STUDY IT AGAIN
As the funding request was presented to city officials, questions were raised about the comprehensiveness of the plan and whether or not it will ever be put into action.
City Councilwoman Lisa Gill asked for an assurance from task force members on-hand at Monday’s meeting that the plan would not be just another study, but a plan of action.
Keeney said a study is a necessary component of developing how to move forward, but it is not the sole goal of what the consultant will do.
“It’s not to restudy homelessness,” she said. “I think you could speak to Haven House or Exit 0 and they can tell you all about the nature of homelessness. But what we don’t have is a plan for our community to rally around and to address it.”
It is expected that it will take about a year to put the study together and begin to put the plan into action.
Anderson pointed to a similar effort that took place in 2002 to assess the homeless situation and needs in the region. However, nothing beyond a study was initiated.
“I want your word as a council that this is not going to be an empty study,” she said. “I don’t want a $30,000 study that’s going to sit on a shelf and in 10 years we come back to talk about it. I want a study that’s going to be implemented.”
That hits home for Malott, the Haven House resident, and others looking to get off the streets. Time, according to Malott, is a precious commodity.
“I know it takes money, I know it takes planning and I know it takes time,” she said. “But people like me don’t have a lot of time.”