Continuum of Care (CoC) The CoC is a collaborative of agencies that provide emergency, transitional, and permanent housing opportunities and supportive services needed by people experiencing homelessness to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency. The collaborative includes homeless housing and service providers, law enforcement, local government, health and mental health providers, the faith community and homeless or formerly homeless members.
The CoC is governed by the Ranking and Review Committee, a Board-appointed committee that guides the annual strategic planning process, and administers the competitive funding process.
The Federal government strategic guide for ending homelessness gives the four essential parts of the continuum of care;
1. Out reach
2. Emergency shelter
3 Transitional Housing
4. Permanent Housing
Without an emergency shelter, located somewhere, homelessness will continue. Volusia County cannot reach out and address the needs of all the homeless and give all the homeless a fair shot to integrate back into society without an emergency shelter, an immediate safe alternative to sleeping on the streets.
There needs to be an understanding by the coalition for the homeless that there is a great need for an immediate shelter for all who seek to be sheltered in Volusia County. The need should be obvious. Once the Coalition for the homeless recognizes the need for shelter the proposal process will be easy.
A large percentage of the homeless population is falling through the cracks in the system. There is no assistance for non-veteran homeless men who are not chemically dependent or mentally ill” I was told it is because funding does not exist for helping those men and women. If the Coalition for the homeless does not address the need of those who are falling through the cracks in the system then they are failing. Money needs to be allocated to helping those who are willing to help themselves.
Programs designed to help those who are not chemically dependent who are not mentally ill and who are not criminals should be funded People whose only crime is finding themselves on the wrong side of advantage. People who have been judged not be worthy by the general public and who are treated on a daily bases like they are less than human. People who have lost a sense of self-worth and all self- confidence need to be assisted.
Life on the streets is dangerous. When a homeless person is sleeping is when he or she is most vulnerable. They are subject to all kinds of crime including murder. Providing immediate shelter may not be profitable. However, it is the right thing to do.
The Federal government recognizes the need for emergency shelter. Why doesn’t the Volusia County Coalition for the homeless understand the need? If one homeless person dies on the street it is one too many. The longer a person lives on the streets the more of their friends pass. Too many of my friends have passed on only to be memorialized in a halve empty church hall. Let’s pledge to put an end to this kind of sadness
Today I had the chance to eat at the Bridge of Hope and my friend Dingo, his street name, told me that he had just been through the S.A.V.E. docket and that he had been asked to go and be evaluated by Haven recovery. He went and was told that he qualified for treatment. He tested positive for valium and pot. However, Dingo was put on a long waiting list.
I think Ginny Kent is doing a great job. She is the perfect ambassador for S.A.V.E. everyone that has been in her care has had nothing but positive things to say about the experience. Judge Schumann is doing all she can and the men and women who are chronically homeless suffering from substance abuse are being identified and directed to programs that best suit their needs and my friends living on the street have been open to receiving help. The S.A.V.E. docket is. in my opinion is the only outreach into the street homeless population we have in Volusia County.
However, The S.A.V.E. docket could be more effective if we had an intake. When guys like Dingo are willing to take that big step and seek help there needs to be a place for them to go. They can not be placed on a long waiting list to receive treatment. The odds on someone going into treatment from the street after being put on a long waiting list is slim. I talked my friend Reid Roberts, who is an alcoholic and suffers from alcohol induced seizures, into going to Haven for help and he too was put on a long waiting list. He never went back and he resumed drinking and passed away.
The S.A.V.E. docket would benefit greatly from a homeless shelter. Mrs. Kinney could direct those who want assistance directly to a bed and the supervision they need. Nobody who seeks help has to suffer and no agency has to suffer. Haven could benefit from having a homeless shelter in Volusia County. The Salvation Army Street Team could benefit, Halifax Urban Ministries could benefit. Everyone benefits when we get people off the streets into a safe environment. Everyone benefits when people who are seeking help have a place to go when they are taking the first brave step to recovery.
It is time that we roll up our sleeves and move this mountain. A shelter is the only thing that is going to ease the suffering of the men and women living life on the street. Providing the Homeless with a safe place to sleep is the humane thing to do. It is the right thing to do.
Everyone needs to do some soul searching. 63% of the homeless population are single homeless men and women. 18% percent of the street homeless population are considered chronically homeless. A large number of single homeless men and women are slipping through the cracks.
We currently have assistance for Chronically homeless men and women. We have assistance available for Veterans. We have assistance for Homeless families. Single Homeless men without a disabling condition and who are not veterans are the only group of homeless people who there is currently no assistance for in Volusia County, and they represent roughly 62% of the street homeless population, I feel the Percentage of single homeless men and women who currently have no assistance available to them is to large a number to ignore.
There is little sympathy for single homeless men who are not Veterans or do not suffer from a disabling condition that is why there are few programs to help. We have to realize that the root cause of homelessness for the majority of men in Volusia county is not a lack of a funding source. Simply put, the problem is programs are not being funded that reach out to single homeless men and women who do not have disabling condition and are not veterans and in my opinion, until there is new leadership this will not change and homelessness will continue to rise.
Single homeless men have special needs that need to be addressed before that can return to a productive society. Self-Esteem, self- confidence, and self-worth and a lack of Job skills. They need rest and they need help