Archive for Friday, September 7, 2007

Meeting to discuss homeless issues

September 7, 2007

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Mayor Sue Hack and members of the city's Community Commission on Homelessness will conduct an event Monday designed to inform residents about new ideas on homelessness.

The group will discuss a new vision for providing homeless services in the city. The event is set for 3 p.m. Monday at Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vt.

The Community Commission on Homelessness presented the vision to city commissioners earlier this year. The vision includes plans for a new homeless shelter, additional temporary and transitional housing units, and new policies on how best to provide help to the homeless.

Many details, such as a location for a new shelter or housing units, still must be determined.

Comments

Sigmund 7 years, 7 months ago

Here is my vision for the homeless in Lawrence. Two new homeless shelters, one in Topeka and the other in KC with free one way transportation on the "T" and two free drink drink coupons to make the trip all nice and pleasant like. Sorry if that offends anyone, unless you are homeless, in that case, "No I don't have any spare change, no I don't want to buy your newsletter and no I don't feel guilty."

Ragingbear 7 years, 7 months ago

How about we round them up and put them in concentration camps and force them to wear stars on their clothing?

Haiku_Cuckoo 7 years, 7 months ago

Will they be discussing the crimes that these homeless creatures have plagued our city with?

mick 7 years, 7 months ago

Leave the homeless problem to the experts- The Salvation Army.

Ragingbear 7 years, 7 months ago

There are two keys to the entire homeless issue. One is national, the other is local. The national issue has to do with everything from health-care to welfare reform, and little can be done about it in the short term.

The local aspect is something entirely different. For years our city commission chose to ignore the homeless issue and just let the charities in town take care of it. This resulted in conflicting charitable ideals with the end result of allowing people to survive on the streets, but provide no actual way for people to get out of that situation. Even those without any mental illness, criminal record, massive debt or substance addiction can end up homeless due to a variety of reasons. Even those people, when fighting every day will still spend an average of 6 months at a bare minimum before they get some place of their own.

Then a few years ago the city Commission made a token effort and created their little side commission on homelessness. This was a massive joke at taxpayer expense. It was headed by people that ran the charities, all they did was bicker and argue, and they met roughly 2 hours a month. 2 years later they issued a report. This was their first official action. TWO years after the fact. This report stated the following: We need an in-town detox center, the charities must adopt a common focus and ruleset and work together, several case/social workers were needed to be sent out into the field, and there needed to be some effort put in to eliminate the 1 year+ waiting list for Sect. 8, as well as housing options for those that did not qualify for X or Y reason.

Many homeless individuals in town are/were longtime Lawrence residents. To chase them out of town because they fell on hard times won't accomplish anything. And believe me, many of the homeless in town will remain even if you close down the shelters, the soup kitchens (that several non-homeless people rely on to help keep themselves from ending up homeless themselves), they will STILL remain...

Ragingbear 7 years, 7 months ago

After all this time, the city commission's little pet and joke of a homeless commission has still done virtually nothing. This article itself points out that they were going to decide on "a vision" a while back, and today they actually stated what that vision was. All this stuff, from the original report to this vision was known 5 years ago when I was on these streets. It's a joke that the commission still wants to ignore in the hopes that it will go away. Meanwhile we are draining massive amounts of resources into keeping them in jail, court cost, lost tourist revenue due to people avoiding downtown, random acts of vandalism, and so-on.

I proposed a concept a few years ago that not only would cost virtually nothing, but actually generate significant savings and even generate profit for the city. These concepts would actually require very little work on the city's behalf. Some legal documents drawn up, some implementation of code, a few hundred dollars(not thousand) in initial cost, and the city would save about $100,000 at a minimum in 12 months. Worst case scenario is that it would not work and things would stay the same.

I took this plan and presented it to several individuals. From long term homeless individuals, downtown business owners, mental health advocates, charitable organization heads ,and finally city commissioners. ALL of them seemed quite interested in exploring this concept. Even the long term homeless were excited at some of the prospects I presented. In the end, this proposal was tossed in the trash and completely ignored.

Until the city actually decides to do something real (and not in violation of basic human rights) about the situation, this city will only get worse.

And if anyone would like a copy of my proposal (written in layman's terms in a format where the general concepts and ideas are there, but not the fine details), feel free to email my profile. I will forward a copy to you. You wanna give constructive feedback on it? Go ahead. I actually want to see the issue taken care of. I spent over a year on these streets. I fought every day to get off the streets and it took me that long. It's no wonder that others with more pressing issues end up giving up due to the hopelessness of the situation, those end up on the streets year, after year, after year. Then they die of exposure in the park, or get hit by a train, or killed by college students, or overdose on drugs/alcohol or whatever.

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