Mon
Nov 8 2010
04:33 pm

He's talking to the County Commission now, and he's irritating me. That's all.

Topics:
397
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metulj's picture

He shouldn't be silenced. I

He shouldn't be silenced. I disagree with his NIMBYism to my core, but he shouldn't be silenced. If anything, it's all out there to see.

Anyone hear if Brian Paone dropped his TYPChoice-backed homelessness plan yet?

B. Paone's picture

Why don't you ask me yourself?

Bet you haven't even looked at the damn website.

metulj's picture

I have now. Fascinating

I have now. I had to clear my browser cache to see the link. Fascinating stuff. You have gone and invented a whole new category of homelessness and elided all the others.

B. Paone's picture

Sorry you didn't like it.

Maybe you'd like to offer your own suggestions for a plan that has stronger community support.

Again, you don't have to like me to agree with the simple fact that communities are, by and large, not terribly comfortable with the idea of the currently-proposed model in their neighborhoods.

You can dismiss it as NIMBY all you like, but the fact remains that A) people have the right to ensure safety in their neighborhoods and B) "wet" permanent supportive housing in these communities is a pretty tough sell from a safety aspect.

It may come down to community facilities being largely "dry" in order to gain support. Can you live with that or do you believe in holding ground on the alcohol issue?

If I can discuss this like an adult, I'm sure you can. What do you have to lose?

equalskinnypie's picture

Just like a

liberal, you don't like the speech and you want to silence him.

Bbeanster's picture

For somebody who practices

For somebody who practices such a a rigorous form of censorship on his blog, you are very quick to criticize.

B Harmon's picture

full disclosure?

Now that the gubernatorial race is done with, will we now be getting more transparency with Peabody group's funding sources?

I think it is important to their message that the public know exactly who is funding that initiative.

Also, is Peabody paid a salary? Does anyone know that info?

CitizenCWQ's picture

Funding?

I wasn't going to ask but - here goes - What has been funded in this? Maybe I'm naive about it but I don't see where money has been spent. If individuals give of their time and talents freely is there a monetary number assigned? I thought grass roots work was all about this kind of response...

I think Mr. Peabody deserves a salary. He's done much to help the citizens of Knoxville and Knox County feel like they have someone in their corner that hears them. He has certainly stood up to quite a bit of bullying by TYP folks. He may not be all polished Tennessee marble, but he seems smart, he has a growing group of folks gathered around that have begun to see the reality of the TYP smoke and mirrors game.

I don't get the idea that a bunch of money has been spent... just sayin'

metulj's picture

He may not be all polished

He may not be all polished Tennessee marble, but he seems smart, he has a growing group of folks gathered around that have begun to see the reality of the TYP smoke and mirrors game.

There has been no smoke and mirrors about the TYP plan for PSH. It has been there in black and white for a long time. The TYP is going to distribute the PSH model across Knox County and you will have one in your community.

Fazion's picture

"The TYP is going to

"The TYP is going to distribute the PSH model across Knox County and you will have one in your community."

How do you figure that?

metulj's picture

I read. The model

I read. The model decentralizes PSH facilities.

Fazion's picture

"The model decentralizes PSH

"The model decentralizes PSH facilities."

How do you figure these will be built? If you can read, you know most people here hate the TYP and won't allow one near them.

metulj's picture

"If you can read, you know

"If you can read, you know most people here hate the TYP and won't allow one near them. "

Yes. NIMBYism is a sign of a community in decline. It's sad.

Fazion's picture

"Yes. NIMBYism is a sign of a

"Yes. NIMBYism is a sign of a community in decline. It's sad."

You don't want these in your neighborhood. And you cry NIMBY? Perfect. No one wants these next door. Even you agree. You want them somewhere else. You're just like everyone else.

metulj's picture

I have one in my neighborhood

I have one in my neighborhood (plus a runaway shelter and a facility for battered women) and another two doors down from my office. Never had a problem from them and I don't want them to stop providing services to those folks. I do have a problem with the perception that 37917/02 are, by default, the places where these facilities are supposed to go. Why should those neighborhoods hold every facility? My argument is about equity not equality.

sobi's picture

Stranger than Mitchell.

How do you figure these will be built? If you can read, you know most people here hate the TYP and won't allow one near them.

Funny. Minvilla opened recently. People were very angry about it, which is normal for housing intended for people who were once homeless, but it still got built. It looks very good, much better than it has in a very long time. It's going to help a lot of people, and it will come to be accepted by the people who live nearby because VMC has everything to lose by doing a bad job running it.

Flenniken, over on the South Side, as your mentee Ron Peabody terms South Knoxville, is being built right now. Some people hate it and many of them tried to stop it, as everyone knows, but it's still being built. If they do a good job running it, it's even likely that it will prove over time to be a very good thing for the community surrounding it. That's what seems to happen with places like this.

If you can read, you know most people here hate the TYP and won't allow one near them.

I totally dig your little moment of garbled, unintended honesty. I know you don't actually speak for "most people," and I know you don't intend to say that people won't allow a Ten Year Plan near them. What you mean is that there are people in this community, yourself among them, who hate the idea of people who once were homeless living near them. You fear violence and loss of safety and property values, and you don't believe in helping people who don't deserve the help unless they demonstrate compliance with your own inconsistent moralistic positions. You have never demonstrated anywhere in any way that these fears are founded on anything other than pure, naked prejudice.

You speak truthfully here. I commend you for that. Your movement grows more transparent with each passing post.

sobi's picture

Transparency.

Nobody but Ron Peabody would say this kind of Stuff about Ron Peabody.

I think Mr. Peabody deserves a salary. He's done much to help the citizens of Knoxville and Knox County feel like they have someone in their corner that hears them. He has certainly stood up to quite a bit of bullying by TYP folks. He may not be all polished Tennessee marble, but he seems smart, he has a growing group of folks gathered around that have begun to see the reality of the TYP smoke and mirrors game.

marytheprez's picture

Ron Peabody

First, I read the entire transcript of the 'roundtable discussion in last week's KNS. I still have the copy.
First...Mr. Peabody disregards the facts that the TYP was created over 5 years ago, revised, updated, voted on and the funds were approved, and the City Council AND County Commission both voted to begin work with funding in place, to buy the land and/or property at that time. Construction began, applicants were thoroughly evaluated and the first group was approved as permanent residents.
Second, Mr. Peabody did not reveal ANY source of money for his new plan, which was estimated at $100 million in the paper...and as I understood, it would basically function as a prison. And our homeless are NOT criminals. They need a place to LIVE.
Third, there has been no mention here, nor did Mr. Peabody recognize the fact that there will be PAID, ON SITE, 24 hour Case Managers who will LIVE at each TYP facility and who will be responsible for the overall societal and security issues And if behavior problems persist with any resident he or she will be evicted. Period.
4th: To drag the County Mayor into this mess at this stage is ludicrous. How will he take away funding approved by a 2 former Mayors, City Council and County Commission from a project that was supported by the citizens, discussed, and approved years ago?
And for Mr. Peabody and/or Mr. Ownby to insist that ALL the applicants be required to Enter and Complete a Alcohol and/or Drug Rehab course is definitely discriminatory.
This whole 'crisis' is a total waste of OUR tax payer dollars, a waste of time, and it doesn't matter whether Mr. Peabody is 'paid' or not. Further, it is not up to him to judge the sobriety of these deserving applicants. You can be sure that each one has been thoroughly vetted, evaluated, processed and more. He has no money to fund his 'new' dream, period. He should have gotten involved 10 years ago.

It appears that neither the County Commission nor anyone else in power has the guts to shut Mr. Peabody up. But I agree. He is just a waste of time, energy and money. Let's move on.

Pam Strickland's picture

Actually, the commission

Actually, the commission chair did tell him that he was getting off topic and that he had essentially reached his limit of public comment at about the time that I was getting most irritated.

The topic was alcohol in Permanent Supportive Housing, and Peabody had decided to make it a general attack on Housing First in Knoxville. He was making statements which were lies and other statements which were misleading. And Lawler, and already said, hey we're trying to work this out with private talks between the city and the county so let's just do that instead of having this big blow out here.

And, poor, Commissioner Anders. Somebody needs to sit down with him and have a one-on-one tutorial about several aspects of this matter. His questions showed more than a lack of knowledge, they showed that he wanted black and white answers when life is full of shades of gray.

Bird_dog's picture

Anders or Ownby?

I think you might be thinking about Ownby? He's clueless. Thinks someone can "wean off" alcohol. Doesn't have it in his house. Wants folks punished if they get "caught drinking". Exactly how he thinks that scenario plays out is anybody's guess. Is he even old enough to be on Commission?

rikki's picture

Yes, it was Ownby doing all

Yes, it was Ownby doing all the talking on that subject, not Anders.

Pam Strickland's picture

My apology. It was Ownby. I

My apology. It was Ownby. I can't keep these new guys straight. He needs some educatin', for sure.

slapshot's picture

Do you know anything? Anders

Do you know anything? Anders isn't a new guy. The only new Commissioner if Ownby.

Why do you speak to things you know nothing about? You are the worst writer in this town.

metulj's picture

To the tune of Orbison's "In Dreams."

The pulsing vein on a Farragutian forehead
Comes on to this board every night
Just scream like a child and yell:
"It ain't NIMBY! It's my right!"

Pam Strickland's picture

Can't you take a joke? Two

Can't you take a joke? Two years is pretty new. I know more about things that I let on, and more than you do about TYP on any day of the week. We disagree. That doesn't mean you have to run me down.

As I've told more than one person the last couple of months, I've withstood more crap than this before. Y'all aren't going to wear me down with your name calling and insults. You need to come up with a better way to debate the issues.

smithrob2010's picture

Just curios Ms. Strickland,

Just curios Ms. Strickland, which "lies and other statements which were misleading" did Mr. Peabody make during the meeting yesterday?

B. Paone's picture

One could spend all day...

...pointing out the factual errors (and that's being nice) on the guy's website, for starters. I really don't see how Peabody's acting any differently than Lawler is, except for the fact that Lawler's a much better spin doctor than Peabody has proven to be.

You know what would be nice? If both sides dropped the bickering and worked on fixing this Ten Year Plan together. Having argued with a number of people (and one heartless monster) about the matter, I don't see why we're at each other's throats over this issue. It won't get anything accomplished, and it's just going to hurt people in the end if all we're focused on is whose "team" is going to "win" the argument.

The current plan has problems. Big problems. Communities have lost faith in the plan, the county's ready to pull out of the deal altogether because of a lack of flexibility in addressing citizen concerns (primarily the lack of a zero-tolerance policy - believe in it or not, that's the biggest sticking point for communities in general thus far), and we're another economic slowdown away from having the same problems raising sustaining funds that Nashville is having with their plan. (Similar funding structures, so their situation's quite arguably something for us to watch and learn.)

But its biggest problem right now? People that would rather fight each other and build themselves up than attack the problem of local homelessness with the same gusto and drive that they employ when attacking each other.

I'm tired of fighting. I just want a plan that works, the community can support and has more secure plans for future funding.

What about the rest of you? Still want to bitch and make cutesy kiddie remarks about people that don't believe what you believe, or work toward an effective solution that communities and our wallets can support - now and into the future?

Fazion's picture

"What about the rest of you?

"What about the rest of you? Still want to bitch and make cutesy kiddie remarks about people that don't believe what you believe, or work toward an effective solution that communities and our wallets can support - now and into the future?"

You obviously know nothing about team building, business, management, or sports. You keep yapping that the plan can be saved. People want Lawler and his buddies fired and the plan ended. The TYP has told so many outright lies nothing can save this plan. When you make stupid comments like the one above no one is going to listen to you either. But you are right that people have to believe in the plan for it to work. Where you are wrong is your insistence that this plan be saved. Tell us oh brilliant know it all, who can save this plan? Give us a name. Tell is how anyone can come in and restore trust in this TYP. You can't do it because the damage is too severe. Peabody didn't kill the TYP, Jon Lawler did.

B. Paone's picture

Then don't save it.

Build another one. I don't care what happens so long as the end result is a properly strong plan to address local homelessness that enjoys sufficient (if not more so) community support and has a viable long-term funding model.

Life's short. Why waste it bitching about what CAN'T be done when we're smart enough to find something that CAN?

What would you do differently? If we're starting over at square one in your mind, where IS square one for you? What's your ideas for how to succeed in tackling local homelessness?

Fazion's picture

"What's your ideas for how to

"What's your ideas for how to succeed in tackling local homelessness?"

Fire Jon Lawler and pals TODAY.

KCDC takes over MinVilla and Flenniken today. No more new TYP sites until the new plan is done.

Start a new plan. Let all the communities speak. All of them. Find out if the people want scattered housing. No alcohol anywhere. Find out what it will cost. See if the money is there. Find the money. Don't plan more than we can pay for. Make sure we don't become a homeless magnet. Find a way for a jobs training program and placement. The three stage program you have is good.

You have to start over. That is the main part.

B. Paone's picture

Okay.

* Who heads the new plan?

* What kind of focus would this new plan have? A narrowed approach like TYP 1.0? A broader approach?

* What kind of support would the community be asked to lend to this initiative? Money? Space in their neighborhoods? Volunteer time, maybe?

* How does KCDC manage the therapeutic aspects of Minvilla and Flenniken?

* What gets done with Flenniken? Proceed as planned? Alter the approach? A repurposing to a different use?

* Who's in charge of the information-gathering phase? How will it be accomplished? Public meetings? Door-to-door polling? Research into regional and national plans? How many meetings, how much polling, and what kind of timeframe? Does any of TYP 1.0's research and work get used, or are we back to square one completely?

* Do we construct a new employment assistance program altogether or use TYP 1.0's mothballed component as a jump-start foundation for the new EAP? Or just expand the skeleton framework that TYP 1.0 had in this regard to a full-fledged EAP?

What are your opinions in these regards?

sobi's picture

Funny that a Peappet should ask.

Just two examples:

Misleading for sure/ lie maybe: The continually recycled baloneymeme that Seattle now has more homeless than ever before, and that this constitutes "failure" of housing first. Peabody can rely on most hearers failing to think critically about this as he did yesterday when he was diverting Commission away from the issue at hand with his ridiculous, uninformed, and dishonest critique of housing first by way of Seattle. The, Truth is (practicing my peanctuation and capeatalization), if Seattle, has built 3000* units of Supportive, Housing, then that's that many people who aren't currently Homeless, there. If Pea counts something like 25,000, homeless people in Seattle, then he sure isn't pointing out that there's be 3000 more without that housing. You aren't supposed to be able to figure out that there'd be even more people on the streets than there are now, and that while housing first all by itself hasn't cured the problem of homelessness in Seattle, it's obviously helped.

Misleading for sure/ lie maybe: Peabody loves to extrapolate from studies he hasn't read, and he counts on you not to read them either. Dishonest? Sure. Effective? Certainly. Yesterday he mentioned, but of course didn't cite, an old HUD study that indicated that housing first is no more efficacious than the old continuum of care. This is bogus when you're talking about the chronically homeless. Check it out for yourself.

Outright lie: Peabody said yesterday that he had "learned" at a TYP meeting in Deane Hill that only a dozen neighborhood representatives had been involved in shaping the TYP. That's just a simple lie.

There's no legitimate way to shut Peabody down. Despicable people like him doing what people like him do comes with the territory in a free society. The legitimate antidote is take every opportunity to call his expansive ass out.

*my numbers are purely hypothetical here.

slapshot's picture

You use purely hypothetical

You use purely hypothetical numbers and then call people liars?

Since you know so much, how many neighborhood representatives had been involved in shaping the TYP? You say it wasn't a dozen. How many was it? And how do you plan to prove it?

On the TYP website and from many meetings the TYP points to very few neighborhood groups being involved.

Show us your work.

sobi's picture

Get thee to a dictionary.

You use purely hypothetical numbers and then call people liars?

Of course. Hypothetical doesn't mean the same thing as fabricated to be intentionally misleading. Look it up.

Peabody's status as a liar is unquestionable. There's nothing hypothetical at all about that. He has no credibility with anyone who has not already decided what to think about homeless people and the TYP.

Outright lie: Peabody said yesterday that he had "learned" at a TYP meeting in Deane Hill that only a dozen neighborhood representatives had been involved in shaping the TYP. That's just a simple lie.

There is a very detailed report about this meeting at the TYP website. The whole "only a dozen" thing doesn't appear anywhere in it. That's a significant omission if it's a real omission. Peabody goes over all this kind of thing with a fine toothed comb. If he had noticed an error of omission like that, he could have corrected it. He did not.

I can only assume that, once again, Peabody's making scheiss up. Fits the peattern, of course, and is a very safe assumption.

CitizenCWQ's picture

TYP needed a graceful exit strategy...

But since the leadership can't admit when things don't work, they've lost their opportunity. So now, instead of saying ok we got some things wrong and instead listen to the good folks of the Knoxville area who have gotten involved, TYP and it's few supporters denigrate and belittle all who have pointed out other possible solutions AND continue to take pot shots at the messenger.

But TYP, the jig is up, you've been caught and the big fish are swimming away from you as fast as possible! Heck, y'all haven't even educated the County Commission on the 'Plan'. You were so busy hiding behind your smarmy business model that you forgot to let the Guvmint in on it. No wonder all you can muster is the likes of bbeanster and Pam Strickland to defend you!

@sobi you accuse Mr. Peabody of not quoting sources but didn't do so yourself. Just how outdated is the HUD report? Maybe he only mentioned Seattle yesterday because your friend Stephanie Matheny points to her involvement in their PSH. She mentioned it on Sunday when she spoke at Second Pres. (Mr. Peabody is speaking this Sunday and then Mr. Rosen from KARM the next week) Success is a subjective term at best especially when no clear parameters are set by all interested parties.

I have followed this since the DeBusk Lane story. TYP has allowed citizens to be threatened with law suits smeared and defamed TYP Choice supporters. This is a societal plague that is frightening, heart wrenching and expensive as hell. Five guys (relative) who live financially comfortable lives because they make a living out of porkbelly politics and manipulation of public funds are gonna belittle and defame honest hardworking folks that have every right to defend their home values, safety and express the need for a more viable solution? I don't think so.

If it looks like a bully, smells like a bully and acts like a bully, it must be a bully. Way to go TYP... From the Honest Headlines Department: "Homeless are Pawns in Rich Guys' Scheme"

Shelly's picture

"Outright lie: Peabody said

"Outright lie: Peabody said yesterday that he had "learned" at a TYP meeting in Deane Hill that only a dozen neighborhood representatives had been involved in shaping the TYP. That's just a simple lie."

Dude, did you go to the Deane Hill meeting? I didn't think so. Linda Rust said 12 people, which is a dozen, represented neighborhoods across the four TYP design teams.

Call Linda Rust and ask her. She was the source. Over one hundred people were there. Plenty of witnesses.

smithrob2010's picture

Facts are facts. these

Facts are facts. these numbers are from the Seattle King Conty Coalition To End Homelessness. These are from the One Night Counts, and only include the numbers of Homeless that were actually counted during a 24 Hour period each year.

1998 / 4,327
1999 / 4,948
2000 / 5,585
2001 / 6,125
2002 / 6,715
2003 / 6,516
2004 / 6,852
2005 / 7,910
2006 / 7,839
2007 / 8,439
2009 / 8,961
2010 / 8,937

Here is the web site-
(link...)

Rachel's picture

Ron Peabody seemed to be

Ron Peabody seemed to be saying yesterday that these #s proved PSH was a failure? But wouldn't there just be more homeless people w/o it?

Bird_dog's picture

some facts are just numbers

The One Night Count has two parts:

1. A survey of emergency shelter and transitional housing providers about who is staying in their programs or facilities on that night. Staff from the King County Community Services Division, Homeless Housing Program coordinate the survey.
2. A street count of people who are homeless, without shelter and staying outside, in vehicles or in makeshift shelters. SKCCH has expanded the count from its downtown Seattle origins to include parts of 11 suburban cities and unincorporated King County and Metro Night Owl buses.

Pam Strickland's picture

They've answered for me. The

They've answered for me.

The thing that really gets me is the way Peabody doesn't bother to mention that when TYP started that they invited everyone to participated, but at the time the only folks who responded where the inner city neighborhoods who had a direct connection to the homeless. Nobody else was paying attention, so they didn't respond. That's why. Should TYP have forced them to participate? Good question. Should they have been repeated efforts along the way to get other neighborhoods involved. Probably. Is there more of an effort now. Apparently.

Peabody also pulls out studies and reports that have no direct connection to the Knoxville situation and tries to put them on like adn ill-fitting bandage. He's worse than Burchett telling me that Seattle's homeless aren't anything like Knoxville's homeless. He tries to take plans that are different than Knoxville's and make them the same.

Jeanne's picture

Pam is absolutely correct

He was off topic, misleading and irritating. The chairman finally stopped him about the time I made a 'yapping' motion with my hand.

CitizenCWQ's picture

Shut him up?

Oh Ms Strickland...

I don't know if the KNS thought it would be amusing to it's readers to bring in a "Jersey Shore" ethos to the paper... KNS - Epic Fail.

Figures a KNS employee would advocate for censorship.

Figures a KNS employee would advocate baseless defamation.

Figures a KNS employee would start a thread so banal.

Pam Strickland's picture

I'm not a KNS employee. An

I'm not a KNS employee. An employee works 40 hours a week and fills out a W-4. They get benefits, and the company takes out taxes from their pay.

I'm an independent contractor. I work only the number of hours necessary to complete the job and fill out a W-9. I get no benefits, and the company takes out no taxes from my pay.

FWIW.

Rachel's picture

I have found that the mute

I have found that the mute button is often a useful device when viewing government meetings.

Pam Strickland's picture

I've misplaced the remote.

I've misplaced the remote. So, using the mute is more trouble than it's worth.

B Harmon's picture

NIMBY fluff

The alcohol in housing is just a silly roadblock the county and nimby's are tossing around.

Ask the question, if the TYP takes the bait and makes a rule to ban alcohol, will the county and all the nimby's be happy campers and jump on board with the TYP? Hell no... they will not be happy till the TYP, or any plan, guarantees to them that no housing will appear in their neighborhood, period.

And I am STILL waiting to see who is funding the TYP choice group.... transparency anyone? They should open their books for all to see the operation, what money comes in and goes out.

slapshot's picture

"And I am STILL waiting to

"And I am STILL waiting to see who is funding the TYP choice group.... transparency anyone? They should open their books for all to see the operation, what money comes in and goes out."

Take a listen to this:

(link...)

That is the KNS roundtable. Peabody said they didn't raise any money. So no books to see. That really bothers you doesn't it? Why is it that a real grass roots drive is looked down on?

B. Paone's picture

Then there's at least two possible solutions.

A) TYP 1.0 recognizes community desire for facilities located in their neighborhoods to be "dry" housing, compromising on an issue that some feel isn't even really worth discussing anyway.

If the concerns are trivial enough to be dismissed as a "silly roadblock", then it stands to reason it wouldn't really matter to TYP if the facilities in question were "wet" or "dry".

Unless it DOES matter, in which case we have another option:

B) Doing a MUCH better job of demonstrating why "wet" housing HAS to be a part of a plan to combat local homelessness than simply dismissing concerns as NIMBY nonsense.

Option C, though, really isn't conducive to healthy public discussion and community action on the topic.

That option, of course, being just to ignore the concerns to the point that communities fight back and the county simply doesn't want to fund its portion of the plan overall, now or in the future (when their help really will be needed financially, if Nashville's fundraising model is of any indicator).

Tamara Shepherd's picture

How?

..."wet" permanent supportive housing in these communities is a pretty tough sell from a safety aspect.

Brian, I certainly agree that every neighborhood has a right (a responsibility, even) to ask tough questions of TYP with regard to maintaining the safety of existing neighborhood residents.

However, from the beginning (and without regard to questions of other sorts I still have), my support for TYP's "housing first" concept is just plain intuitive: I simply can't fathom how someone who has chemical dependency issuses can possibly tackle them while he remains homeless.

How do you suggest that he might?

B. Paone's picture

He/she can't.

That's why I don't argue against the general concept of providing either temporary or even permanent supportive housing, because it's really tough to struggle through homelessness in a campus-style bunk transient bunk.

What I DO argue against, personally, is the concept of allowing the very demons that plague a fair amount of people into requiring such drastic assistance in the first place.

My brother was (and may still be, though I hope not - it's hard to tell unless I'm watching him 24/7 anymore) heavily addicted (redundant, I know) to meth. Destroyed an Eagle Scout that once had no capacity for lying. He was simply terrible at it.

Then he tried meth. Got really, really good at manipulating people based on his credibility until it finally ran out.

My parents tried giving him supportive housing with professional assistance (though it should be noted this assistance was not "in-house" and required him to show discipline in making the appointments - which he failed to do), only to watch the home and the rental property they owned next to it fall into COMPLETE disrepair. Bills were behind all the time, continuing assistance is still being provided for their children as it was then... for nothing.

He ended up in prison, came out with zero prospects, and I've lost track of him and his entire family. I assume they're still in the same town in which I last visited him, but can no longer be certain.

There has to be structure and discipline within a program that employs a "housing first" model. If the goal of the program in question is simply to move the problem off of the streets and into rent-controlled walls, then the problem isn't solved. It's just been moved indoors, and without a "dry" policy in place, it can be VERY strongly argued that the demons responsible for the bulk of their suffering and misery follow 'em inside.

I can set my steak down on the table in front of my dog, but eventually he's going to go for that steak unless I stick to a program of training him to not go after my steak. Maybe you've never been addicted to anything harder than the cancer sticks (and I hope not - despite past history I DO harbor a great amount of respect for you still), but that's what addiction does.

It makes a man into a dog, a slave to the substance they irrationally crave to the point of being in need of severe assistance.

So how would a "dry" policy, in your mind, hinder recovery from alcoholism?

metulj's picture

"So how would a "dry" policy,

"So how would a "dry" policy, in your mind, hinder recovery from alcoholism?"

They would choose* to remain on the street. This is the point and it is well supported in the academic literature on the problem.

*And given your "dog analogy," don't try to tighten your definition to personal agency. You've let that cat out of the bag and can't equivocate now.

B. Paone's picture

Addiction makes men dogs. Ask a recovering addict.

But they're still men, responsible for seeking out and accepting the help they need.

If they choose to remain on the street and slave to their addictions because the addictions they have are forbidden by the program(s) that provide the help said individual needs in order to break their addiction, then there's not much that can be done. (Aside from maybe a court order to go into rehab, I can't think of many ways to FORCE people to get the help they need.)

Relaxing the rules and allowing the VERY THING that rendered so many people expected to participate in these programs into homeless addicts puts not only the PARTICIPANT in danger of relapse, but other people in the same facility as well. If one guy's doing it, why can't they, after all?

If the only reason to allow "wet" housing is to relax the rules in order to fill the beds, then I can't personally agree with the concept. Why else do you think "wet" housing should be a mainstay of our efforts to combat homelessness?

metulj's picture

You broadened the definition

You broadened the definition of "choose" with the dog analogy. You admit that there are, therefore, structural forces at work that would force them to leave housing for their addictions. One of them would be personally unacceptable moral proscriptions. You can't have it both ways. You want them to have agency, but then you restrict them at the same time.

Relaxing the rules and allowing the VERY THING that rendered so many people expected to participate in these programs into homeless addicts puts not only the PARTICIPANT in danger of relapse, but other people in the same facility as well. If one guy's doing it, why can't they, after all?

Whose rules? Which rationality? You need to read up on the reasons why PSH is prescribed. The literature on it goes into great detail about this.

B. Paone's picture

I don't see your point.

Successfully completing an assistance program designed to get a person off the streets and on their feet requires the desire to want to do so. Frankly, I don't understand why we'd be constructing a program that appears geared toward either teaching them to live WITH their addiction, to the point that they can stand on their own again, or toward enabling that addiction altogether by relaxing substance rules and allowing some of those addictions to follow a person inside.

No one FORCES an addict to leave or not participate in getting the help they need simply by saying "no booze, no drugs if you want to participate". The addict makes the choice between getting help and getting high. Not the program.

Enabling avenues for addicts to have both solves very little - if anything - in regard to the situations that cause many of these prospective participants to even need the help in the first place.

* In order:

- Specifically, the rules allowing alcohol storage and consumption on property;

- Are you asking for the rationality behind a "dry" policy in permanent supportive housing? If so, it would be "to provide a safer, more comfortable place for a person that WANTS to recover to be allowed to recover without the consistent in-facility temptation and relaxed attitudes toward consumption that can be strongly argued cause relapse".

- Then if we're going based on what TYP 1.0 has put out thus far, no sale. Sorry. And I'm not the only one saying it, either, so it's more than just a personal problem.

Face it. Knoxville's approach to homelessness may require "dry" facilities in order to garner proper community support. If you or TYP 1.0 can't live with that, fine - either do more to sell the concept to the communities, or keep fighting/ignoring/belittling the communities.

You wanna help people, or do you wanna bitch?

metulj's picture

No one FORCES an addict to

No one FORCES an addict to leave or not participate in getting the help they need simply by saying "no booze, no drugs if you want to participate". The addict makes the choice between getting help and getting high. Not the program.

Again, this is contrary to the literature on housing and addictive services.

Knoxville's approach to homelessness may require "dry" facilities in order to garner proper community support. If you or TYP 1.0 can't live with that, fine - either do more to sell the concept to the communities, or keep fighting/ignoring/belittling the communities.

You wanna help people, or do you wanna bitch?

You offer no empirical evidence that this is the case. As for requiring a "dry" approach and the community proscription that this be the case, it is moralizing and will exacerbate the problem. The argument that it does not match the community's moral foundations is nonsense as alcohol is regularly available in Knox County. I am not fighting against the community. I am fighting for a rational approach to homelessness.

Making an argument that denies human agency, but then uses the notion of human agency to support its claim is not rational, but at least it is talking about the problem directly. It is important to note that the TYP was not a problem for this community until the distributed model was "revealed" (though it had been there all along for people who care to read). The rational basis for this approach is well supported in other communities' experiences.

In order to even begin to talk about the effectiveness of PSH, you have to understand that it has deep support in the social work and psychology literature and long range research has been done. There are few citations that question its effectiveness in mild sense, but none that say that it must be stopped in its tracks.

I've attached a short bibliography on PSH with references from the past 5 years that have more than 10 citations themselves as well as the canonical article from 1990 that got the ball rolling on this movement. There is also an interesting metastudy by Kertesz, et al. that questions not so much the approach as the exuberance.

B. Paone's picture

In order:

* I'm sorry that the viewpoint violates your literatures; regardless, the fact remains. It is the individual afflicted that must consciously choose to seek treatment over their addiction in order for recovery to be possible. Having a "dry" policy just makes the choice easier for the addict that wants help because it offers a concrete rationalization mechanism - namely, "I can't do it even if I wanted to because the program doesn't allow it".

* I didn't think I had to offer any empirical evidence, but since you asked:

- The county is considering pulling out of the whole affair over the "wet vs. dry" argument;

- The Flenniken area's objection to the use of the old school as a "wet" facility, citing concerns about the concept;

- It was a major topic of discussion at the Cansler meeting in August;

- ...and one of the key arguments DeBusk Lane area residents used in their successful fight against a TYP facility in their area involved the fact that there was a liquor store right down the street from the proposed site.

So, I guess if you're looking for empirical evidence, that's what I offer.

* Then TYP 1.0 proponents should have no problem using the data they have to better justify to communities asked to support these facilities why "wet" housing is a must. If that happens, jingles; it means community support has been garnered and that's part of the goal.

* Again, that's great, but it still has to be done in a way that communities will support in order for it to be worth the effort.

So how do we go about creating and implementing a final plan that enjoys community support, has reasonable assurances of sufficient long-term funding, and gets the job done without just moving it indoors?

metulj's picture

Usually, when one offers an

Usually, when one offers an argument, one offers evidence to support one's argument. Anecdotes do not offer sufficient resolution to speak generally about a phenomenon and are unacceptable other than in an illustrative manner in serious matters.

Again, it is hard to see what your argument is because it has deep logical problems whereby requiring absolute freedom of choice but constructing a deterministic model of the individual that violates the premise.

The liquor store argument is silly as well. It should be closed if it is offensive as it enables drunks whether they are housed or not. If the eye offends, pluck it out, but I don't think it is the eye we are talking about.

B. Paone's picture

In order:

* My apologies. I had assumed that you had an understanding of the lack of public support in regard to the "wet vs. dry" issue and didn't want to bore you with repetition.

* It's relatively simple logic, sir/ma'am - one has to choose, consciously, help over the addiction if they ever want to get better. One can't have recovery AND the addiction present; otherwise, the addiction automatically takes controlling interest over the situation as the goal is, of course, helping people recover and get back on their feet.

To have the alcohol present would be increasing the chances of enabling the addiction, as opposed to having an area where the alcohol is NOT allowed to be present. Such a concept has proven over quite a number of clinical applications to be simple, yet highly effective.

For starters, the individual that knows the substances that fuel their addiction aren't allowed within a program, yet accepts the program and its rules anyway, can be strongly argued to have a much better chance of recovery than either a person FORCED to adhere to such policies (example: court-ordered rehab) or a person that is allowed comfortable environs and leeway on whether or not one can possess the substance they craved so much as to end up, in many cases, requiring intensely focused assistance like PSH.

I don't care if you disagree with the argument so long as you acknowledge the fact that the argument exists and is supported by a hefty amount of data of its own. If I need to haul some of it out, let me know; otherwise I will assume that you are familiar enough with the data supporting the claim I am making given its widespread availability.

* I didn't think it was a great argument either in and of itself, but it IS one of the concerns cited by commission members and citizens alike during that meeting, so it bears mentioning - especially as empirical evidence.

metulj's picture

I don't care if you disagree

I don't care if you disagree with the argument so long as you acknowledge the fact that the argument exists and is supported by a hefty amount of data of its own. If I need to haul some of it out, let me know; otherwise I will assume that you are familiar enough with the data supporting the claim I am making given its widespread availability.

It is not a matter of disagreement of whether the argument exists or not. It is a matter as to whether the argument itself is tenable. There are plenty of arguments out there for the existence of ghosts. Whether or not they cohere to facts is a different matter.

The argument is whether or not PSH works. I offer a preponderance of evidence (beyond the 8 articles I supplied with annotation if you would like) that says PSH is effective and flexibly so.

You need to cite this "widespread data." Where is it? On your website? If you were in one of my classes, I would hand the paper back and ask for a "Works Cited." It's the standard in the world of serious matters. You can't base policy on "Just Because" and "Some people say."

B. Paone's picture

Sorry, I don't have the quote boxes - bear with me

You stated:

"Again, it is hard to see what your argument is because it has deep logical problems whereby requiring absolute freedom of choice but constructing a deterministic model of the individual that violates the premise."

...to which I replied in an effort to demonstrate the logic behind the argument. What problems did you have with the logic behind the statement?

I agree that permanent supportive housing has a strong role to play in a community response to homelessness. There's no argument there. To my understanding, the argument had been whether to implement a "wet" or "dry" policy, and to my understanding I was arguing the side of "dry".

Is this not what we were discussing?

* This isn't your classroom, sir/ma'am, and you are not my instructor. If you'd like evidence of the "dry" concept working in rehabilitation settings, you needed only to ask.

- The Mayo Clinic strongly encourages the alcohol dependent to "give up alcohol entirely", stating a belief of theirs (one that, I am hoping, doesn't require my actually hauling out THEIR research on the subject, because that could become quite a cumbersome process) that alcoholism cannot be effectively combated just by "cutting back":

(link...)

- Bradford Health of Alabama advocates the 12-Step Alcoholics Anonymous program, which of course is widely employed in a number of alcoholism recovery programs: (link...)

- ...and locally, Helen Ross McNabb advocates abstinence during the course of its residential treatment offerings: (link...)

There's more, if I REALLY need to list them, but to be perfectly blunt this is becoming very tedious.

Accept that there's basis for community concern regarding a "wet" facility policy and let's move on to the important part already - resolving that particular concern.

metulj's picture

But the literature

But the literature demonstrates that morally proscribing against alcohol (i.e. bad) makes a large number of people with this particular addiction stay living rough. Until you can provide a clear channel through that problem, you have to lean on the literature that shows that people when they are housed cut back on their addictions, get help, and have better outcomes than if they remain on the street.

B. Paone's picture

That's THEIR choice.

Like it or not, some people don't want to be helped, and making a recovery environment unnecessarily tolerant of alcohol isn't going to change that fact.

Some people cannot be saved because they don't want to be.

Rather than endanger the recovery of others on the lottery chance that some of those that don't want recovery might actually suffer long enough to want something better, I'd argue it's more socially responsible for the community AND those that actually want to work toward recovery to build these plans, facilities and services with the viewpoint of being effective against as much of the local homeless problem as possible, instead of trying oftentimes vainly to crack the hardest cases and running the risk of missing opportunities to help others that are ready to work toward and keep something better than addiction and the streets.

You asked me to show my homework in defense of my position supporting a "dry" policy at these facilities, and I have done so to the best of my ability. Whether or not you accept the facts presented before you is irrelelvant; the fact remains that there is legitimate basis for community concern about "wet" facilities and that these concerns have to be ADDRESSED rather than dismissed as "NIMBY nonsense".

I'd appreciate it greatly if we could discuss how to resolve community concerns, and for what it's worth, I'm happy if the solution involves "wet" housing. I'm just one person, and if the community at large can be convinced to support such a policy despite my personal concerns, what can I do?

The important part is to garner community support for an effective response against homelessness. Agree or disagree?

metulj's picture

Google "structure vs agency."

Google "structure vs agency."

I have no doubt that there are individuals out there who refuse to be helped, but, and here is your logical problem, you are confusing those people (the few) with all of the people (the many). Most likely these folks will never get through any program.

The preponderance of empirical studies show that refusing shelter because of substance abuse has worse outcomes than allowing drinking (for example) in a person's private space. The latter is actually more attuned to notions of personal responsibility because it reverses the paradigm and enables a person to have certain baseline practices (homekeeping, cleanliness, etc) in which to build self-efficacy.

The important part is to garner community support for an effective response against homelessness. Agree or disagree?

The TYP's problem is a PR problem and I have been flabbergasted from the onset of Anti-homeless noise machine that the TYP did not account for public backlash against the project from the project's beginning. That is and has been my problem with the project. I said that Jon Lawler needed to step down.

This is beside the point of the substance abuse preventing housing issue. You keep making this "free will" argument in relation to a structural problem. It is at loggerheads with what one has to do when one does policy.

I am also going to pick on you about this "nuisance homeless" category after I think about it some more.

Bird_dog's picture

TYP is more than PSH, alcohol or not

The strategies of the TYP are much more comprehensive than just the supportive housing component. And the PSH is only for the folks who have not responded to all the other types of assistance - while continuing to live under a bridge, or in the shelters at night - for over a year. These folks have serious disabling conditions. Just so we're clear. TYP does not equal PSH in a vacuum. The alcohol policy debate is emotional and, in my opinion, irrelevant.

slapshot's picture

"TYP does not equal PSH in a

"TYP does not equal PSH in a vacuum."

Sure about that? TYP subcontracts every thing. It is a building program. That is why it failed. All the real work, the services, are subcontracted out. All the TYP does is build buildings and keep the money. Our money.

Bird_dog's picture

Yes I'm sure

I have attended every advisory board meeting for the past year - at 8 am - and I'm not a morning person. TYP is a coordinated effort among, maybe a dozen, providers of services to homeless people. Southeast Housing is the entity getting grants and funds outside of strictly local funding to build two PSH units. I'm not defending Southeast Housing, just the TYP as a comprehensive strategy.

slapshot's picture

"I'm not defending Southeast

"I'm not defending Southeast Housing, just the TYP as a comprehensive strategy."

I don't get how you call this a comprehensive strategy? TYP doesn't do anything except subcontract the real work out. TYP takes credit for the work of KCDC, VMC, and many others. You are buying in to a fantasy. The TYP is three guys building buildings. This is a Ponzi scheme.

Linda Rust's picture

TYP Community Concerns Working Group

Michele Hummel facilitated (and I helped staff) the Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness Community Concerns Working Group that met regularly between December 2004 and March 2005.

We involved people from neighborhoods and agencies who were thinking about and grappling with homelessness issues *at the time*. Our group included participants from Council Of Involved Neighborhoods (COIN), Fort Sanders Neighborhood Assn., City People, Fourth and Gill, Knox County Office of Neighborhoods, Center for Neighborhood Development, Cumberland Avenue Merchants Assn., Central Business Improvement District (CBID).

Our main topic was to identify the problems and responsibilities related to the community (re: chronic homelessness). We discussed:

* Inventory, gaps, problem areas, why are current efforts failing?
* Community education/misconceptions about the homeless (the homeless come here over other places, safety and perceptions of downtown as a dangerous place, crime caused by homeless, etc.)
* Panhandling downtown, Cumberland Avenue
* Public intoxication
* Agency overlap – coordination, turf battles, ESPN, need for a lead agency
* True costs of homelessness
* NIMBYism - perception of homeless district, homeless camps outside the city
* Some neighborhoods have an undue burden
* Concentration of services in center city (both a problem and a benefit)
* Need for HMIS to identify trends, resources used and measuring results (the need to expand this regionally)
* How to get people in housing and more importantly, how to keep them there!
* Family reintegration
* Campus idea/centralization
* Housing First approach/permanent supportive housing – a best practice
* CND offered to coordinate the engagement of neighborhoods

Our recommendations included:
* Involve neighborhood groups to reduce numbers of homeless wandering/camping in neighborhoods
* Develop outreach teams to identify the homeless and link to services and housing
* Create PSAs on homelessness – where to call for assistance
* Housing First/“low demand housing”

Again, I want to stress that the people involved in this working group were representing the neighborhoods that were dealing with the impact of homelessness AT THE TIME. The Housing First approach was identified as a 'best practice' from our research into what was working in other places. It was our recommendation that the Ten Year Plan document include it as such.

I hope this helps a bit to explain where we were coming from and what the thinking was in early 2005 before the plan was written.

Linda

B. Paone's picture

Do you have any notes or info left over?

If so, I'd GREATLY appreciate anything you can offer. I can be reached at bpaone(at)sidatio.com and would be happy to take anything you've got in regard to your work on the issue.

Thanks for your work on this thing! It's not an easy task!

Tamara Shepherd's picture

What am I missing here?

So how would a "dry" policy, in your mind, hinder recovery from alcoholism?

Doesn't requiring a "dry" policy for PSH assume that that recovery has already taken place? I'm asking WHERE it might have already taken place.

If I'm understanding you correctly, you're saying that you think recovery CAN'T take place in a temporary shelter and it SHOULDN'T take place in a PSH... so what is this presumably "interim" setting in which you're suggesting it could and should take place?

B. Paone's picture

Um... no?

I'm a little confused as to what you're asking, since recovery can be argued as being as quickly implemented as the second one puts down the junk, or a process from which you are continually recovering and never truly recover (AA/NA philosophy).

But if you're thinking I don't believe recovery shouldn't happen in either TSH or PSH, then something got grossly miscommunicated. My question - based on extensive personal experience with the concept of addiction - is whether recovery can be better enabled in a "wet" facility than it can a "dry" facility.

So, in sum... I don't get it?

barker's picture

From the Redundancy Dept.

Some points bear repeating.

1) Housing First works. Here in Knoxville. About 350 have been housed over the past four years through the TYP and 90 percent are still in housing (with no restrictions on alcohol).

2) The TYP is a comprehensive plan that includes programs to PREVENT homelessness, as well as PSH for the chronically homeless. To say it's just a building plan is demonstrating ignorance of the plan.

3) The TYP Office helps coordinate services among the various providers. To say it's just a building plan is demonstrating ignorance of the plan.

4) Those who qualify for housing under the TYP must agree to work with case managers on their underlying issues, be they mental illness, alcoholism or something else. It's almost impossible to deal with those issues while living under a bridge or, as Paone rightly pointed out, in a bunk at a shelter. The alcohol issue is a red herring designed to appeal to emotions.

5) The TYP has identified and tapped funding sources for housing. Paone's plan would use the PSH model. Peabody's proposed institution, on the other hand, relies on a billionaire benefactor who may someday appear. Or not.

5) Housing First works. Here in Knoxville. About 350 have been housed over the past four years through the TYP and 90 percent are still in housing (with no restrictions on alcohol).

slapshot's picture

"Housing First works. Here in

"Housing First works. Here in Knoxville. About 350 have been housed over the past four years through the TYP and 90 percent are still in housing (with no restrictions on alcohol)."

I notice how you give no credit to Alvin Nance and KCDC for what THEY did. That is their work, not the TYP.

One of the problems is a dishonest newspaper and your false words.

"The TYP Office helps coordinate services among the various providers. To say it's just a building plan is demonstrating ignorance of the plan."

The TYP subcontracts all support services. Substitute coordinate with subcontract and you have it right.

Barker, why not put a poll up on your newspaper and let's see who really supports the TYP? Unless of course, you're chicken.

barker's picture

Ha!

I'm not in charge of putting polls on our website. Contact Jack Lail.

You are incorrect about the TYP/KCDC dynamic. Of course the TYP Office used KCDC housing - the goal was to use available housing first and KCDC (as well as privately-owned Section 8 housing) was available. Of course, the use of KCDC housing undermines the argument that the TYP is just a building plan. Again, housing is only one component of the plan. The residents in KCDC housing are working with case managers to address the underlying reasons they were once homeless. That's where the S in PSH comes in, and is the heart of the plan.

slapshot's picture

I didn't think you would

I didn't think you would allow a poll.

You also confuse Section 8 and housing for the chronically homeless. How do you know so little about this?

barker's picture

Section 8

In many instances, people obtaining housing through the TYP use Section 8 to help pay for their housing. That's one of the things case managers help them with.

barker's picture

poll

As I said, I'm not in charge of the website. Jack Lail is. Contact him to suggest a poll. I don't care one way or another because online polls, as Paone pointed out, are next to worthless.

R. Neal's picture

The alcohol issue is a red

The alcohol issue is a red herring designed to appeal to emotions.

Bingo.

B. Paone's picture

You should have never been an editor.

Because you'd make a killing as a columnist. In order:

* Where are they housed? How were they housed? Were they assessed for employability? How were they assessed for employability? Were all 350 housed according to the same uniform guidelines and principles as currently outlined in TYP 1.0? Were there different circumstances? What do they pay in rent? (My mortgage is $675 with insurance and all, in case someone wanted to complain that I was asking for whatever reason - it's just a number, and a helpful one at that.) How do they pay their rent? What happened to the other 10 percent?

What are the details behind these figures?

* Comprehensive, to be sure, but admittedly incomplete on a number of fronts. Including, most importantly, the facets of securing the county's partnership and securing the community's support at large.

It is quite a ponderous and voluminous work, but without those key components (among a few others, like a stable and effective employment assistance program and a mix of supportive housing that's designed to be "temporary" as part of programs geared toward getting people off the streets and on their own again), it's a lot of paperwork.

* And centralization of our service providers and the services they offer is an absolute must, so it also demonstrates there are components of TYP 1.0 that can be argued to be worth preserving and augmenting to be more effective and more supported than what they currently are.

* The alcohol issue is still a big concern for the community at large, and waving one's hand while saying "bah" won't change that. The community must either be assured or a compromise must be reached - arguing back and forth WILL NOT solve anything.

* Whoa, hoss. Not quite. At least, not like the kinds of funding frameworks proposed by Nashville and Knoxville, which are heavily reliant on private donations. Nashville's still having problems identifying long-term financing, and TYP hasn't been terribly clear on the concept (though they have stated in the past that they have managed to locate some funding, it's hard to easily call up the numbers on how much that is, or which generous souls have earned our gratitude, or for how long those funding sources are going to remain in place.

When I look at it, all I can see is a tax increase or a combination of a tax increase and a heavy cut in other areas of governmental funding (which may be difficult to do given Haslam's rather lean handling of the budget - there's not a lot that can be cut, but that's just one observation). I'm looking at somewhere along the lines of a .10-.12 increase in the tax rate dedicated to funding and maintaining a comprehensive homelessness response plan, less if a sufficient amount of secure and definitive private assistance could be had (idea: partner with local major businesses like Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and Sysco to integrate them into an employment assistance program - corporate goodwill achieved, they provide labor, we provide people who are recovering, need the employment background, and have been vetted reasonably by the support program, maybe add in a tax break or two to sweeten the deal... see who goes for it, maybe?).

* See, this is why you'd make a great columnist. Nice close, drives home the point of the title... don't see why you're limited with the editorial gig when you could be making better use of your talents.

barker's picture

some qualified answers

Don't have time to go answer everything in minute detail, but I'll give it a shot.

Thanks for the compliment, by the way, but I already write just about all our editorials, plus edit columns and such, so I don't have much time for column writing (though I do it occasionally).

From my understanding, most of the people who've been housed thus far have gone into KCDC housing - more than a dozen apartment complexes throughout the community.

Many (if not most or all) qualify as disabled, and case managers help them get SSI. Some are veterans, and case managers help them get VA benefits if necessary. If they qualify for Section 8, the federal program requires they pay 30 percent of their income for rent.

Obviously, if they're disabled, they can't work. But if they can work, I would imagine the case managers would help them look for jobs. You're correct that a jobs program would be beneficial and, indeed, one was once a part of the plan and could be again if funding is secured. That doesn't mean the plan needs to go; it's already in the plan and needs to be funded.

I don't know what happened to the 10 percent or so who are no longer in PSH. They could have lost their housing because they were arrested or decided to go back to the streets or any number of reasons.

Funding for case management for the most part will come from private donations to the providers who are doing it. One of the goals of the TYP is to strengthen the relationships between the service providers and the faith community (there's one TYP component that provides mentors from area churches to TYP participants). People in Knoxville and Knox County give generously to the less fortunate, and I for one am confident they will continue to do so.

I don't see the tax increase you're talking about for the TYP. Construction is mostly federal and private investment through tax credits; management of the facilities will be paid for through rents; and case management will be supported by private donations to the providers (though grants are available for that, too - I recall that the city or county (can't remember which) applied for a federal grant that would pay for a number of case managers over the next five years).

In fact, one of the attractions of the TYP for local governments (not just ours) is the shifting of the burden for addressing the homeless from local tax dollars (jails and such) to state and federal tax dollars. Yes, I understand that it's all tax money. But for those who complain that Knoxville is a homeless mecca (I'm not convinced it is), isn't it a good thing get those living in the places that send their homeless our way to help defray the costs?

B. Paone's picture

Thanks! More later. And...

...when I was talking about a tax increase, I was talking about how I envisioned funding something like the three-prong approach. Frankly, I'm not comfortable basing such an important program's funding on the continued generosity of the Federal government and private donations, and the only stable source of income is probably going to have to be largely supported by a local tax increase.

Especially considering that there isn't much of a contingency option if the Federal/private dryup ever does happen other than asking the local government for a bailout, unless someone's got a backup plan I haven't heard yet.

So, if we're honest up-front about the likelihood of local tax support and craft a solid, responsible, effective plan that stays within a reasonable budget and takes community concerns into account (and gets more support from the county, especially concerning the Safety Center proposal - something like that would be a big help in the fight against homelessness if done right), then our chances of creating an effective long-term plan, in my view, increase dramatically.

barker's picture

funding

If the feds cut out HUD funding for PSH construction, then it's simple -- nobody will build more unless the local government wants to fund it, which I doubt will happen. Other federal dollars vital to the plan include SSI, VA and Section 8 vouchers. I doubt those programs will go away but you never know. Even if they do and the plan has be terminated, we will have given hundreds of chronically homeless a chance to make it as citizens in the community, a chance they scarcely had prior to the TYP.

Bird_dog's picture

great point

Considering how long it takes to get the funding and construction projects together, as in years, increasing costs of case management will be very slow as well. If the funds dry up, government or donations, capacity will be self-limited. We're not making a commitment today based on some projection of needs ten years from now. We may not be able to meet those needs, but for now, we should do what we can asap.

rocketsquirrel's picture

correction Scott: you said:

correction Scott:

you said: "About 350 have been housed over the past four years through the TYP and 90 percent are still in housing (with no restrictions on alcohol)."

Not true. many of those 350 who "have been housed" were housed through programs that existed prior to the TYP. In many cases, the TYP (meaning the Office of the TYP) may be taking credit for the work of others. Asked a different way, how many people has the Office of the TYP put into PSH?

They can't have it both ways.

barker's picture

Duh

Every agency existed prior to Office of the TYP: KCDC, VMC, KARM, Salvation Army, etc. The TYP was developed primarily to coordinate existing agencies that weren't working together before.

Every one of the 350 or so we're talking about is in PSH. It's the SUPPORTIVE part that is key here -- before the TYP, there was no supportive housing, permanent or otherwise. I think where you're confused is that you apparently think PSH is only available in units built specifically for the TYP. That's not the case. Again, it's the supportive aspect that's key here.

rocketsquirrel's picture

No I am well aware of the

No I am well aware of the concentration of PSH at Love Towers and other KCDC facilities. Those placements were not facilitated by the Office of the TYP, so for you to continue to give credit to TYP for the work of other agencies is misleading at best.

It would be nice to have a breakdown of that 350 by agency and by housing facility so that we could get a true picture how successful the various agencies are with these placements. And I have previously been excoriated on this forum for daring to suggest that PSH be accomplished with Section 8 funds, which clearly seems to be the direction we have headed over the last two years. It does seem a lot more cost effective than Minvilla or Flenniken.

When I spoke to Rob Finley a few weeks ago, he indicated that we're about out of Section 8 availability. Not clear if he meant vouchers or apartments. It seems to me that early on, the whole debate about PSH and the justification for Minvilla was that standard apartments wouldn't work.

It now seems that they are working just fine, to the tune of about 350 placements, if we can see actual evidence of those 350 placements and we're not double counting other programs.

How hard would it be to roll some more existing apartment buildings that are on the market into Section 8 supported PSH?

Sure beats Flenniken by a mile.

barker's picture

Residents of Flenniken and

Residents of Flenniken and Minvilla will be able to use Section 8 as well so I don't know why you were excoriated by anyone. The rationale for building new units - which is what this NIMBY opposition is all about, really - is that the inventory of appropriate housing is dwindling. I believe Finley must have been talking about apartments.

As far as existing apartment buildings, they should be interested if a suitable one comes on the market (you're not proposing that the owner of an apartment building be forced into the program, are you?). But you've got to remember that one of the goals of the apartments built specifically for PSH is that there be a single entrance that can be watched. Most apartment complexes have units with outside entrances.

Also, federal funds are available for the construction of PSH units. I'm not sure if federal funds are available for the purchase of existing facilities.

Shelly's picture

'I think where you're

'I think where you're confused is that you apparently think PSH is only available in units built specifically for the TYP. That's not the case. Again, it's the supportive aspect that's key here."

Why are you so dishonest barker? The TYP takes credit for work they do not do. Are you on the Ackermann payroll? All you do is spin.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

*

TYP doesn't "take credit for" the work of other entities.

TYP simply coordinates the efforts of a vast array of service providers (including the service provider SHF, which builds) to deliver its mission.

You're unfair to suggest that TYP's mission is JUST to build PSH. Re-read their mission statement.

Shelly's picture

"TYP doesn't "take credit

"TYP doesn't "take credit for" the work of other entities."

Another Ackermann staffer? Tell us who the TYP is. It is three people. Tell us what they do.

Barker's picture

honesty

It's so nice to be called a liar first thing in the morning. Thanks, Shelly.

Let's be clear about a distinction. There is a plan called the Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness, which I abbreviate at TYP. There is also an office to help coordinate the implementation of the plan, which I refer to as the TYP Office. When I say "coordinate the implementation of the plan," I mean they help facilitate the coordination of services among agencies that existed long before the TYP was adopted but did not previously work together in an efficient manner.

The key change delivered by the adoption of the TYP was the idea that people would be put into housing with the agreement that they would work with case managers to address the issues that led to their homelessness (called permanent supportive housing, or PSH). The 350 people or so who have been housed in PSH should rightly be credited to the TYP, whether or not the TYP Office was actively involved in any particular placement. If not for the TYP, they would not be in housing and would not be receiving support to help them rejoin society.

No one is claiming that a chronically homeless person walks into the City County Building and personally meets with Jon Lawler, who then drives him to VMC to get started in the system. If that's your criteria for giving credit, then you are misinformed about how the TYP works.

I post here about the TYP because I'm convinced it's the smartest approach to dealing with the chronically homeless. I don't need Ackerman to tell me that. In fact, I've never even discussed the matter with anyone from Ackerman, though I know several people there. I came to my conclusion by observation, study of the TYP, reviewing homeless studies and reporting on the issue.

Scott Barker
KNS

Bird_dog's picture

Scott Barker

You are a very patient man.

Barker's picture

addendum

The TYP is the best blueprint yet developed in Knox County to address homelessness. Most opponents of the TYP want to scrap the whole plan, which I view as an overreaction to stumbles by the TYP Office to implement the scattered-site approach to building new PSH apartments. That's not a good enough reason to kill the plan.

You can argue whether Jon Lawler is the right person to run the TYP Office. You can argue whether a scattered-site approach is desirable. You can argue whether alcohol should or shouldn't be allowed in PSH units.

But what is undeniable is that Housing First works. It's working in Knoxville, regardless of who gets credit for it. More than 300 people are off the streets, where they'd lived for longer than a year, and in housing, which they've been able to maintain, for all their challenges, for longer than a year. And they're getting help to address the issues that originally put them on the streets. Again, Housing First is working.

slapshot's picture

"But what is undeniable is

"But what is undeniable is that Housing First works. It's working in Knoxville, regardless of who gets credit for it. More than 300 people are off the streets, where they'd lived for longer than a year, and in housing, which they've been able to maintain, for all their challenges, for longer than a year. And they're getting help to address the issues that originally put them on the streets. Again, Housing First is working."

Wasn't that Section 8 KCDC housing? Section 8 is NOT Housing First.

R. Neal's picture

Wasn't that Section 8 KCDC

Wasn't that Section 8 KCDC housing? Section 8 is NOT Housing First.

Apples and oranges. The way I understand it, Section 8 can be used to help fund permanent supportive housing, if applicant qualifies for Section 8. People who are not chronically or otherwise homeless can also qualify for Section 8.

Similarly, not all people who get SSI disability are homeless, but some homeless qualify for SSI. But no one is trying to say SSI is a homeless housing program, just as no one is saying Section 8 is a homeless housing program.

Or maybe I missed something.

Barker's picture

section 8

You're correct.

Bird_dog's picture

Housing First is a strategic concept

Section 8 is one way to implement the strategy. Section 8 is a voucher program that supplements the rent to non-kcdc landlords who are willing to rent to section 8 voucher holders. Your statement that "Section 8 is not housing first" is correct. But it IS one way to provide housing for a homeless person - if they have a case worker to help them through the application process, and if they are approved.

Barker's picture

section 8

You don't understand how this works. Section 8 is a tool that can be used to obtain housing for the chronically homeless. It's been used to put them in KCDC housing, and will be used to put them in Minvilla and Flenniken. Part of the plan is to help chronically homeless people to apply for Section 8 assistance, if they qualify, to get housing first.

Your post demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of the TYP. The TYP proscribes the coordination of EXISTING resources, including the availability of KCDC housing, Section 8, VMC case management and other initiatives. If Section 8 can be used to house the chronically homeless so they can then work on their issues, then what's the problem?"

slapshot's picture

"If Section 8 can be used to

"If Section 8 can be used to house the chronically homeless so they can then work on their issues, then what's the problem?"

The problem is they don't get clean. They stay addicted with a roof over their heads as opposed to being addicted on the streets. This means the taxpayers pay for their housing and lifestyle for a lifetime.

We don't want that. We want them to return to society. Get jobs. We want them to get sober and pay taxes like the rest of us.

Your ideas are failing in Europe where they have been done for decades. Ask the Greeks about cradle to grave welfare.

Paone's three stage idea is more acceptable. He may not be the best messenger, but that idea appeals more to more people.

And you are spinning barker. It is obvious to all.

Barker's picture

getting clean

How do you know they don't get clean? Remember, they are required to work with case managers on their underlying issues in order to qualify for housing under the TYP. For the fewer than half of the chronically homeless that are alcoholics, that means dealing with their drinking problems. And the success rate -- 90-plus percent after a year -- indicates that the residents are successfully addressing their issues, whatever they are.

slapshot's picture

"And the success rate --

"And the success rate -- 90-plus percent after a year -- indicates that the residents are successfully addressing their issues, whatever they are."

Again with the PR spin. The "success rate" is how many stay in housing. Not how many achieve sobriety. You know that. But you spin none the less.

I wonder if anyone believes you at this point.

Barker's picture

success rate

Slapshot, you note note that I view the success rate as how many people stay in housing, not how many achieve sobriety. You are right. This plan addresses homelessness, not alcoholism.

metulj's picture

I love this guy. Gets taken

I love this guy. Gets taken to school over the Housing First implementation and its accesses to housing resources. Shifts to the "they are drunks" narrative.

Barker's picture

they are drunks narrative

As noted previously, the alcohol issue is a red herring. For the homeless, the first issue that needs to be addressed is housing. Duh.

Barker's picture

housing first

"Section 8 is NOT Housing First."

Slapshot, this post shows you're not interested in the real issue but something else altogether. Housing First is the concept that the chronically homeless need housing before dealing with the underlying causes of their homelessness. Section 8 is a tool that can be used to facilitate housing for them.

You're arguing who should be given credit. I don't care about that. I note that you aren't arguing that housing first doesn't work. Because it does.

Shelly's picture

"You're arguing who should be

"You're arguing who should be given credit. I don't care about that."

You barker are giving credit to those who didn't do anything. Pure spin. Section 8 is not meant to be used for PSH for the chronically homeless. Try learning the HUD rules. That is one of the many problems with this fake plan.

You are supposed to report and clarify, not spin for a PR firm. Whether you are paid or not, you're an Akermann lackey. All you do is promote the false Akermann messages.

R. Neal's picture

@Shelly

@Shelly, et al.:

Keep it civil or take it somewhere else.

Barker's picture

shelly, my friend

i'm trying to be polite, but you're making it difficult.

Section 8 is intended for those who are too poor to pay full market value for their own housing. Obviously, the chronically homeless are poor and taking advantage of Section 8 housing vouchers isn't a problem, at least for me.

Let me be clear. I don't care a whit what Ackerman does. I was a supporter of the Ten Year Plan before Ackerman got involved and, as I have said, I've never had a conversation with anyone from Ackerman about this issue. You're just trying to deflect attention from the fact that housing first works.

Rachel's picture

I confess to not reading

I confess to not reading every word of the new 57 posts in this thread. Busy day.

But here's my thing about alcohol: I could understand if Burchett & Commission were requiring sobriety. But they're not. They just want to ban alcohol on premises. Burchett even said something to the effect that PSH occupants could drink elsewhere, just not on premises.

To me this is backwards. We'd rather have these folks drinking on the street out of bottles in brown paper bags? Isn't that the problem we have now?

Either really require sobriety before these folks are housed (which will eliminate a lot of folks who otherwise need help) or do what the TYP is proposing - don't ban alcohol but work with the occupants with alcohol problems to address their addiction.

Bird_dog's picture

Exactly,

and Tim/Rice had no suggestions about enforcing and punishing such a ban on alcohol. Are they going to do room checks and searches every day? Ultimately it's about behavior - behavior that meets the requirements of the lease, such as: pay your rent, work with case management as needed, take care of your apartment, don't disturb the peaceful enjoyment of the other residents. Lots of people drink alcohol and still have a manageable life. Addicts have an unmanageable life unless they maintain sobriety - and they have to own their sobriety.

Tim/Rice were also very vague, and sweepingly broad, in their ultimatum: ban alcohol or no funding of anything related to the TYP... Uh, oh we did not mean all the existing services the county provides funds for, which may include homeless. Amy Broyles tried to pin them down to which funding, exactly, were they holding hostage. Again, instead of just saying "only the $50,000 for the TYP that is currently a line item in the budget", they used the broad phrase "anything related to the TYP" which implied that funding to other homeless service providers might be at risk.

It looked to me like emotional grandstanding on the part of Ownby and the mayor's office...

Jeanne's picture

Burchett was a disappointment

Lawlor made it clear that a ban on alcohol was missing the point. He said there are three core issues; mental health, physical disability, and addiction which affect applicants. Homeless are considered for PSH when they express a willingness/readiness to deal with their core issue(s), and of these, only 16% are alcoholics. (I thought I heard him say 60%, but then someone mentioned the other 84%)

Commissioner Broyles did an excellent job of pointing out that the administration had not done all they could to understand the whole program, and she was “tremendously disaappointed” at the uninformed stand they were taking.

Also, I believe it was Ownby, not Burchett, who suggested they do their drinking at a bar or a friend’s house. I know Ownby is new, but he was antsy and restless throughout the meeting, and not always listening. There were at least two times when he asked a question that had been answered previously. Another “Chuckles” in the making?

And if Peabody is just a grassroots do-gooder, well, then I’m a Southern Belle.

Rachel's picture

Also, I believe it was Ownby,

Also, I believe it was Ownby, not Burchett, who suggested they do their drinking at a bar or a friend’s house.

Burchett said they could still drink elsewhere in the first story in the KNS about his opposition to on-site alcohol.

B Harmon's picture

Question

Is it true that federal fair housing laws don't allow the banning of alcohol?

If so, does the TYP have to make a choice between Knox County money or federal funding?

Or, if the mayor really wants this new rule, should his office figure out how to circumvent the federal fair housing laws?

Barker's picture

research

I'm looking into this and will let everybody know (though it likely will be on knoxnews first because, you know, they pay me). My initial understanding is that the government can't restrict legal activities like drinking alcohol but we are, after all, dealing with federal rules.

Jeanne's picture

homeless drunksor bright shiny children

Peabody ‘reasoned’ that since, a year ago, HUD sent a memo to participants requesting smoking ban policies, certainly an alcohol ban would be legal. Look for him to use the Wayback Machine to strengthen that request.

Also, the Mayor made it very clear that allowing alcohol on the premises was a deal breaker, not long after making it clear he expects to find the funds for a new Carter Elementary School.

As someone already pointed out, Commisioner Broyles tried to nail down exactly which funds would be “off the table” if alcohol was allowed, and Burchett and Dean Rice a did a fine job of almost answering the question.

When asked about funding for the new school, Burchett and John Troyer said they hadn’t had a chance to review the Capital Improvements Budget in detail.

Not that these two issues are at all related. I’m just sayin’.

Jeanne's picture

homeless drunksor bright shiny children

Peabody ‘reasoned’ that since, a year ago, HUD sent a memo to participants requesting smoking ban policies, certainly an alcohol ban would be legal. Look for him to use the Wayback Machine to strengthen that request.

Also, the Mayor made it very clear that allowing alcohol on the premises was a deal breaker, not long after making it clear he expects to find the funds for a new Carter Elementary School.

As someone already pointed out, Commisioner Broyles tried to nail down exactly which funds would be “off the table” if alcohol was allowed, and Burchett and Dean Rice a did a fine job of almost answering the question.

When asked about funding for the new school, Burchett and John Troyer said they hadn’t had a chance to review the Capital Improvements Budget in detail.

Not that these two issues are at all related. I’m just sayin’.

Not a puppet's picture

How many sock puppets does

How many sock puppets does mike Mitchell have on this thread?

metulj's picture

If it is coming from a

If it is coming from a Charter IP and not logged in as a user, then the probability that it is him starts approaching 1 at near the speed of light.

Barker's picture

mitchell

Don't care about his sock puppets. Whatever name he uses, he's wrong.

metulj's picture

Exactly.

Exactly.

Jeanne's picture

sorry

space bar vs enter/return. apologies

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