According to a recent Tribune story, (“50Now Housing Program for the Homeless Shows Some Successes,” Jan. 12) Supervisor Bruce Gibson confirmed at a recent Board of Supervisors meeting that hundreds of homeless SLO County citizens still need housing, but it doesn’t exist.
While three Board members refused to authorize a study of how the county can make Section 8 vouchers more available to the homeless and more easily digestible to landlords, there was general support to explore increasing the county’s supply of so-called affordable housing.
Local officials and others should proactively support all viable, innovative and cost-effective efforts, such as shelters and housing programs already existing in our community, but also keep in mind that the answer to housing the homeless is not, and has never been, a “one size fits all” situation.
All options should be on the table, especially those offering cost-effective and increasingly mainstream approaches to permanent housing such as, for example, Hope’s Village of SLO.
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Officials, the media and private citizens also need to speak directly with folks who are, or have been, homeless to learn what is actually needed. There are many former and current homeless folks who are bright, articulate and deserve to be part of this conversation.
A.J. Vincolisi, Atascadero