A Forum on Homelessness in Manatee County Comments or suggestions about the "No Place Like Home" forum?
Would you like to make a comment regarding the "No Place Like Home" Forum? Send comments and suggestions to Simone Peterson via e-mail, email@example.com.
Information and notes from the forum will be added throughout the project, so stay tuned!
Table of Contents
Next meeting date:
"No Place Like Home" January 2012 Report
10 Year Plan to End Homelessness (August 2006)
Housing Strategy Update (January 2012)
April 2012 Update 1
At the No Place Like Home forum meeting held in January, the groups in attendance were asked to identify potential projects, resources, roadblocks and possible locations for homeless services. Click the link below to access that document.
March 2012 Update 3
11. Group visit to Safety Harbor, Florida low demand shelter. February 16 at 3 p.m.
Check for results.
March 2012 Update 2
7. Review of local facilities- Joseph's Safe House of Restoration
Reviewed facility. currently has up to 40 voluntary residents ranging in age from 19-50. Majority of which have substance abuse problems. Clients stay from 3 - 18 months. Located in the City of Bradenton.
8. Observed users of services in the area of the One Stop Resource Center.
Citizens could be more aware of local business and their contribution to the area by using sidewalks and crossing areas instead of cutting through parking lots and businesses. Follow up with service providers in the area to educate their clients.
9. Vacant Land Committee
Staff assigned to review vacant land in Incorporated Manatee County and cities met Thursday, February 9. Results to be reported at February PATH meeting.
10. "Housing First" Project Manager
Researched job descriptions for "Housing First" Project Manager. Results to be reported at February PATH meeting.
March 2012 Update 1
There were a couple of ideas our group generated which were not addressed at the oral presentations:
1. Why not let the American entrepreneurial spirit help solve the housing issue?
Investors who purchase properties for very little might be willing to let the homeless coalition manage those properties for three or five years with no recompense if the rehab cost of those properties was donated by the community. The donations could take the form of sweat-habitat style-as well as contractors whose dead inventory or idle crew could be put to work as a tax write off. (The latter portion was suggested by the
plumbing contractor at our table).
2. Public Relations campaign.
Get the hard stats on the true cost of each homeless individual in Manatee County. Dr. Marbut said the national stat is a minimum of 80k/yr. Find a local advertising agency (The Cardinale's come to mind?) willing to donate their services to present to the community, commissioners, and institutions how an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Diversion of funds could get some of the housing started.
Maybe instead of creating a paid position as the leader of the homeless services in this county, you could look for someone who has been successful in business, knows housing, has someone able to run his business, and is willing to contribute to the community in which he made his fortune. When one has enough wealth, philanthropy can be the only legacy. If a group representing several of the agencies approached such an individual with a request to volunteer to lead homeless services for one year, he may do it. If the goals are concise and well-defined, a good business leader should be able to organize and motivate for success. That year would allow time to secure funding for a paid position and would also let everyone benefit from his expertise. Pat Neal is the one who comes to mind.
4. Better use of resources
My only reservation was regarding the printed information that was passed out. Granted it was two sided, but all the color! There was valuable information there, but was the printing donated by someone? That's a lot of ink that cost money. Couldn't the dollars be used in a more productive way to help the homeless?
5. There seemed to be a lot of ideas and concerns about the need for a first step/basic shelter.
We are trying to compile a list of resources available from the community to help in this endeavor and we need your help. If you or your agency, business or even family has any skills or resources that could benefit any phase of the first step shelter project, please let us know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> . We are looking for anything that could help such as grant writers, volunteers, financial gifts, building materials, Shelter materials once the facility is built...basically anything you are willing to offer that could benefit this project...will help!
6. Use the empty motels on 14th Street as a place for the homeless to stay.
A gentleman called named Lou Pomrenke with a suggestion to use the empty motels on 14th Street as a place for the homeless to stay. He said they had facilities (bedroom & bath) for many. I think he maybe talking about the United Way place, but not sure. It is close to Salvation Army and to One Stop. He told me that his church group meets every Sunday morning at 7am with the Court House Homeless for coffee and donuts. He told me to "thank you" for all you have done for our county.
First Methodist church feeds 50 -60 coffee and rolls every sunday morning at their water fountain and they fellowship to get to know the people.