Follow-up & More on Supporting “Housing First” Models to End Chronic Homelessness in Savannah, GA: Question for All Political Campaigns in Savannah, GA, 2011 Elections


We offer this follow-up specifically at Thanksgiving time because we all must take time to think about what we are thankful for! Our homes, families, the feast we are going to have tomorrow are all very valid things to be thankful for. Some of us are thankful to be spending our first Thanksgiving housed & out of the “system” of homelessness! But our thankfulness cannot stop with ourselves & our own situation, we MUST engage the community to end chronic homelessness NOW. It can be done, it MUST be done & NOW is the time in Savannah, GA! For the story hasn’t ended, it continues & we hope you engage in the solutions that are obvious to us!

Background:

There are other approaches to ending homelessness among the most chronic homeless in a community.

Savannah has a chronic homeless population that is often the subject of discussions regarding their presence in our downtown squares & parks.

Alternatives need to be reviewed & implemented to remove this population from accusation for various acts which some do commit but most don’t.

However, the programs that have been implemented in other communities have provided valuable alternatives by providing “Housing First” models that seek to place these most costly individuals (to the taxpayers) into Permanent Supportive Housing (vs shelters) that wraps services around their housing & helps raise them up out of their homelessness.

Taxpayers have also been able to save money & resources by properly implementing a program in their community that engages all constituents & those who aren’t likely suspects as well in developing these alternative solutions.

Let’s start the dialog here & continue it after the election!

Bring Homeless Advocates, experts from outside the community (who have successfully implemented these projects by addressing all surrounding concerns) & those experiencing homelessness into the discussion too!

Question:

Would you, if elected to a seat on City Council (or any other elective position in City Government), support politically & in practice the creation of Permanent Supportive Housing (“using the Housing First Model”) as modeled in other communities addressing their chronic homeless population?

We attempted to get all the candidates in the local Nov 8th elections to engage on this question! We didn’t get very effective engagement but we did get some & we will pursue it with those who responded. Much has happened & there is a run-off on Dec 6th. Look for more from us after the election & when the new City Council & Mayor are sworn in in January 2012!

We outline some additional thoughts on the process & approach needed to engage the community further in the process of supporting a Housing First model in Savannah!

We welcome feedback & engagement from those who align with the process, even our frenemies!

Notes & Positioning – What’s at Stake: 

This background & question has been submitted to the Downtown Neighborhood Association Candidate Forums for consideration to be presented to the candidates for the Downtown Districts & At Large Alderman positions.

We have written separately & posted on Facebook to some of the candidates, including for Mayor but wish this to be carried to the Media & presented in whatever ways create dialog that helps the Voters get a sense of their commitment to ending chronic homelessness during their terms if elected.

We also engaged ALL candidates in two email campaigns where we were able to track engagement, we published the responses we got & look forward to all reviewing the level of responsiveness from all approached for their position statements!

Approach:

There are many ways to gain consensus in a community & we are ready to engage with whomever comes to the table. All are welcome & should be represented!

We have very specific approaches to be presented to gain that consensus in & around the community by opening up the process to the light of day. Proven techniques for design charrettes are available with a process that brings all relevant issues to light & enables the community to see the whole picture & respond accordingly!

We have gained a deep understanding of ways that other communities are addressing the issues of homelessness in their communities & some have even developed plans to end homelessness in FIVE years! That was done in Los Angeles by creating a Business Leaders Task Force under the leadership of the Chamber of Commerce & their United Way! We CAN do that here in Savannah! We would suggest including Visit Savannah & the Tourism Leadership Council!

We participated in the National Alliance to End Homelessness Annual Convention last July even playing a role in the Capitol Hill Day component visiting with Georgia Senators & Representatives staff to bring attention to the needs of the homeless in these tough times!

As far as is known to this Advocacy, public presentation & discussion of Savannah’s Ten Year plan to end homelessness (developed in 2006) has been lacking since we entered the scene in August of 2010.

We seek to engage the entire community in this discussion, opening all our eyes to the realities we are dealing with on a daily basis in terms of compassion, accountability, measurement of outcomes & results & management towards agreed upon objectives & performance levels.

This issue is far more than ending chronic homelessness but this is the most visible component that is gaining attention & in that attention lurks some very dangerous perceptions that need addressing immediately & in a compassionate manner, engaging all the existing stakeholders & some of the not so normal suspects!

Bring on the reasonable, consensus building discussions! We all have common ground in this effort & we need to collaborate as a community, businesses, individuals, faith community & yes, even the Tourism Sector!

You see, this Advocacy has a total 360 degree view of the issues & is willing to stand in the gap to bring disparate constituents together in a facilitated, coordinated, collaborative, collective manner that has been proven in other communities to WORK!

If not in Savannah then we must ask the question, WHY NOT?

To summarize, if an Editorial in Pensacola, FL can support a 100,000 Homes Campaign project then our Media can engage as well!

Please read this previous post where we referenced this Pensacola Editorial!

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About homelessnessinsavannah

Advocating for Homelessness Issues in Savannah, GA, so that we can educate, share experiences & generate a Christian understanding of the issues & people who experience, support & attempt to end homelessness in Savannah, GA or anywhere else we can share stories from or about...
This entry was posted in 0homeless, About, Action, Addictions, Advocvacy, Alcoholism, Awareness, Causes of Homelessness, Challenge, Chamber of Commerce, Christian Responses, Costs of homelessness, Drugs, Elections, End Chronic Homelessness, End Homelessness, Events, Faith-based response, homeless, Hope, Housing, Jobs, Legislation, Mental Health, Ministry, Open Letter, Position Statements, Poverty, socent, social entreprener, Street Medicine, Street Ministries, Taxpayers, Thanksgiving, valueof0, Vox Patria, Ways to Help, Women+Children Homelessness, World Homeless Day, Youth homelessness and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Follow-up & More on Supporting “Housing First” Models to End Chronic Homelessness in Savannah, GA: Question for All Political Campaigns in Savannah, GA, 2011 Elections

  1. Pingback: Have you played the game of being homeless yet? ABCNews did this story: The Conversation: Homeless Simulation Game Forces Players to Confront Tough Choices – ABC News | Homelessness in Savannah, Stories for Learning

  2. Pingback: We struggle with this as we seek to build capacity in this community to end chronic homelessness: Posts: Building Competent Communities: A Matter of Survival in the 21st Century (02-14-2012) – Abundant Community | Homelessness in Savannah, Stories f

  3. Pingback: Why Everybody is Obsessed with Housing First: A Primer | Homelessness in Savannah, Stories for Learning

  4. Pingback: Why not here in Savannah we MUST ask?: New Project Aims to Provide Permanent Housing for Homeless – Scoop San Diego: Local News: homelessness, socioeconomics, social issues, homelessness in the united states, | Homelessness in Savannah, Stories for

  5. Pingback: Is Housing First a better answer for addictions?: Should Homeless Shelters Allow Alcohol? – The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Beast | Homelessness in Savannah, Stories for Learning

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  7. Pingback: More collaboration needed Mrs Mayor: Seized shirts, sheets will help Savannah’s needy | savannahnow.com | Homelessness in Savannah, Stories for Learning

  8. Pingback: Is this what we have come to with Housing for the Homeless? | Homelessness in Savannah, Stories for Learning

  9. Pingback: Is Savannah’s focus on ending chronic homelessness changing too?: City changes it’s homelessness strategy, and no one notices « The Dreamer Propulsion Project | Homelessness in Savannah, Stories for Learning

  10. Pingback: The rest of the story…: Tony, street artist in Savannah | Attempting zero waste lifestyle in a military household | Homelessness in Savannah, Stories for Learning

  11. Pingback: We appreciate the coverage, but…: Homeless organizations receive $3.5 million annual award | savannahnow.com | Homelessness in Savannah, Stories for Learning

  12. Pingback: Now we’re talking!!! : Bipartisan Policy Center Appoints Commission Members for New Effort to Improve U.S. Housing Policy | Bipartisan Policy Center | Homelessness in Savannah, Stories for Learning

  13. Pingback: Housing Models for Savannah’s Homeless: 2010 Update on Family & Kids Homeless Stats in USA, Did FL or GA Change rankings? | Homelessness in Savannah, Stories for Learning

  14. Pingback: Follow-ups in Savannah on: ‘60 Minutes’ story on homeless children in Florida spurs $1 million in donations | Poynter. | Homelessness in Savannah, Stories for Learning

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