[Hpn] Bringing the Homeless in From the Cold

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Mon, 04 Feb 2008 06:09:10 -0500


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Bringing the Homeless in From the Cold
     =20
Monday, February 4, 2008; Page A20=20

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/03/AR2008020=
302351.html

The Jan. 19 story about Virginia Skinner ["The Comfort of Home; Her =
Underground Years Behind Her, a Woman Begins a Challenging New Life," =
Style] supports what many of us who advocate on behalf of homeless =
persons have known for years. Contrary to a popular myth, she does not =
want to be homeless, sleeping every night on cold park benches or in =
transit tunnels, vulnerable to attacks. Down deep, Ms. Skinner wanted a =
safe, affordable place to call her own.=20

Fortunately she got an apartment through Home First, a program that aims =
to end the destructive cycle in which long-term homeless people move =
from parks to abandoned buildings to shelters or mental health =
facilities and then back again to our streets. Home First provides =
stability. Once that is achieved, then other supportive services can be =
offered to help clients further, including mental health treatment, =
counseling, job and life-skill training, and monitoring.=20

While these programs are not cheap, they actually are less expensive =
than the total bills for shelters, emergency services and emergency =
treatments that offer only temporary solutions. Over time, supportive =
housing can actually cost less than our current system that simply =
perpetuates the misery of long-term homelessness.=20

The question should be not "Does supportive housing work?" but rather =
"Why are we not helping more Virginias?"=20

DEBORAH De SANTIS=20


President and Chief Executive=20

Corporation for Supportive Housing=20


New York=20



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<H1 style=3D"PADDING-LEFT: 10px">Bringing the Homeless in From the =
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<DIV style=3D"PADDING-LEFT: 10px"><FONT size=3D2>Monday, February 4, =
2008; Page A20=20
</FONT></DIV>
<DIV style=3D"PADDING-LEFT: 10px"><FONT size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV style=3D"PADDING-LEFT: 10px"><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2><A=20
href=3D"http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/03/A=
R2008020302351.html">http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article=
/2008/02/03/AR2008020302351.html</A></FONT></DIV>
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<DIV id=3Darticle_body style=3D"PADDING-LEFT: 10px">
<P>The Jan. 19 story about Virginia Skinner ["The Comfort of Home; Her=20
Underground Years Behind Her, a Woman Begins a Challenging New Life," =
Style]=20
supports what many of us who advocate on behalf of homeless persons have =
known=20
for years. Contrary to a popular myth, she does not want to be homeless, =

sleeping every night on cold park benches or in transit tunnels, =
vulnerable to=20
attacks. Down deep, Ms. Skinner wanted a safe, affordable place to call =
her own.=20
</P>
<DIV id=3Dbody_after_content_column>
<P>Fortunately she got an apartment through Home First, a program that =
aims to=20
end the destructive cycle in which long-term homeless people move from =
parks to=20
abandoned buildings to shelters or mental health facilities and then =
back again=20
to our streets. Home First provides stability. Once that is achieved, =
then other=20
supportive services can be offered to help clients further, including =
mental=20
health treatment, counseling, job and life-skill training, and =
monitoring. </P>
<P>While these programs are not cheap, they actually are less expensive =
than the=20
total bills for shelters, emergency services and emergency treatments =
that offer=20
only temporary solutions. Over time, supportive housing can actually =
cost less=20
than our current system that simply perpetuates the misery of long-term=20
homelessness. </P>
<P>The question should be not "Does supportive housing work?" but rather =
"Why=20
are we not helping more Virginias?" </P>
<P>DEBORAH De SANTIS </P>
<P></P>
<P>President and Chief Executive </P>
<P>Corporation for Supportive Housing </P>
<P></P>
<P><A=20
href=3D"http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/New+York?tid=3Din=
formline"=20
target=3D""><FONT color=3D#0c4790>New York</FONT></A> </P>
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