[Hpn] JUST DO IT, DO NOT MULL IT OVER ANOTHER 10 YEARS!

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Sun, 01 Jul 2007 06:16:21 -0400


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http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/letters/articles/2007/=
07/01/at_the_heart_of_homeless_policy/?p1=3DMEWell_Pos5

At the heart of homeless policy
July 1, 2007

FLORENCE GRAVES and Hadar Sayfan's article on the "housing first" model =
as a way to end chronic homelessness ("First things first," Ideas, June =
24) serves as a reminder that there is a lot more that society could be =
doing to end, rather than just manage, chronic homelessness. Getting =
people out of our state's shelter care system and into permanent =
supportive housing should be at the heart of homeless policy, and should =
be reflected in funding mechanisms that support "housing first" =
concepts. These include funds to support care managers, drug and alcohol =
counseling, mental health services, and rental subsidies.

Unfortunately, there will always be a place for shelters in a continuum =
of homeless services. The real agenda for this segment of our state's =
health and human services sector must be to address the root causes of =
homelessness by providing the array of supports Graves and Sayfan =
described.

MARTIN D. COHEN
President MetroWest Community Health Care Foundation=20
Framingham

I AM consistently surprised by those who are opposed to the "housing =
first" model even before they have a complete understanding of the model =
and its underlying objectives.

I spent about two years operating an outreach program working with =
homeless people living on the streets in Cambridge and Somerville. Some =
of those people had lived on the street or in area shelters for more =
than 20 years. Now I manage permanent supported housing programs. Many =
of the tenants in our programs are the same people I worked with on the =
streets.

In my experience, housing people is more complex and just plain more =
work than sheltering them. It is certainly more work than letting them =
flounder on the streets.

However, if the end result is that the Commonwealth is able to save =
money and provide housing to the homeless simultaneously, what is there =
to dispute?

GORDON CALKINS=20
Program Manager Shelter Inc.=20
Cambridge=20

William Charles Tinker=20
New Hampshire Homeless=20
Founded 11-28-99
25 Granite Street=20
Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640 USA=20
Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human rights.=20
1-603-286-2492=20
http://www.missingkids.com=20
http://www.nationalhomeless.org=20
http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org=20
newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com=20


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<H1><A=20
href=3D"http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/letters/articl=
es/2007/07/01/at_the_heart_of_homeless_policy/?p1=3DMEWell_Pos5">http://w=
ww.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/letters/articles/2007/07/01/at=
_the_heart_of_homeless_policy/?p1=3DMEWell_Pos5</A></H1>
<H1>&nbsp;</H1>
<H1>At the heart of homeless policy</H1>
<P class=3Dbyline><SPAN></SPAN><SPAN class=3Ddate>July 1, =
2007</SPAN></P>
<DIV id=3DarticleGraphs>
<DIV id=3Dpage1>
<P>FLORENCE GRAVES and Hadar Sayfan's article on the "housing first" =
model as a=20
way to end chronic homelessness (<A=20
href=3D"http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2007/06/24/first_=
things_first/"><FONT=20
color=3D#000066>"First things first,"</FONT></A> Ideas, June 24) serves =
as a=20
reminder that there is a lot more that society could be doing to end, =
rather=20
than just manage, chronic homelessness. Getting people out of our =
state's=20
shelter care system and into permanent supportive housing should be at =
the heart=20
of homeless policy, and should be reflected in funding mechanisms that =
support=20
"housing first" concepts. These include funds to support care managers, =
drug and=20
alcohol counseling, mental health services, and rental subsidies.</P>
<P>Unfortunately, there will always be a place for shelters in a =
continuum of=20
homeless services. The real agenda for this segment of our state's =
health and=20
human services sector must be to address the root causes of homelessness =
by=20
providing the array of supports Graves and Sayfan described.</P>
<P><SPAN class=3Dsigner><EM>MARTIN D. COHEN<BR>President MetroWest =
Community=20
Health Care Foundation <BR>Framingham</EM></SPAN></P>
<P>I AM consistently surprised by those who are opposed to the "housing =
first"=20
model even before they have a complete understanding of the model and =
its=20
underlying objectives.</P>
<P>I spent about two years operating an outreach program working with =
homeless=20
people living on the streets in Cambridge and Somerville. Some of those =
people=20
had lived on the street or in area shelters for more than 20 years. Now =
I manage=20
permanent supported housing programs. Many of the tenants in our =
programs are=20
the same people I worked with on the streets.</P>
<P>In my experience, housing people is more complex and just plain more =
work=20
than sheltering them. It is certainly more work than letting them =
flounder on=20
the streets.</P>
<P>However, if the end result is that the Commonwealth is able to save =
money and=20
provide housing to the homeless simultaneously, what is there to =
dispute?</P>
<P><SPAN class=3Dsigner><EM>GORDON CALKINS <BR>Program Manager Shelter =
Inc.=20
<BR>Cambridge </EM></SPAN><IMG class=3Dstoryend height=3D8 alt=3D""=20
src=3D"http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/File-Based_Image_Resource/dingb=
at_story_end_icon.gif"=20
width=3D6 border=3D0></P></DIV></DIV></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>William Charles Tinker <BR>New =
Hampshire Homeless=20
<BR>Founded 11-28-99<BR>25 Granite Street <BR>Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640 =
USA=20
<BR>Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human rights. =
<BR>1-603-286-2492=20
<BR><A =
href=3D"http://www.missingkids.com">http://www.missingkids.com</A> =
<BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.nationalhomeless.org">http://www.nationalhomeless.org<=
/A>=20
<BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org">http://www.newhampshirehomel=
ess.org</A>=20
<BR><A=20
href=3D"mailto:newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com">newhampshirehom=
eless-subscribe@topica.com</A>=20
</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
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