Category Archives: ending homelessness

Another Parking Meter donation approach surfaces, with follow-up to a panhandling epidemic, but we ask where should the funds raised be deployed? | Ending homelessness in San Luis Obispo | | San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Paso Robles

Using old parking meters for collecting donations to defer money given to panhandlers to social services is not new.

The visible signs of panhandling!

Many communities have taken this approach, with some being very successful & creative at the same time!

Nashville comes to mind as a more recent effort where design contests were held & the community engaged productively to put together a program that would address the needs of the community.

Here is a quote from a recent article that just came across our daily reading alerts.

They are trying to mimic the success in San Diego & are willing to take it to the next level relating to the panhandling & homeless arrest rates there in San Luis Obispo.

They call for a follow-up approach to the high number of tickets that are in the “system” with the creation of a “homeless court”!

We have seen other communities that have accomplished great things & we’ll write more about that later as the approach to a specialized court has the potential to be a place of outreach for a Housing First initiative too!

He said the next step is fixing the justice system, because as it stands, when a transient gets a ticket for an infraction, like being drunk in public, urinating in public, or aggressively panhandling, the ticket often slides through the system. Gesell said some repeat offenders have dozens of tickets, and they have never made a court appearance.

“There is talk of creating a homeless court, which would focus on our chronic offenders, and we would send them to a commissioner,” said Gesell.

We are also very interested in the direction (which programs they support) of funds raised by such a parking meter program though!

As you may imagine, we are NOT interested in supporting the funds being put to use to grow the same systems of services which are for the most part FAILING to meet the need of this specialized population of homeless folks!

A Housing FIrst campaign & solution is the most productive use of those funds & we call for measured consideration of such a dedicated use of those funds!

via Ending homelessness in San Luis Obispo | | San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Paso Robles.

via Another Parking Meter donation approach surfaces, with follow-up to a panhandling epidemic, but we ask where should the funds raised be deployed? | Ending homelessness in San Luis Obispo | | San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Paso Robles.


Homelessness Survival conference | Conferize – Never miss a Conference

We’re holding a conference on Homelessness Survival, in Savannah & everywhere!

How do we get homeless people off the streets, out of the tent cities & into Housing First, the ultimate survival technique for homelessness!

Join in & suggest speakers & topics for “presentations” & discussion! ALL are welcome!

Homelessness Survival conference | Conferize – Never miss a Conference.

via Homelessness Survival conference | Conferize – Never miss a Conference.

Our similar vision for Savannah’s Housing First needs | Oma Village – container housing project for homeless in Marin County CA: More About What’s New at Homeward Bound of Marin

The project is called Oma Village after a grassroots effort started last year by the Rev. Betty Pagett of San Rafael known as “Oma” to her grandsons to support homeless families. For more details, please see the Homeward Bound blog on Novato Patch.

We found this project with our good friend Google!

Here’s a robust example of a serious commitment (to the tune of $3M) to take forward what was once a grassroots project by a Pastor!

This is not much un-like our efforts here in Savannah, GA & as we write this we are stymied with the process & concerned that the priority of those involved is not necessarily to create the solution together.

Therefore, we are reaching out to others with developed hearts for this effort who may be able to put us all on a path that more readily gets the project off the ground.

Our efforts to create a “Savannah Area Interfaith Taskforce on Ending Homelessness” most recently with our Exploratory Meeting held on January, 17, 2013 at The Savannah Baptist Center brought out a great crowd anxious to hear how the faith community could possibly come together for this effort.

The vision was shared & in fact there are two pieces of adjacent property on Wheaton St in Savannah ready for us to evaluate for now two separate housing first based projects.

The vision is for one to take on the chronic homeless issue & the other for a similar project for families or women & children!

We are ready to develop a business plan & a supportable business model for these projects! We seek YOUR involvement, whether as part of the broader faith community or individually as you are called!

Notice the FAQ in this linked blog post above that establishes some common questions that we would likely hear from our community as well as we seek to develop this effort.

This FAQ is embedded here for your reading through Scribd:

via More About What’s New at Homeward Bound of Marin.

via Oma Village – container housing project for homeless in Marin County CA: More About What’s New at Homeward Bound of Marin.

What’s your definition of happiness for this New Year?: KLP: Happy New Year? Not on Your Life KLP

What’s your definition of “Happy” for the New Year.

This article challenges us to see what was meant by our forefathers in the Constitution regarding “pursuit of happiness” & helps us relate that to our daily lives as people of faith.

What kind of happiness does our God want for us every day of the New Year?

Read & see if your view of happiness changes for this Year & what kind of life it motivates you to live this Year!

Do you want to help our homeless get “Back on Track”? | Housing for the Homeless: 14 Smart & Sensitive Solutions | WebUrbanist

We are regularly looking on Google for ideas & other projects that we can show folks to get them engaged on the idea of container housing for the homeless!

Well, we think we’ve struck gold now! Here’s the winner of a competition in Melbourne, Australia,

We never claimed to be the first with the idea but here is an example that wraps creative & innovative services (maybe not as innovative as our model for services from HUGS!) but with the idea of jobs thrown in too!

Look at this image for a second then read the project description under the image:

Winner of a competition by Tesseract Collective, ‘Back on Track’ is a comprehensive proposal for homeless rehabilitation that involves not just housing but also community and improving long-term prospects. Going beyond just the requirements for immediate survival, ‘Back on Track’ is designed to be located along a strip of railway in designer Sarah Crowley’s town of Melbourne, Australia. Appropriating an under-used urban space that can be integrated into the surrounding city, the design includes a series of public programs that provide jobs and activities for the ‘formerly homeless’ that would live there.

Would you give this project an award or choose it as a winner?

Watch these videos to learn more about container housing for the homeless in general:

What are your thoughts on this model for Savannah?

How would you like to help?

Comments & connections are welcome! We can use all the help we can get!!


via Housing for the Homeless: 14 Smart & Sensitive Solutions | WebUrbanist.

Housing First Works, the details & supporting research: Christy Respress: Partnership Leads to New Beginning for Homeless Veterans

Housing First Works!

After appearing at the recent Public Hearing on the City of Savannah 2013 Action Plan (links below for the video of the Public Hearing) that presented our City’s plans for using CDBG & ESG funding on homelessness (as well as other programs funded by HUD in our community) we saw this referenced blog post on HuffPost DC dealing with Veterans Homelessness, solutions & real stats on the use of Housing First to end chronic (veterans) homelessness in DC.

We went to the Public Hearing to make the City Council & City agencies as well as the public formally aware of alternative solutions being developed in the community for ending homelessness, our Housing First Savannah efforts in particular.

Our comments in summary are presented here:

  • Existing service providers are not interested in delivering housing to our homeless population based on a Housing First Model
  • We have brought together those committed to delivering that housing & supportive services in Savannah into an effort known as Housing First Savannah
  • We seek no direct government funding for this project, although other communities have used CDBG & ESG funds to provide part of the solution
  • We didn’t say that HUD vouchers have in fact been used for a Housing First Model but they have
  • We seek to become funded using Social Impact Bonds (a “pay for success” model)
  • We also seek to engage the broader faith community via a possible Interfaith Taskforce on Ending Homelessness
  • We need to think about our own community 10 year plan for ending homelessness (& our own 5 year plan which was also inherently approved by City Council on Thursday, 11/1/12) in light of Housing First being encouraged by HUD & the USICH agency with their recently announced modified NOFA process

We thought it particularly timely that this referenced article was located for a few reasons.

What is Housing First you ask? Here’s a quote from the linked article that helps understand outcomes from Housing First models & that’s what it’s all about, right?

An important quote summarizing the outcomes experienced & the research about Housing First from the linked article:

A concept originally developed by Pathways to Housing, “Housing First” has been shown to end chronic homelessness for 88 percent of participants, and prevent the recurrences of homelessness that are so common for formerly homeless individuals. (Similar efforts using an older model, which required homeless people to get clean or sober before getting an apartment have resulted in 47 percent success rates.) In the past decade, Housing First has caught on across the country. Close to home, the model is embraced in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties and Northern Virginia, as well as the District.

We had just had a visit at the site of the new HUGS Day Center (Shelter) by the Downtown Neighborhood Association Board members & guests (including someone from the Savannah Morning News who was also invited).

We had also been invited to attend a Rotary Club East Savannah’s weekly meeting to present HUGS, the organization & solutions provided to our homeless & others for counseling etc.

Housing First has many misunderstandings attached to it that we hope to dispel in the near future with meaningful dialog so that we can all gain consensus.

Several of these misunderstandings were displayed in the Public Hearing with comments made by the local Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless Interim Executive Director.

Claims of “revolving doors” being created by Housing First & the lack of certification of services, including a plea for the City to NOT divert any funding to a solution that implements Housing First, show several aspects of misunderstanding & pure lack of knowledge of the services model we are using, based on a commitment to the outcomes of the person with innovative, volunteer based services (although all volunteers are certified providers of counseling services, with an interest in the whole person & the healing that comes along with the services provided by HUGS, more on this later & info available on the HUGS website).

So this referenced article tends to dispel some of the myths, many of which reside in a deep commitment to sobriety by current service models vs a recovery-based services model that we will deliver.

Read on, then ask yourself what you as a community want for our homeless community! Read both the article linked to as well as the detailed research linked to in the previous quote if you want the facts.

If you’d like to hear the actual presentation to Council by Housing First Savannah & the response by the CoC (as well as the proposed comments which weren’t allowed by Dr Carter, CEO of Union Mission) then listen here (caution, this video is not indexed & the comments in the Public Hearing referenced above don’t start until about an hour into the video).

We would be very interested in engaging the community in understanding the realities of Housing First & the differences in the services model that we believe HUGS brings to the table & which may very well make our outcomes better than those presented in this research.

We are also willing to put our funding on the line with “Pay for Success” models as provided for in Social Impact Bonds!

Comments, thoughts & connections welcome!

via Christy Respress: Partnership Leads to New Beginning for Homeless Veterans.