The Homeless

I am deeply concerned about the homeless. I have volunteered time at the Prado Day Center, the Maxine Lewis Homeless Shelter, and the overflow program, and I’ve donated financially to them for decades. I am a supporter of the new Homeless Services Center at 40 Prado. I’ve also sponsored the donation station at the corner of Broad and Marsh, in order to give people a way to express their generosity toward the homeless by benefiting the Prado Day Center instead of giving panhandlers money directly, which often ends up being used to enable addiction.

I was instrumental in securing land for the new Homeless Services Center at 40 Prado, land which will also house the new Regional Transportation Agency (RTA county bus system). This site will combine the services of the Prado Day Center and the Maxine Lewis Homeless Center, but not cause problems for the business community. I look forward to working with Biz Steinberg of CAPSLO, John Spatafore of the Homeless Foundation, and other community supporters to make the vision a reality.

Homelessness is a complex issue. There is no one approach that will assist all homeless individuals in obtaining housing and becoming economically stable and self-sufficient. Our community must work together to find multiple, creative approaches. Programs such as Hope’s Village or Housing First can help to fill this need. The issue is also being addressed by faith-based organizations as well as by the City’s Safe Parking program. I am proud to have accepted the Housing and Urban Development’s Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness and voted in favor of the Housing Authority’s construction of studio apartments for Veterans next to Moylan Terrace on Humbert Street.

I believe that the City’s first priority in allocating resources to address this issue should be to help those who want help and are capable of accepting it, especially families with children.  Toward this end, I will propose “Improving homeless services” as a City goal during the upcoming budget goal-setting workshops and will lobby my fellow Council members to vote with me on this issue. It is my sworn responsibility to protect the health, safety and welfare of everyone who lives, visits or works here. Therefore, I support programs which help the homeless but do not compromise the safety and well-being of residents and visitors.