You see, from Nashville’s recent Registry Week (see more at their How’s Nashville campaign website) we have seen how being real about the vulnerability to life surveys can show & help make us focus on the actual public health aspects of chronic homelessness!
We can share many stories since we have been doing the work of this Advocacy (since August 2010, some know we originally became homeless on Sept 29, 2009, btw we are homeless again but in a much better frame of mind & situation this time around – more on that later!) on how we have lost the chronic homeless to death & deep health issues.
We personally know several who have passed from not only health related issues but also from the violence & mere existence in their state of homelessness.
We are now at a point of asking when enough is enough for this community!
If we are serious about looking at the Vulnerability Index & creating our own Registry Week activities we would be able to quantify the hard numbers we always ignore – when we ask “How many live in our tent cities”?
The RIGHT question to ask is “When are we, as people of faith or citizens, going to be outraged that another death has occurred or that we know how many we really have who are vulnerable to death because they are homeless in our community”?
What is really a shame is that we seem not to have the moral, political, social or personal will to bring solutions that exist & have been proven to work in other communities to Savannah, like Housing First (Executive Summary & presentation available – it actually SAVES taxpayer $$$) or the 100,000 Homes Campaign‘s processes.
Here’s a brief view of how a vulnerability index is deployed in a community to assertain our own risks for death in the homeless populatins that are ACTUALLY living here & now in our community:
How to Use the Vulnerability Index in Your Community
Common Ground uses these techniques to strip away the anonymity of street homelessness and reframe homelessness as a public health issue:
1. Assemble community stakeholders (service providers, housing providers, police, business improvement districts, political leadership) to educate on the use of the Vulnerability Index, gain support for the concept, and identify an area of focus
2. Conduct a count of those sleeping outside between the hours of midnight and 6:00 am. The purpose of the count is to create a baseline understanding of the numbers of homeless individuals in an area, and to determine the number of surveys that the project should expect to complete. The average response rate is 83% of those counted.
3. Train volunteers on how to administer the survey (attached) and how to take a good digital photograph.
4. Administer the survey between 3:00 am and 6:00 am for at least three consecutive mornings.
5. Enter the data into a spreadsheet or database.
6. Analyze the surveys to calculate risk factors and establish housing priority list
7. Brief community on the findings.
8. Develop and implement a housing action plan based on results.
The source (“Vulnerability Index: Prioritizing the Street Homeless Population by Mortality Risk“) of this information is from the linked page above but the whole PDF is here!