Homeless issue in Novato alarming residents

NOVATO, Calif. (KGO) -- Marin County residents in Novato have expressed alarm online about the growing number of homeless people in their community.

We found Gordon Jennings, who has been homeless since 2009, waiting for his turn to panhandle at Rowland Blvd and Vintage Way. He lives in a mini-van.

"What critics do not understand is that there is no cure for people already in this position."

"Novato is not an island," said Frank DeFalco. "The whole country is in trouble." And when it moves onto a local traffic island, looks you in the eye, and asks for money?

"I've lived here 50 years and never seen it so bad," said retiree Duane Graf.

Peter Planteen of Community Action Marin is one person trying to help. He's been working with the homeless for 16 years in Marin.

"What is your track record?" we asked.

"About 15-percent," said Peter.

"Discouraged?" We asked

"Not me." But, he laments how in Marin County, "People have million dollar homes. They don't want to see homeless people. These are what they call, 'throw-away people.' They want them to disappear and not come back.

The 2017 homeless count in Marin County estimated confirmed 11-hundred people in need and estimates they represent one-third of the total.

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