When it comes to combating homelessness, the city is embracing a trend that focuses on finding permanent housing instead of getting people a short-term place to live. But there’s a big problem: It takes a long time to find a long-term home, putting pressure on advocacy organizations that try to house the homeless while they wait.
“It can take weeks or even months to secure long-term housing for a homeless person,” VOSD’s Lisa Halverstadt reports, “and without an interim place for that person to stay, he or she can lose touch with those trying to help.”
Now, there’s a movement afoot to get more short-term beds in the region and to immediately connect them with programs and services, an idea that’s been floated and carried out in various forms before.
Advocates say the focus is still on finding more permanent housing. The lack of it causes a bottleneck at emergency shelters, worsening the problem all around.
More Horror Stories About 911 Dispatch
As we told you this week, the city’s 911 dispatch system is in crisis. Wait times are often beyond standards, and some people with emergencies have had to wait crucial seconds or minutes for someone to pick up.
The U-T has a story of its own that suggests the city has fallen behind its local counterparts in terms of analyzing 911 dispatch performance. And there’s this: “Officials now say wait times to speak to a 911 operator averaged about 13 seconds in 2015, when the department received about 673,000 emergency calls. That figure reached 15 seconds in January, and 26 seconds in February of this year.”