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Transition Works



Thank you for illuminating the issue of homeless people in Humboldt ("It's Time for an Opportunity Village," Nov. 6).

I am saddened that Melinda Ciarabellini is more inclined to take the advice of high-paid out of town consultants than recognize the realities on the ground that she sees with her own eyes. The real results come from improving the conditions (compassion), not chasing people off.

The federal government (HUD) is now moving toward rapid-rehousing and away from transitional housing programs. Whether this is motivated by a perceived increase in effectiveness, or tightening budgets, I don't know. But it is not good news. For over 20 years the Arcata House, a nonprofit transitional housing program, has been getting families off the streets and permanently housed. This system works. It works because it is obvious that the clients are faced with challenges ranging from physical disabilities, mental illness and drug addiction through the simple fact they may have no rental history, zero credit and no experience actually filling out forms and budgeting their money. It requires sincere case management, and the new rapid rehousing fad cuts that out. Mark my words, many of these recipients will fail to maintain their apartments, their budget, their sobriety and fail, while Arcata House may lose their transitional housing grant.

We know what works. Build on that.

Christopher Boyle, Bayside

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