Monday, September 08, 2014
Earlier study of similar camp scheme rejects substitutes for Housing First
by Larry Geller
This proposal is inconsistent with existing federal and State programs to stabilize homeless families by creating safe emergency and transitional shelters to prepare them for moving into and living in permanent supportive housing. Permanent housing is the key to homelessness and that all efforts should be to prepare homeless individuals to assume their residency in permanent housing.
This proposal diverts scarce resources away from creating a path to permanent housing for homeless individuals by condoning, if not encouraging homelessness and the continuance of a nomadic lifestyle.
The pullquote and the document posted below apply to a slightly different idea—nighttime only camping. But the conclusions, with few modifications, would apply to Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s plan to re-purpose an area on Sand Island instead of using the public parks that the document refers to.
I think you, the reader, will be able to discern why taxpayer money is being wasted by the Mayor’s plan. It not only “diverts scarce resources” to a scheme that costs taxpayers every day that “real” Housing First is not implemented, complete with the wraparound services needed to make it work, but choosing to place his camp out in the hot sun on isolated Sand Island is not likely to work very well. If only the Mayor would see that.
Of course, since the stated primary objective of the city’s plan is …
To alleviate the impacts of unsheltered homelessness on residents, businesses, and visitors in the City and County of Honolulu through the creation of appropriate housing opportunities that will facilitate the transition of unsheltered homeless persons and families from public and private property not meant for human habitation in targeted neighborhoods, to appropriate housing in the community.
… it’s safe to say that hizzoner may not be thinking of what is best for Honolulu’s houseless citizens first.
See the article below for a video of the proposed Sand Island site.