Gerry McCafferty, the city's Homeless and Special Needs Housing Coordinator, corrected my housing voucher numbers from Monday's post-- I wrote 100 vouchers, and Gerry reminded me that it's actually 140-- 40 people were placed into housing-- earlier this year?-- through a program run by Mental Health Associates.
I tend to forget those 40 vouchers because they seem to have had no impact on the number of people in shelter.
In the short-term, my attention is focused on June 30-- that's the day the city is forcing the closing of the Warming Place shelter at the old York St. jail. Maybe the WP will find a place to relocate, maybe it won't-- but the bottom line is that the city is willing to risk a number of people being shelterless and the remainder of the homeless being overcrowded. It's the city's plan to achieve the "larger" political goal of having no "excess capacity" for the homeless in Springfield-- as if the homeless were a stagnant pool that once drained, will not recur.
Sooner or later-- I hope sooner-- we are going to have to talk about the lack of decent, affordable housing and living wage jobs in this city.