving the 3.89 acre parcel for Crab Cove expansion. So even if EBRPD could make use of the additional property, the community may need to speak up on EBRPD's behalf.


Questions from the Community

The questions for APC  from Crown Harbor were answered by Doug Biggs in an email dated 04/11/2018:

Site / Facility Related

  • Q: Does the project approval process REQUIRE comparative studies of such a Center being established in a comparable community and geographic location (here, across from a public regional park, and a protected nature area (Crab Cove and Crown Beach, Coastal Trail)? Would this include consideration of the population which the beach and nature center serves? i.e., individuals, families, children, and their activities (recreation, hiking, biking, docent led nature exploration of the Cove)?
    A: The environmental assessment manual directs what the environmental assessment will consider.

  • Q: How does such a center enhance the well-being of the community? The proposal states this center would serve the entire Alameda county. How many persons are expected to congregate on/around McKay Ave, who sadly have no other place to go, and need to access the facilities? If there will be methadone treatment in the facility, this should be directly stated, and studied, as to effect on the neighborhood.
    A: The center will activate an area that is vacant, dark at night, and brings additional "eyes" on to the street, particularly after dark. We hope to be able to create community spaces (meeting rooms etc.) at the center that can also be used by other groups, however part of that decision will be left to the stakeholder process depending on how comfortable various stakeholder will be with sharing space. We don't expect any congregation on or around McKay. Clients and residents will stay on site for the most part, and if they need to leave will likely need van transportation. Based on what I have seen of other facilities we will not be providing methadone treatment on-site. Should that change we would involve the stakeholders in the discussion.

  • Q: Will the facility be keeping the gates that are used at its entrance?
    A: Yes.

  • Q: Who is conducting the Environmental Impact Report?
    A: The first step is to complete an Environmental Assessment. Only if the Assessment indicates the necessity, and HHS agrees will an EIR be prepared. Based on the intensity of the activities previously at the site, we expect to get a Finding of No Significant Impact. It is important to understand that homelessness in and of itself is not an environmental impact. Impacts come from traffic, noise, pollution etc. and from that perspective the previous uses generated much more traffic, noise, and potential for contamination that the proposed use.

  • Q: What is the City's involvement in the project?
    A: They have allocated some funds to assist with the planning and have included support for the project in the homeless plan that the City Council just adopted.

  • Q: Is APC  associated with the state of California?
    A: APC  is a private 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

  • Q: With the quick claim deed, will APC  own McKay Avenue?
    A: No, McKay Ave is owned by the State, APC  will have a right of access on the street.

  • Q: Given that the facility's utilities need to be separated, does this include the drainage system that currently flows into Crown Harbor?
    A: It appears that there is a stormwater drainage running from our parcel to the EBRP parcel then into Crown Harbor or from the EBRP parcel to our parcel and then Crown Harbor. I am meeting with EBRP to go over all the easements next week and will have a better understanding. If it is a stormwater easement though, it likely will not need to be changed nor would it be good to change as changing it might increase flooding.

Service Related

  • Q: The plan for the McKay Avenue property is to accommodate the "needs of homeless persons with complex health challenges that are high users of the health care system." Drug abuse and addiction is often a major health issue for "homeless persons with health challenges that are high users of the health care system." Is one purpose of the proposed Clinic, Resource Center, and Housing to address the issues of people with drug addiction problems? Will it be a Drug Treatment Center? If so, is locating the facility in such close proximity to Crown Beach and Crab Cove a reasonable choice of locations?
    A: We will address drug addiction through harm reduction but will not be a drug treatment center.

  • Q: Are there 24/7 staffing levels?
    A: Yes

  • Q: Will there be a doctor or nurse on duty 24/7?
    A: There won't be a doctor on duty 24/7, but there will be adequate and appropriate medical and clinical staff on duty at all time. We are still looking at appropriate staffing mixes.

  • Q: How is a patient referred to the facility?
    A: They will be referred by hospitals or other medical providers (such as the community paramedic program), and there will be a screening to assess suitability for services.

  • Q: Where does the 7-10 clients per day come from?
    A: That is the anticipated number of at-risk Alamedans who may use the small resource center to apply for rental subsidies and other assistance. We anticipate this will be a one (or few) visit and done process.

  • Q: How are patients transported to the facility?
    A: Depending on medical acuity: by van, taxi, or ambulance. We will be working with the medical response teams to establish a no siren zone for McKay Ave.

  • Q: Is the McKay facility the only one for Alameda County or are there similar facilities?
    A: There are currently no other similar facilities in Alameda County.

  • Q: Crown Harbor has maintained the adjacent 15-feet of Federal property on the Crown Harbor side of the fence for more than 30 years, well in excess to the 5-year requirement to claim ownership. What is the plan for the fence that separates Crown Harbor from the facility? Will it be moved or removed? Will APC  maintain it?
    A: My understanding is the fence was recently moved when the survey was done as part of the sale of the other federal property to EBRP. Our plan is to keep the fence in place and maintain it but would want to learn more about how Crown Harbor views the fence and land along that side.

  • Q: What is the process for moving from hospital bed to assisted living? How long do people stay in assisted living? What happens when the 90 units are all occupied?
    A: Similar to the medical respite, they will complete an assessment and be brought either by van, taxi, or ambulance. The assisted living is permanent housing, and most will live out their lives there. We anticipate a frequent turnover due to the high mortality rates of homeless seniors.

To submit a question, email


Press / Social Media Coverage





Observations and Experience

Crown Harbor has the benefit of a resident with observations and experience of working in an artists' building located at Sherman and Folsom Streets in San Francisco, for a period of over 20 years (and still does).

Here are that resident's remarks:

  • The existence of a population of homeless persons moving through the neighborhood on a daily basis, and the location of a methadone treatment center 3 blocks away, has increased crime (including car break-ins, and other, more violent personal attacks). Prostitution takes place in open air areas by the park and in cars that have been broken into for this purpose.

  • Persons working in buildings around Sherman, have been spat on, hit, and generally harassed in a menacing way, by persons who are hungry, on drugs, or angry. We have had persons deliberately urinate and defecate in the street ahead of us (this is disgusting, but must be said). During a 2 year period recently, we were forced to mount a campaign that included taking photos and videos of the activity on a daily basis, and sending these to the police station (3 blocks away) and a district supervisor. Although we had the direct line to the police station desk, and still, it has been difficult to get a police response, as they had many other emergencies to deal with. The staffing levels of Alameda police put them in a similar situation to the San Francisco police. They are not prepared to handle an increase in crime.

  • Across street on one side of our building is an elementary school, and across from them, a public park. The school has had to hire private security during periods when children arrive/leave the school, and recess. The park has a play area, which was fenced off, but we regularly observed and photographed dealers and homeless population reaching through this fence and talking at the children and adult supervisors.

  • Streets surrounding our building, school, and park, are covered every morning with urine, feces, needles, and bloody, dirty cloths. We have to hose these down to get rid of them, although the proper procedure is to call the city's Hazardous Materials Division to have them do it. This is impractical, as they cannot respond immediately; however, we leave the needles for them to collect.

  • What we have observed is that homeless persons are often the victims of crime, but that means that criminal and, dealers who are harassing and attacking them are simultaneously establishing a presence in the neighborhood.

  • Streets are covered every morning with broken glass from car windows. Persons break in to rob, but also to sleep. Merchants have been driven out by the activity and the high cost of barring windows, necessary security measures, and losing customers.

Though we all started out wanting to help, e.g., bringing the homeless food and supplies, eventually the problems were too numerous and serious. We were as powerless as the San Francisco police who were inundated with calls that they could not respond to. The concern is that McKay and Central will suffer the same maladies as Sherman and Folsom.

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