I have also reviewed the “Suggested Policies” arrived at in my absence. I do see the apparent inclusion of several suggestions I have made at previous discussions, but, still without the developed details for practical, affordable, more timely implementation. They are trying to build a Community Service Structure starting at the 3rd floor ,ending at the 5th. No mortar to hold it all together and no aspirations for a higher view:
(2) The architecture is devoid of sound humane engineering: the educational principles that assure success in developing one’s fullest human potential by way of guided progress through manageable, essential and sequential needs, and skills.
(3) It lacks the mortar to integrate and secure cooperation and collaboration between services already being provided by various agencies and individuals.
(4) No inspirational view to which they can aspire. The recommendation's highest level & goal is for the homeless to be able to maintain four walls and a roof with a minimum wage job. The BtBS plan both inspires and compels participants to discover talents and develop avocations as part of a fulfilling life of service. It's goal is to empower all to secure a quality of life, beyond marginal, for him/herself, while contributing, also, to the enrichment of the community at large.
(5) The logistical design of the internal structure of community services with the homeless should be a good fit , decided by the members of the community it is serving, NOT decided FOR them by agencies and politics with other agendas.
(6) The residents on the ground floor of this structure are denied their human dignity of earning their home and opportunities through community service working toward becoming community assets.
Community Pizza and Party
There has been much interest expressed in this Initiative. Now is you opportunity to look it over and consider to what degree you wish to be in on this Ground Breaking Concept.
Below is a copy of the "Recommended Policies" coming from the last and culminating Community Leader Dialogue meeting, last week, created in my absence.
- We propose a mixed-income housing program. Units should be mixed-use (commercial and residential) and private with government subsidization and regulation. Community involvement will ensure there’s no extreme opposition to the units that get built.
- Within reasonable distance to retail, employment and public transportation.
- No more than ⅓ of the housing should be dedicated to housing the houseless.
- Community involvement in planning.
- We recommend a mobile clinic with the facilities to serve the health needs of houseless populations. We propose a clinic which specifically serves at-risk populations. This may be a private endeavor, but would be dependent on the help of volunteers in the community and the health department.
- We propose the creation of a community advisory board that includes representation from a variety interests (people who are or have experienced houselessness, business owners, government officials, legal professionals. police officials, and nonprofit leaders) in the community. The goal of this board will be to help leaders in the public, private, and community sectors seek collaborative solutions to specific issues relating to quality of life. The first task of this board would be to craft a houseless bill of rights that could be adopted by local government.
- In addition to the current Point in Time Survey we propose a survey program that collects data more frequently, asks more in depth questions regarding the quality of life and safety of houseless people, and makes this information more accessible to the community. This could include questions on satisfaction with services, relations with police, access to basic needs, etc.
- We propose an expansion of the 24-hour “211” hotline that would connect at-risk populations to social services. In order to ensure that houseless populations know about the hotline, it would need to be publicized effectively and managed to match at-risk populations to the resources that exist to help them. The hotline could be managed by the public sector and operated by volunteers or employees who are trained in crisis de-escalation and effective communication.
- We propose further integrating and organizing the Sarasota service sector to create a database of opportunities, services and events which can be accessed and reacted to by the serviced populations through a smartphone application. Available beds, qualifications for programs, free meals and more will be updated with real-time information, and people who have used the services available to speak to their experiences. This will increase transparency, accountability, and help identify overlap and needs still to be filled.
- We propose expanding and enriching mentorship programs to include educational, emotional, and practical assistance to at-risk populations of youth. These mentors could connect their mentees to raised will be opportunities for employment and job/ skill training if appropriate, and these programs would connect mentors and mentees who share similar life experiences or aspirations.
- We propose to create a public awareness campaign that informs people of the diversity of experiences of those who are or have experienced houselessness. The campaign would also celebrate those who have achieved stable housing and other success stories in order to break down stereotypes of houseless people.