As part of a recent discussion on the Green Party forum about the Alaska Project, Justin Jeffre responded with a particularly well-framed argument in favor of supportive housing.
I thought this might be helpful if anyone is calling or writing city council (or anyone else for that matter) in support of the project. It seems particularly relevant in light of resident testimony yesterday claiming that the project would be a “haven” for drug dealers.
Without further ado, from Justin …
You are correct about who supports the project in the community. This project has been in the works for about 3 years years. It came from a council initiative. It isn’t some “out of town scheme”. If going through the community council, city council, local churches and organizations related to these issues isn’t the way to reach out to the community I don’t know what is.
Yes, there are some residents that aren’t involved in their community council and apparently didn’t find out about it until later in the process. Since they became aware and expressed their opposition there has been an attempt to work with them, but it seems as if they are saying ‘Not in my back yard!’. They have been talking about negative stereo types. They fear it will negatively affect their property value, but it was a blighted location that looked dangerous before and this will be a nice new facility.
I don’t believe this will negatively impact them. In Columbus people had the same fears and objections about a similar facility but it didn’t turn out the way they had feared.
We will lose state funding if this is cancelled. And there is a desperate need for more permanent supportive housing which will likely help save lives. This can’t just be moved to Northside or somewhere else.
Every neighborhood should help be a part of the solution. Homelessness isn’t a crime and it’s important that we don’t dehumanize those that are dealing with serious poverty and homelessness. This isn’t a jail or a prison and poor people shouldn’t have to live in industrial strips away from the public. The Drop Inn Center was near an elementary school for decades and SCPA for years and despite all the fear-mongering there wasn’t any real problem other than wealthy people having to look at poor people. Please support this project!