Homelessness Issues Workgroup

At the November Board meeting, members voted to form a workgroup on houselessness (used interchangeably here with homelessness) issues.

As a contributor to the workgroup, I personally have no preconceived expectations about the role that SNA might have in homelessness issues. I have no expertise in sociology, economics, public policy, or any other field that might qualify one to recommend actions in dealing with poverty. But there is obviously still work to be done to alleviate suffering among the houseless members of our community, and all that’s required to join the conversation is a bit of compassion and empathy.

My first task will be researching and educating myself about homelessness and poverty in general– it’s a wide net to cast:

What are the city, county, state, federal policies that affect homeless individuals?

What services are available to our houseless neighbors?

Are any other neighborhood associations doing anything to address homelessness? Also organizations like SE Uplift?

What is the best way to collect ideas and collaborate in this workgroup?

Of particular immediate interest to SNA is the Sunnyside Methodist Church – Community House, which is currently undergoing a transition under the direction of a Discernment Team co-chaired by Pat Schweibert. Pat has directed Wednesday “Hard Times Suppers” for over 30 years, and has expressed interest in making the Community House a resource to provide services in support of homeless neighbors.

Please let me know if you have a positive contribution to make to this workgroup.  Whether you’d just like to share your constructive opinion or your experience… Or maybe you’ve been an advocate of the homeless for years– or maybe you’ve been homeless for years– and want to be integral to SNA efforts. I’m sure that I’m perfectly capable of solving poverty on my own, but I would be happy to have your help.

JM Mayer

2 thoughts on “Homelessness Issues Workgroup”

  1. Thank you for taking on this taunting task and leading the discussion. I would like to add one thing to the discussion that doesn’t often come up. “What is the study of this group in terms of protecting the property rights of the residents and businesses in the community?” I ask this as it is often the case that these groups look at the situation of the person out of a home, but rarely looks at the impacts on businesses in the communities. I would hope this is taken under consideration and also brought to attention of the greater organization. Thank you.

  2. I’m not sure if I’m dealing with a homeless person. I just recently moved back to the neighborhood after living away for 12 years. About two weeks ago a man seems to be living in his van on our street. But the thing is he has three or more vehicles parked on the street. I introduced myself and asked him if he lives in a house on the block. He just said that his daughter owns a house on the block that is currently being re Ted. He said he is working on his cars and will be gone soon. I’m concerned that this might not happen right away. He also has two dogs. One is a pitbull and has already attacked and injured a neighbors dog. So far the police have given him parking tickets but that’s it. I would like to help him move on his way as compassionately as possible. I have two young kids and a dog. Not really feeling safe. Any advice?

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