The public meetings identified in the notice open the door to advocating for creative approaches. For example, in addition to "housing first", related mobile treatment models - as pointed out by Jeannette Riviere in reference to "Project Renewal" - constitute a meaningful adjunct approach. They can serve as an initial point of contact, a sort of mobile "shelter", with screening and other services, followed by "housing first". They also would provide an effective way to deliver services to "housing first" recipients after they are housed. (Here is a link to the "Project Renewal" website: http://www.projectrenewal.org/ .)
It is important for advocates to attend these meetings to make sure that the issue of "homelessness" is identified and discussed, and that the extreme shortage of affordable housing is recognized as not only the source of so much homelessness, but also as a major impediment to effective and successful treatment of those with substance abuse, mental illness, and others in need of help. Increasing the supply of truly affordable dwellings is a necessity if treatment is to succeed over the long-term.
Those who can attend should register now, using the link in the notice. At our next H.E.L.P /Workforce Housing meeting - August 13, 2012 at 7 p.m. at PCTR (the first notice will go out this week) - we will also discuss the best way to approach the hearings from an advocacy perspective.
Thanks. See you on the 13th.