They’ve been given a HUGE challenge:
A class of undergraduates at the Art Institute of Tampa has been handed challenge: Make Pinellas residents care about the homeless.
They have showed so far how they (the government & community leaders, including the quoted Chamber of Commerce executive) “care about the homeless” by allowing the Safe Harbor facility to be developed in the first place (as their way to criminalize homelessness)!
We’ve written before on this blog about the significant effort in Pinellas County to criminalize homelessness!
Now, there is an attempt to gloss over the flawed & inhumane approach that was put in place by a consultant they hired to “fix” the homeless situation there!
While we like the approach of engaging students to be creative towards marketing campaigns, addressing social issues & looking at forward thinking ways to be innovative around them are where the action MUST be!
In that light, we have personally been so gratified by the engagement of our own SCAD students in this issue of homelessness.
We could write a LONG post about the engagements we have been a part of, everywhere from a Service Design class groups final project around the homeless as customers of the services they receive in Savannah (or should & could receive) to full community engagement programs with billboards & spots to raise awareness.
There have been High School projects (also with SCAD students projects helping to drive the effort) that have taught critical thinking skill sets using a forward looking toolkit that addressed homelessness (by the choice of the high school class mind you)!
We are a fan of Service Design & Graphics Design (Sustainability Design too from Professor Scott Boylston at SCAD) that look at innovations to address the systemic issues around why, after many communities being in or starting their THIRD Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness, we are needing to propagate the same solutions that aren’t solving the problem! They are not just raising awareness for donations to already running services that most likely aren’t moving the needle significantly on the homeless counts!
But we’ve got a few follow-ups from this new article to pursue!
Why is it the largest homeless shelter in the area? Because they railroaded it’s creation in an attempt to have a way to put people when they enacted their inhumane criminalization ordinances in the County (Clearwater & Pinellas County)! So raising private funds to support this criminalization is the reality of what they are attempting to do!
It is intended as the first step toward a push to raise more private money for Safe Harbor, the county’s largest homeless shelter.
If it’s NOT a jail? Then why is this true:
Safe Harbor has a budget of roughly $2.4 million, 72 percent of which comes from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
And why is the rest of the County not involved or supporting this effort?
But only eight of the county’s 24 municipalities have donated to Safe Harbor. Largo, which 1,059 Safe Harbor residents gave as their city of origin last year, has not given money. Dunedin sent 174 people there, but also doesn’t pay.
The way that the Safe Harbor approach was railroaded by their City Council (Clearwater) is maybe the reason that other parts of the community aren’t supporting this flawed plan!
Housing First is the solution (for Savannah & a lot of other communities that are already on board with a version of housing first), along with innovative services, not the same old 28 day recovery programs (or classes) that we use here in Savannah currently!
By the way. we are fully aware that the Tampa Art students could be likewise addressing the bigger picture but they are only doing what they are being asked to do, we commend them for their efforts & encourage them to become advocates for more humane solutions to homelessness than criminalizing it & then trying to gloss over what the solution really is delivering, i.e. NOT Housing First!
- An Open Letter to Savannah’s Faith, Business, City & Neighborhood Communities: Are we ready to frame chronic homelessness as a public health issue? (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- New options are available, however we MUST ask: Will we make the 2015 “deadline” (goal) to end veterans & chronic homelessness. women too, in Savannah? | HUD & VA TEAM UP TO PROVIDE PERMANENT HOMES TO 9,000 HOMELESS VETS | RealEstateRama (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)