This is nothing new!
In fact the whole issue of women’s, children’s & family homelessness WAS being addressed back last year when then Executive Director of the Old Savannah City Mission, Rev Jim Lewis, was working hard to take the old Derst Baking Co facility on W 52nd Street Extension & make it a five star facility for just the population that we now think is bigger than it used to be!
Whatever you think of how that effort was handled, received by the NIMBYists, fought by the CoC (the Chatham-Savannah Authority FOR the Homeless) or otherwise presented in the media or (not) supported by the City, we have to look at this now perceived revelation by the Executive Director of the CSAH, Mark Baggett, as a failure of the “System” to show leadership, direction & effectiveness in dealing with this & other aspects of homelessness in our community like ending chronic homelessness with a Housing First Model.
It is extremely frustrating to have this not receive the attention for the reality of why we are talking about it this way now & not talking about successes that could’ve been here now.
We have done several posts recently & in the past about this issue. We have presented the facts reported in the National Report in 2009 that ranked Georgia 49th out of 50 states in our ability, capacity & desire to address this issue.
In this light, we MUST ask:
- Is Savannah any different than the rest of the State in these rankings, how we’ve addressed the issue or where we are or where we’re going to solve this issue?
- Has leadership of the organization responsible for addressing this issue handled the creation of solutions in innovative ways, shown collaborative capacities outside of the CoC or otherwise positioned Savannah aggressively to solve these issues?
- Has the CoC effectively engaged the Faith Community or the community as a whole in action to address issues that can’t be solved inside the CoC? Lots of questions to ask, these are just a few!
The report was updated for 2010 & talked about here as well. The Georgia Alliance to End Homelessness raised funds, produced a report with recommendations & took it to Congress along with the National organizations addressing this issue.
To say that the Feds gave funds to address the issue & to still be talking about it as an issue now says that the efforts by then OSCM Exec Director Jim Lewis were even more important, deserved support & now remains the solution that MUST be pursued in order to do what the SYSTEM cannot do by itself!
We hope lessons have been learned & new efforts will be undertaken to address this properly within the community!
We are aware of others concerned with the lack of support for the OSCM approach & who are actively pursuing options & fund raising opportunities to address this issue!
So Shame on Savannah! Shame that an option was there & ignored, aborted & subjugated all because of NIMBY & a communities lack of ability to look past a few well-intentioned mis-steps to justify the shutdown of the efforts & the subsequent loss of direction & support for a SOLUTION to the problem we are now still talking about.
Other articles we have written on the topic of Women’s, Children’s & Family Homelessness:
- Housing Models for Savannah’s Homeless: 2010 Update on Family & Kids Homeless Stats in USA, Did FL or GA Change rankings?
- Thanks CBS News for the follow-up & update: More homeless kids now living in cars – CBS News
- We appreciate the coverage, but…: Homeless organizations receive $3.5 million annual award | savannahnow.com (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- Housing Models for Savannah’s Homeless: 2010 Update on Family & Kids Homeless Stats in USA, Did FL or GA Change rankings? (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- Connect with the issues here: Sophie Johnson: Homeless Kids (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- Is this the map for homeless services in Savannah? Who knows the answer & how do we get the best map we can? (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- Is Savannah’s focus on ending chronic homelessness changing too?: City changes it’s homelessness strategy, and no one notices ” The Dreamer Propulsion Project (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- Is this what we have come to with Housing for the Homeless? (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)