The Livermore City Council just (7/29/2019) approved signing on to the expenditure of $1,131,666 of HEAP (Homeless Emergency Act Program) funding where $608,505 is for Livermore only; additionally, Livermore has part of the Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore regional pool of $494,870; and $28,291 is for administration. Great advantages for Livermore will be implementation of safe parking, showers and laundry, trash service, storage and bio-hazard clean up – all in regard to the homeless. Any alleviation to the homeless plight is a great deed; however, where are we in ameliorating the overall homeless situation when all these monies are spent, as required, by March 31, 2021? Of course time is not of the essence if you are comfortable with shelter.
Unfortunately, we do not really seem to think we need to deal with the overarching homeless problem. What we want to do is throw money at it thinking the dilemma will magically disappear and stop metastasizing. Two fundamental questions need to be asked: Where do we expect the homeless to go? And, what do we expect the unsheltered desperate to do? Safe parking is certainly a start for some in the short-term; however, do we have a picture how the short-term implementations are to fit into the medium and long-term resolutions?
Take the $494,870 — nearly a half-million dollars — for the ‘regional pool.’ For what? Crisis Intervention Services. All well and good for the most part, however, what is it? What are to be the results and how are they to be qualified and quantified?
The plan is for client intervention services to deal with 125 clients. That is just less than $4,000 total per client, or just under $200 per client per month for the next 20 months. To do what? One thing is ‘individual self-sufficiency plans.’ What would be the rough outline of an ‘individual self-sufficiency plan’? They are “individual” silly – stop asking! If we are talking about ‘self-sufficiency,’ then we are talking also about the market or marketplace and/or the ‘state,’ which is the federal or state government. How are homeless clients going to rent a small apartment in Livermore for over $2,000 per month? Even if the homeless “client” is to pay 50% of their gross income for rent, what exactly is the pathway for the homeless for achieving the necessary revenue for this? Gee, the rough outline of an ‘individual self-sufficiency plan’ is pretty esoteric, is it not? Right. And so might be the qualifiable and quantifiable results for nearly a half-million dollars! Nothing quite like building the Tri-Valley Homeless Industrial Complex!
We are putting small, expensive Band-Aids on the homeless problem. Why be angry and frustrated about it? Ever watch a homeless person dying in front of you primarily from long-term homelessness? Ever watch a homeless woman with grand mal epilepsy have a seizure in a car she has been living in for over four years? And you are thinking the ‘safe parking’ is going to help her?
Unfortunately, in this case, no, but for others yes. Somewhere there is a disconnect in what the homeless situations are. ‘Indoctrination’ at safe parking is an aversion to many homeless who have surrendered copious amounts of personal information to achieve no results other than to justify the fatuousness of a service provider. There is definitely a void in resolving a lot of the circumstances. Oh yeah, who cares?
So rub your tummies and pat your heads Livermore – and throw large amounts of money at homelessness! It is all in the spirit of the hooey of The Homeless Games!