Housing the Homeless

We have in the past favored the scattered site approach—before moving to strong support of the Haven for Hope Model—discussed in this article from Sacramento News & Review, which seems to come with its own problems.

In our area, a strategy helping the homeless (and local residents and business who suffer the impacts) needs to be developed that is capable of safely sheltering up to 2 or 3 thousand homeless folks a night safely distant from residential neighborhoods and business—with available transformational services—and San Antonio’s Haven for Hope program, especially the courtyard strategy they use for safe rapid shelter for large numbers, seems to offer an answer; which you can read about from their brochure at http://www.havenforhope.org/downloads/docs/H4H%20Brochure%2010-31-2016.pdf   and you can read more about Haven for Hope applicability in our area from our news release of October 26, 2018 on our News Page at http://arpps.org/news.html

An excerpt from the Sacramento News & Review article.

“A City Hall discussion about expanding homeless shelter services led to an unexpected debate—again—about how the local housing authority distributes housing vouchers.

“On Oct. 22, Councilwoman Angelique Ashby unveiled a new proposal to significantly expand “scattered site” shelters in Natomas and South Sacramento as a way of augmenting the new shelter inside the Capitol Park Hotel and two planned shelters in Oak Park and Meadowview. In her scenario, the city would administer the program through the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, or SHRA.

“Scattered-site shelters are low-income apartments that SHRA would rent to families experiencing homelessness through a master-leasing program and by offering financial incentives to landlords. Ashby said she favors this approach because it’s ideal for mothers and domestic violence survivors. Her proposal would house roughly 300 individuals over two years while offering them re-housing services.

“But Councilman Steve Hansen wanted more information from SHRA about the potential unintended consequences of launching an aggressive master-leasing program at a time when so few landlords accept its Housing Choice vouchers, more commonly known as Section 8. Hansen also noted that, during a joint City Council-Board of Supervisors meeting three years ago, both ordered SHRA to change a policy that excluded homeless Sacramentans from even qualifying for housing vouchers. During the same meeting, Supervisor Patrick Kennedy was highly critical of SHRA’s overall transparency.

“On a similar note, Hansen said that SHRA has not provided the city with any updates since the policy change.

“SHRA executive director La Shelle Dozier responded that the policy change allowed for roughly 300 vouchers to go to those on the streets since the start of 2017.

“Hansen then said that he was hearing from constituents with housing vouchers who claimed they couldn’t compete with Bay Area renters moving here with their own vouchers, which are priced at that region’s fair market value—essentially allowing them to out-bid local renters.

“Dozier told Hansen the voucher program does not work that way.

“Maybe it’s changed, but that’s contradictory to the information I’ve gotten before,” Hansen said.

“Well, I run the program,” Dozier shot back, drawing a reaction from the audience. “So I think I would know.”

Retrieved November 8, 2019 from https://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/scattered-approach/content?oid=29211396


About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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