I used to do Housing First in Michigan. This concept is not a new concept, it has been around for over a decade. Housing first works.
We currently look down on the homeless and judge them in this county, I have heard this at service provider meetings and at the public meeting for the homeless navigation center. We need to remember that they are people. People who just happen to be homeless.
We have no shelter at this time for single adults in Pasco County. We are working on the Homeless Navigation Center but that is just the first step.
The homeless in Pasco County have learned to not trust a lot of the service providers in Pasco County. They learned this because of how they are treated and that they are forced to move from where they are sleeping. The camps that they sleep in are often destroyed and the sense of community that they have created has been destroyed.
Our County has passed laws for trespassing and pan handling in Pasco County but never thought to actually create a shelter before this year for them to go to. Everyone deserves a place to go. No one should be marginalized and judged because sometimes life makes you homeless. I support treating the homeless with dignity and respect and actually building navigation centers and shelters on both sides of the county so that people have a place to go. No one wants to be homeless. I am tired of hearing that people choose this. No people choose to give up on society, but rather it is society that has given up on them. That is sad.