Hello Adam here. I wanted to take a moment to talk about the issues surrounding getting more beds for single women in Clark County.
Me, like everybody else wishes we could just say, "It’s something that is needed.”, and bam! The need gets solved. But unfortunately, that is not how things like this work. For those that just want the problem fixed, it is real easy to just say "fix it", but then there is the issue of the next questions. Who is going pay for it? Where is the money coming from? Which agency will take responsibility for maintaining the program? What if it is a church? And let's not forget that each one of these entity options has varying rules, expectations, and obligations to those that fund them and their missions that need to be considered.
So when we get those questions answered, then the next questions arise: Where will these beds or shelter be located? How many women will it hold? Will the women be clean and sober? Who is going to staff these locations with case management, security, and everything else needed to make these situations successful for both the clients and the organization assisting? And then there is the fact that these solutions will require leases, contracts, and long term commitments – and it makes no sense in starting these undertakings with something that won’t last or is only a temporary thing because we failed to look into the future.
So as I write this, don’t mistake my willingness to navigate this system as happiness, because I am just as frustrated with the realization that these are the real steps that have to be traversed in coming up with a successful multi-step solution to a complex problem. The fact that women are being assaulted IS the reason why there is now active discussions and a real search for viable options for a long term solution is in progress. I was able to bring the information of the dire need to the attention of people who are in the position to be able to make something happen. I am pleased that I am allowed to continue to be in these discussions and that I am being asked to give opinions and ideas as an advocate for the homeless.
One of the things I have learned while in these meetings is that accurate demographic numbers of the homeless situation are continually needed. -
Do you know of any homeless people not calling in and reporting to the clearing house number? If so, we need encourage them to do so and do it regularly even if it feels “futile”, because these numbers are reported directly to those who are holding purse strings to these projects. This means any homeless person or family, whether they are sleeping on the streets, in the car, couch surfing with friends, or wherever – we need to get these numbers as ACCURATE as possible so the money can be appropriately allocated when those numbers are reviewed at budget creation time. Call into the Clearing House Homeless Hotline at (360) 695-9677 Monday-Friday 9am-5pm or Sat-Sun 11am-2pm. Get your case assessed. Keep up on follow up contacts if your situation changes and even if it doesn’t. Keep on calling. It really does help the situation to remain on their radar at all times.
Its fine to rally people to SAY we have a problem, but it would be a 100 times better if we rallied together to help FIND a solution that will work here in our community. If you are a concerned citizen and really want to help, more communication is needed in a vital way! Communications that will HELP FIND solutions to the previous questions listed. We need to know what options we do really have, so here's the question...
Do you know a landowner, a church, a business that may have a building, land or location that would be willing to discuss & commit to partnering up with other agencies to help facilitate a more stable and long term solution for expanding usable shelter space in Vancouver?