I really want to believe that we are getting closer to a coordinated plan for housing people who’re experiencing homelessness. But I’ve sat through enough of these meetings over the last decade to justify my skepticism.
I’m not intending to criticize the concerted and well-intentioned efforts of the RTFH to craft a solid, viable plan for ending homelessness in San Diego. And this isn’t to trivialize the value of the work being put forth by Focus Strategies, a consulting firm from Sacramento, in crafting a plan based on data and metrics. But when I heard during the RTFH membership meeting that their plan won’t be completed for another year, my heart sank.
Surely most of the providers and advocates attending that meeting are close enough to the human beings currently experiencing homelessness to know what another year of waiting and planning and meetings will mean in human suffering. For many, a breaking point where they lose hope and turn to drugs and alcohol for solace. For others, another year on the streets will result in assaults and rape, loss of their children, loss of employment, loss of dignity and even entrapment in human trafficking.
For some, it will mean death.