[Hpn] Challenges to plan for homeless

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Sun, 02 Mar 2008 08:32:13 -0500


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Challenges to plan for homeless can be tackled
March 2, 2008=20

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/letters/articles/2008=
/03/02/challenges_to_plan_for_homeless_can_be_tackled/
DAVID ABEL'S article "For the homeless, keys to a home" (Page A1, Feb. =
24) fails to highlight the key to the Commonwealth's collaborative =
effort to end homelessness for individuals and families: getting the =
right resources to the right people at the right time. Instead, the =
article focuses on the challenges faced by a small number of chronically =
homeless street dwellers with significant needs. It sensationalizes =
problems associated with mental illness and substance abuse, when it =
should celebrate the successes of tenants who have overcome significant =
obstacles because of the long-term trauma they have experienced.

In fact, many participants in "housing first" programs are thriving. =
Although problems exist, the hallmark of such initiatives is =
flexibility. Program administrators and case managers are constantly =
adjusting their approaches in order to address individuals' barriers to =
housing stability.
The governor's proposed spending will allow us to build on these =
successes as we transform the system. Homelessness has many faces, but =
only one solution: permanent housing with appropriate supports. With our =
continued commitment, the dream of a place to call home can become a =
reality for all.

JULIA E. KEHOE
Commissioner
Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance
Boston


THE ARTICLE "For the homeless, keys to a home" paints too bleak a =
picture of homeless individuals making the transition from the streets =
to homes of their own.

Our experience at the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership, the =
largest regional provider of rental assistance and housing support, is =
that truly supportive housing makes an enormous difference. Time and =
again, we have seen people deemed chronically homeless thrive in their =
own homes despite real setbacks. But the need for ongoing support for =
these individuals cannot be overstated.

In the last two years we have helped nearly two dozen elders through the =
Home and Healthy for Good program. Many had been homeless for more than =
10 years.

Providing secure homes to vulnerable people is not without its =
complications, but it's a crucial first step to ensuring that our =
state's struggling elders and families retain their dignity, save the =
state money, and avoid getting labeled "the homeless."

But providing secure homes doesn't just happen; it requires a commitment =
to increasing rental assistance housing vouchers, service =
collaborations, and community partnerships.

CHRISTOPHER T. NORRIS
Executive director
Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership
Boston



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<H1>Challenges to plan for homeless can be tackled</H1>
<DIV class=3Dcf></DIV>
<DIV class=3Dutility><SPAN id=3Ddateline>March 2, 2008 </SPAN></DIV>
<DIV class=3Dutility><SPAN></SPAN>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV class=3Dutility><SPAN><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2><A=20
href=3D"http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/letters/artic=
les/2008/03/02/challenges_to_plan_for_homeless_can_be_tackled/">http://ww=
w.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/letters/articles/2008/03/02/ch=
allenges_to_plan_for_homeless_can_be_tackled/</A></FONT></SPAN></DIV>
<DIV id=3DarticleGraphs>
<DIV id=3Dpage1>
<P>DAVID ABEL'S article <A=20
href=3D'http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/02/24/for_the_home=
less_keys_to_a_home/"'><FONT=20
color=3D#2851a2>"For the homeless, keys to a home" (Page A1, Feb. =
24)</FONT></A>=20
fails to highlight the key to the Commonwealth's collaborative effort to =
end=20
homelessness for individuals and families: getting the right resources =
to the=20
right people at the right time. Instead, the article focuses on the =
challenges=20
faced by a small number of chronically homeless street dwellers with =
significant=20
needs. It sensationalizes problems associated with mental illness and =
substance=20
abuse, when it should celebrate the successes of tenants who have =
overcome=20
significant obstacles because of the long-term trauma they have =
experienced.</P>
<DIV id=3DarticleEmbed>
<DIV class=3Dembed id=3DrelatedContent>
<DIV class=3DrelatedBox id=3DinformBox>
<H3>In fact, many participants in "housing first" programs are thriving. =

Although problems exist, the hallmark of such initiatives is =
flexibility.=20
Program administrators and case managers are constantly adjusting their=20
approaches in order to address individuals' barriers to housing=20
stability.</H3></DIV></DIV></DIV>
<P>The governor's proposed spending will allow us to build on these =
successes as=20
we transform the system. Homelessness has many faces, but only one =
solution:=20
permanent housing with appropriate supports. With our continued =
commitment, the=20
dream of a place to call home can become a reality for all.</P>
<P>JULIA E. KEHOE<BR><EM>Commissioner</EM><BR><EM>Massachusetts =
Department of=20
Transitional Assistance</EM><BR><EM>Boston</EM><BR></P>
<P>THE ARTICLE "For the homeless, keys to a home" paints too bleak a =
picture of=20
homeless individuals making the transition from the streets to homes of =
their=20
own.</P>
<P>Our experience at the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership, the =
largest=20
regional provider of rental assistance and housing support, is that =
truly=20
supportive housing makes an enormous difference. Time and again, we have =
seen=20
people deemed chronically homeless thrive in their own homes despite =
real=20
setbacks. But the need for ongoing support for these individuals cannot =
be=20
overstated.</P>
<P>In the last two years we have helped nearly two dozen elders through =
the Home=20
and Healthy for Good program. Many had been homeless for more than 10 =
years.</P>
<P>Providing secure homes to vulnerable people is not without its =
complications,=20
but it's a crucial first step to ensuring that our state's struggling =
elders and=20
families retain their dignity, save the state money, and avoid getting =
labeled=20
"the homeless."</P>
<P>But providing secure homes doesn't just happen; it requires a =
commitment to=20
increasing rental assistance housing vouchers, service collaborations, =
and=20
community partnerships.</P>
<P>CHRISTOPHER T. NORRIS<BR><EM>Executive =
director</EM><BR><EM>Metropolitan=20
Boston Housing Partnership</EM><BR><EM>Boston</EM></P></DIV></DIV></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2><BR></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV></BODY></HTML>

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