Our current Continuum of Care plan is getting some unneeded national attention. The National Coalition for the Homeless board of directors met last week with HUD secretary Shaun Donovan. The Toledo Continuum of Care plan was cited as an example of how NOT to do it.
<<<“NCH members asked for a similar letter to the field from the Secretary about the importance of shelter. In a time of huge increases in need, some communities seem confused by the focus on prevention. Many are withdrawing funding for shelter to redirect resources to housing first initiatives. No matter how many times, Mark Johnston and other HUD officials say that shelter is still critical, cities are not hearing the message. We believe that a letter from the HUD Secretary clarifying that we need shelters as part of the strategy to end homelessness would go a long way toward providing support for the shelters.” >>>
The root of the problem is the local mantra led by the Toledo Lucas County Homelessness Board justifying the defunding of shelters because “transitional shelter is dead and HPRP/Housing First is the direction HUD is going.” This is just wrong. And the reason HUD is opposed to plans like our current plan is because it will kill people. It really is just that simple!
Despite the many voices to the contrary, the community leadership has trusted the current TLC leadership and endorsed the mantra and approved the current plan.
I believe the reason TAAEH has now rejected the current plan and is creating their own is because they too know it will kill the very people they are charged to save.
Until there is a major change that allows the restoration of trust with the leadership of TLC, only then will the much needed unity ever be possible. Time is of the essence.