•The American Civil Liberties Union quit defending the “right” of homeless people to hang out all day in Sarasota’s parks and sidewalks.
What about repealing the equal protection clause of the 14th amendendment?
• The city Police Department stopped, forever, arresting homeless people for hanging out or sleeping in those places?
then, there would be no need for the aclu to defend the “right” of homelESS people to hang out all day or sleep in those places.
• The city turned off electrical outlets, bathrooms and water hoses in public venues — if those amenities and necessities were attracting homeless people, encouraging loitering and, possibly, enabling misbehavior?
This move also will discourage all other people from using the same public venues, AS CLEARWATER, wSN’T IT?, LEARNED AT A PUBLIC PARK WHERE THE BATHROOMS WERE WELDED SHUT AT rOBERT mARBUT’S suggestion, WASN’T IT?, ACCORDING TO AN ARTICLE i READ A WHILE BACK AND PUBLISHED. wASn’t IT sarasota WHERE A CITY COP JAILED A HOMELESS MAN FOR CHARGING HIS CELL PHONE AT A PUBLIC PARK AND GOT THE CITY GREAT NATIONAL PUBLICITY. quite an article in this link:
• The city, its police and private-sector social service agencies worked deliberately to increase access to electricity, bathrooms and water — in locations that provide shelter, substance-abuse treatment and job training in a secure environment, 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
what will a facility like this cost the city of Sarasota to build? To operate a month? Where are the homeless addicts going to hang out? In the same holding pen as the homeless people who are not addicts?
• The city commissioners, and the residents who complain about vagrants, agreed on policies and practices that do not criminalize homelessness but, instead, focus on implementing cost-effective strategies to get at least 80 percent of homeless people off the streets and into various forms of safe shelter?
I imagine about 90 percent, or more, of street people are addicts. Doesn’t matter where they are put, if they are still using, there is no chance of them changing.
• The new police chief, who arrives next month, created a new mind-set in the department, changing everything from the language used by officers — stop calling homeless people and vagrants “bums,” even in jest, for example — to training and staffing?
I tried to get kw west city officials and county commissioner heather carruthers and her friends of higgs beach committeE to stop calling homeless people vagrants and bums, and i got nowhere. So I started calling the name-callers nazis.
• The officers on the street were trained to recognize, and deal with, the social problems facing homeless people and vagrants?
the social problems are in plain view, nothing to recognize, but dealing with the problems beyond symptomatic intervention is another matter altogether, especially if “homeless and vagrants” are addicts and are using their drug of choice. I see this journalist went back to using the term “vagrants”.
• The Police Department assigned, in exchange, a social worker to help the teams of officers most likely to encounter homeless people?
Teams of officers? They need teams of officers to encounter homeless people? They really think a social worker can help police encounter and deal with homeless people who are using drugs? Has this journalist had any significant direct dealing with street people and other kinds of homeless people?
• The agencies that provide shelter agreed to objectively assess whether they are efficiently utilizing their inventory of temporary and transitional housing?
transitional to where, some other form of subsidized housing? the most efficient use of such housing is for homeless people who are not using and truly want to get back on their feet.
• The city, county government, service agencies and philanthropic foundations agreed to fund the hiring of a director of homeless services, whose working hours would be dedicated solely to getting individuals and families into housing and assistance programs?
what is this director going to cost the city of sarasota? what will be the cost of these housing and assistance programs? Who will pay for it? for how long? how long do the programs run? what happens to “clients” who do not pass muster and/or will not stop using their drug of choice? How big is Sarasata’s jail? is that where the drop-outs will be sent?
• The director had the staff support of a well-qualified financial-development director whose focus would be to apply for grants and tax credits, as well as seek private-sector funding?
what will the well-qualified financial-devleopment director cost the city of sarasota? How much money is sarasota willing to throw at homelessness before the city gets a handle on whether it’s working and is what is working worth the cost?
• The social service agencies doubled down in their efforts to coordinate and cooperate and, in particular, co-locate facilities and services — for the sake of effectiveness and convenience, and to prevent transients downtown and in neighborhoods?
why not just arm sarasota police with tasers and use them like cattle prods to heard (should be herd] homeless people into and keep them in the city’s homeless holding pens?
• The entire community — government, private sector and individuals — agreed to honestly assess whether their approach unwisely enables homelessness or unjustly penalizes the condition?
the condition is what it is, it enables itself, and it penalizes its host. Making homeless people criminals for being homeless penalizes them further. Homelessness occurs regardless of what government, private sector and individuals do, or don’t do. chronicly homeless people, also known as street people, are an entirely different culture from new homeless people. Lumping both cultures into one category needs to stop. The two cultures need to be seen and dealt with differently.
What if those things occurred?
My guess is Sarasota would end its polarized standoff.
My hope is that those steps, taken together, would help the city and greater community reduce the number of homeless people — whether they congregate downtown, migrate to the suburbs or hide in the woods — by helping them help themselves.
How many times have I heard this line? i suppose if it is said often enough, it will become a sort of Nicean creed, but it will not change street people. only god can change street people and/or addicts. all the rest is treating symptoms.
Making these moves would also endear Sarasota to Robert Marbut, a recognized expert in working with communities to reduce homelessness and its wide-ranging impacts.
now we get to where this came from, is headed.
In February, Marbut addressed a day-long seminar conducted by the Community Coalition on Homelessness, based in Manatee County. I was impressed by his intellect — he earned master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Texas — and political savvy (he served two terms on the San Antonio City Council and was an aide to Henry Cisneros, a former mayor of the city). He also has a business sense; he founded San Antonio’s sports foundation.
Marbut is best known nationally as the founding president and chief executive of the Haven for Hope Campus in San Antonio — billed as the largest and most comprehensive “transformative” campus in the United States.
Closer to our region, he has consulted with St. Petersburg and Clearwater on their efforts to prevent vagrancy and reduce the number of homeless people in their communities by 80 percent.
The implementation of Marbut’s strategies in Pinellas County hasn’t been flawless, and well-meaning homeless advocates disagree with some of his views.
But those cities have moved forward and made progress — unlike Sarasota, which is stuck in a stalemate, an unacceptable status quo.
What I like about Marbut’s approach is its balance and potential to get Sarasota out of the either-or approach.
He believes, for example, that allowing panhandling and open-air feeding programs enables homelessness; in contrast, he espouses compassionate treatment of homeless people as human beings and advocates comprehensive, holistic strategies aimed at providing different levels of shelter, treatment and training.
The new city manager, Thomas Barwin, recently announced the creation of a 90-day task force on homelessness, with a focus on root causes. There’s a fear in the community that the discussions will be about the same-old, same-old responses. That fear could be assuaged by having a conversation with Robert Marbut.