Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Urban Renewal to the Rescue

By Sarah Owens and Michael Livingston

Resolution to Spend URA $ on Homeless Assistance
Good old urban renewal.  When the post- WWII middle class moved to the suburbs, they left their inner cities to those with low- and no-income.  Eventually, however, the commute once again made city living desirable.  Enter urban renewal, the process whereby cities "clean up" downtown, displacing the poor, and making it great again for the middle class.

To be sure, urban renewal was just one of several factors that contributed to the rise of homelessness in the latter part of the last century, but it seems entirely appropriate that a portion of the money reserved for urban renewal should be spent alleviating the suffering it causes.

So, we can all be grateful that, Monday night, the City Council, sitting as the Urban Renewal Agency Board, adopted Resolution No. 18-12 URA, approving amendments to the Riverfront-Downtown Urban Renewal Plan to add, among other things, URA Project 1110 to "address homelessness and support of the [sic] Salem Strategic Plan", and then, sitting as itself, adopted the virtually identical Resolution 2018-83.  These actions will allow the City to use its urban renewal dollars to "build out" the sobering center -- and even buy the building, if it wants to.

Here are some reasons the City might want to buy the building and lease it back to the owner/occupant, the Mid Willamette Valley Community Action Agency (MWVCAA), at a favorable (substantially less than market) rate (see here, last page): 

  1. Protect its investment against possible foreclosure.  This is a real possibility, considering the financial difficulties of the owner, which purchased the building in 2017 for $2.1M using $500,000 in state homeless assistance funds with the balance seller-financed, including two balloon payments of $250,000 each, the first of which must be paid by the end of this year (see here and here).   
  2. Lower sobering center annual operating costs.  At the moment, the City-County-Salem Health partnership is short about $200,000.  Assuming those costs include some amount for rent, City ownership would eliminate that cost and reduce the shortfall. 
  3. Allow the City to fulfill several Downtown Homeless Task Force recommendations (the building has public restrooms, and, after renovations are complete, will have more restrooms, showers and laundry facilities, and could potentially provide space for storage of personal possessions).
  4. Ensure the City always has an emergency/inclement weather overnight shelter location available downtown.
  5. Free MWVCAA to use its resources for homeless assistance, instead of buying and maintaining a building.     

Councilor McCoid Ward 4 at URA Bd Mtg 11/26/18
Recognizing that it might make sense for the City to take ownership of the Commercial Street building is not to say that the sobering center project makes  sense overall.

Yes, sobering services make general sense, in that they're a less costly way to provide a needed emergency service, but what about  this project?

It would appear to make sense from a law enforcement perspective, by avoiding hospital admissions/incarceration costs.

It would appear to make sense from MWVCAA's perspective, by lowering MWVCAA's construction, maintenance and utilities costs, not to mention the monthly mortgage payments.

But what about the homeless?  The City claims the sobering center is one of several programs that will be "actively helping the homeless and working to reduce homelessness", but is that true?  You won't find sobering services listed anywhere with OHCS or HUD as a best, or even promising, practice.  Users tend to be repeat users, versus the service being some sort of gateway to treatment or stable housing.

What about downtown businesses?  Will having a sobering center allow the police to "clean up" downtown every morning, as some may hope?  Chief Moore told the Public Safety Coordinating Council that the police do not remove those in need of sobering services, except on a voluntary basis (unlike CHIERS in PDX).  Will people be as likely, or more so, to want to go to the sobering station than they are to the ER?  Does it matter to downtown businesses where people go to sober up?   
What about HRAP?  The City program that is *actually* moving chronically homeless residents off the streets and into stable housing, one by one.  Does it make sense to spend $200,000+ annually in General Fund dollars that might otherwise be available for HRAP on sobering services?  Can we not agree it makes more sense to use those funds to help move would-be sobering service clients off the streets and into stable housing through HRAP?  The practitioners we've talked to all said yes, emphatically.

The City's decision to use urban renewal funds to address homelessness is a creative means by which to address several longstanding needs downtown.  Serious doubts remain, however, as to the advisability of City's sobering center project, the fact that we're poised to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in construction notwithstanding.  

Sadly, urban renewal won't save us from ourselves.  

Saturday, November 24, 2018

News from the Continuum

By Sarah Owens and Michael Livingston


Landlord Workshop at Salem Housing Authority
In late October, the Salem Housing Authority reached its goal to house 100 of Salem’s most vulnerable homeless individuals, but, as readers well know, there are many more needing this kind of housing assistance.  For that to happen,  more rental housing owners and managers must sign on.

So, a week after reaching their goal, SHA and partners hosted a workshop for interested  landlords, featuring a presentation on the effects of trauma on the brain, and how it affects the process of  recovering from homelessness.  The purpose of the workshop was to inform, but also to let prospective landlords know that leasing to HRAP clients doesn't mean they have to become social workers, because that's been taken care of, but it does help to understand what their tenants are dealing with. 

Readers may have heard Stephen Goins's presentation at a CANDO, or Emergency Housing Network, or Downtown Rotary Club meeting.  For most people, it's an eye-opener -- a compassionate but candid description of a process that looks nothing like reaching for stars or happy people hugging.  That's because, contrary to what most people might think, recovering from homelessness is terribly difficult.  It's difficult for the people in recovery, for the people supporting them, and for the people supporting the people supporting them, which is why landlords typically avoid leasing to anyone recovering from homelessness.  Stephen Goins directs Transitional Programs for Northwest Human Services, including HOST and HOAP. 

Hear HRAP team members Sonya Ryland (Housing Stability Coordinator) and Pamela Garrick (Grants Coordinator) speak about the program's first year in this podcast interview.

Cara Kaser                          Jimmy Jones                  Jeanine Knight
CANDO/Ward 1 City Councilor Cara Kaser, MWVCAA Director Jimmy Jones, and former Women's Homeless Housing Coordinator for UGM/Simonka Place Jeanine Knight all spoke at CityWatch's November meeting about area poverty and homelessness.  There was no time left after the presentations for questions, which is too bad, because people really seemed interested.  Likely, the speakers could have put the same points across in response to questions, and made more of an impression.

At the end of the meeting, the members received an update on its decision to sponsor the Tuesday segment of the community radio show, Willamette Wake Up in 2019.  In addition to its regular reports on City Council meetings, the show tended to focus on issues of poverty and homelessness in the mid valley.  No one from KMUZ had let CityWatch know the highly-praised program had been canceled just the day before.

Responding to a letter expressing concern over the cancellation, KMUZ defended the decision saying the Tuesday program "no longer serves the interest of the station", but that they would "do our best" to cover "the plight of people without shelter and the solutions to homelessness" without the Tuesday team.  (Full disclosure, we were on the Tuesday team.) 

In another loss to local coverage of issues relating to poverty and homelessness in the mid valley, Brian Hines is reporting that the Salem Weekly has or will soon be folding.  It's not known whether or not publisher A.P. Walther will maintain the Weekly's online edition.  

In an October 24, 2018, op-ed, "Why the Marion County Commissioner Races Matter", the Weekly pointed out that "the County has many social service functions in its regular budget that potentially make it a major player in addressing the many near 'crisis level' issues facing our (not strictly urban) community and region", and noted it could have "a significant impact on addressing the homelessness crisis – with which, despite some welcome progress, the City [Salem] is visibly struggling", if those elected to office were to make it a priority.  

Shelaswau Crier and "Roundtable" on Homelessness
However, the candidate perhaps the most likely to make addressing homelessness a priority, Shelaswau Crier, lost the election.  We say that because Crier took the trouble to conduct a day-long homelessness issues "roundtable" with service providers, and have them recorded for CCTV.  The "roundtable" included Crier, Russ Beaton (retired economics prof), Jimmy Jones (MWVCAA), Sarah White (Silverton Sheltering Services), Jayne Downing (Center for Hope and Safety), Trevor Haughton (Recovery Outreach Community Center), Delana Beaton (Home Base Shelters of Salem), Ken Houghton (MWVCAA) and Karolle Hughes (Oregon Coalition on Housing and Homelessness).  

The first two episodes have been aired on CCTV, and are available on VIMEO ("Homeless in Marion County: The Face of Homelessness") and ("Dispelling the Myths of Homelessness").  If the results were modest, the effort was commendable.  Hopefully, losing the election will prove to be a minor setback, and the community will be hearing more from Crier in the near future. 

For now, however, we should not expect that Marion County will be expanding its homelessness efforts beyond what it is currently doing through its Public Safety Coordinating Council (reentry initiative, MWHI Steering Committee, LEAD, sobering center), Housing Authority, and Public Health division (Hep C and STD testing). 

The County recently shared the good news that the LEAD program will be expanding, thanks to grants from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (details at right).  If you're unfamiliar with LEAD, you might want to check out the County's very short video explainer, or this two-page FAQs.

If you see the County's LEAD Navigator, Josh Lair around town, you should buy him a cup of coffee and have him tell you about his work.  He's a realist who believes in redemption, and he is full of energy and hope.  Just the kind of person you'd want to be doing this sort of work.

Josh Lair, LEAD Navigator for Marion County
October also saw the release of Part 2 of the 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.

Oregon continues in the top ten nationally for chronic homelessness (6th place), which Jimmy Jones of MWVCAA says "underscores the state’s prevention/diversion priorities haven’t abated high end homelessness" (and aren't likely to in future).  It also underscores the importance of supporting programs like HRAP, which was designed by this community and for this community and has proven to be effective in ways no other local program has.  It also underscores the importance of reforming the Salem, Marion and Polk CoC, so we can do more programs, like HRAP, that serve those who most need assistance.

Friday, November 23, 2018

11/20/18 Minutes

Members: Deb Comini, M. Bryant Baird
Organizations: Alan Mela, Grocery Outlet
City and County Representatives: Councilor Kaser; Sheri Wahrgren, Urban Development Department
Guests: none

The regular meeting of the CANDO Board of Directors was called to order at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 20, 2018, at the First Christian Church at 685 Marion Street NE, Salem.  The Chair and Secretary-Treasurer were present.  

The minutes of the October meeting were approved by unanimous consent.

Councilor Kaser reported, among other things, that she had asked staff during the 11/23 work session on the Council Policy Agenda to prioritize the Downtown Homeless Solutions Task Force’s Good Neighbor Partnership recommendation, as well as the recommendations to provide public restrooms and storage facilities downtown, which are on the agenda of the next meeting of the Urban Renewal Agency and City Council.  There will be another work session on the Council Policy Agenda on January 23.     

In public comments, Alan Mela, told the board and Councilor Kaser about problems that  Grocery Outlet had been having (for example, trespassing and break-ins), and that he expected would continue for the next three years, until the new police facility and the new UGM Men’s Mission have been completed.  Councilor Kaser said she was well aware of the situation, having spoken with Mr. Mela previously, and told him she would be following up with him and certain City divisions.

The board heard a presentation by Sheri Wahrgren on the proposed amendments to the Riverfront-Downtown Urban Renewal Plan, which have already come before the Downtown Advisory Board, and will be coming before the Urban Renewal Agency and City Council at their next meeting (Monday, November 25).  In response to a question, Wahrgren said that the Project 1110 amendments will permit the City to use Urban Renewal funds for the sobering center renovations, or even purchase a building, as long as the purchase is  consistent with the project purpose. The Project 1110 plan amendments are necessary because non-profit organizations like the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency (which owns the building that will house the sobering center) are normally not eligible for urban renewal investments, as they don’t pay property taxes.  
There being no other business before the board, the Chair adjourned the meeting at 7:03 p.m.

Friday, November 16, 2018

"We Need Many More Resources"

Jones at MWVCAA's October "Meet and Greet"

By Jimmy Jones

Posted to A.P. Walther's FB page on November 10, 2018.  Minor edits have been made, and links have been added.

My name is Jimmy Jones and I am the director of the Community Action Agency here in Salem. I know that there has been some concern about the resignation of Ali Treichel, so I wanted to update everyone on what's being done in our community to serve our homeless population.

Ali's position was designed to help integrate the social service providers and coordinate the local government responses, while mapping out system resources. That work will continue with her replacement, but it's also going on on a daily basis in Marion and Polk, even now. The leadership at the City, Salem Housing Authority, Community Action, Salvation Army, Northwest Human Services, Union Gospel Mission and many other groups meet frequently to help find better ways to integrate and coordinate our services. In the past year, these agencies have opened a new day center near Marion Square Park (ARCHES) for high needs homeless clients, made plans to open a new and desperately needed men's shelter (UGM) [see here and here], initiated the City's bold and innovate Homeless Rental Assistance Program (Salem Housing Authority), acquired a desperately needed overnight shelter for minors (HOME) [and United Way of the Mid Willamette Valley], and employed new warming center model. On top of all that, the ARCHES Project houses about 375 households a year, with plans to do more in the coming year. There are literally dozens and dozens of additional services being provided beyond housing, including employment services (Work [Source Oregon], Voc[ational] Rehab[ilitation]), access to health services and crisis hotlines (Marion County Health Department and [Northwest Human Services programs:] HOAP...West Salem Clinic and crisis [and information] hotline), four day centers (HOME, HOST, ARCHES, HOAP), and an increasing outreach presence that sees many different local agencies working with one another. Ali's departure changes none of that, and that work will continue through the hiring of the next coordinator.

But what I would like to address in particular is the Homeless Rental Assistance Program. That program is funded by the City of Salem [and Salem Housing Authority] and costs about $1.4M per year. It is absolutely the single most critical and necessary housing program in the history of Salem, because it targets a subset of the chronically homeless population that we refer to as tri-morbid (people with a chronic physical health problem, chronic substance problem, and a mental health condition). For too many years this subset was not effectively housed, which is why we have such a large and visible chronically homeless population in Salem today. This group of people were never, ever going to rehouse on their own. They were going to die outside. In the last year alone we have lost at least ten of them [12 as of 11/10/18], with an average age of death of about 52.

The Salem Housing Authority (SHA) designed and runs this program. ARCHES contracts with SHA to provide the clients to the program. These clients are placed through a coordinated entry process that insures that only those mostly likely to be victimized outside, and most likely to die outside, are prioritized for housing. There is a small group of us (10 total, from ARCHES, HOST and HOAP) that meet which each one of these clients, evaluate their needs, and refer about 15 a month to Salem Housing Authority for placement. To date, SHA has housed 109 HRAP clients, and after more than a year there are 100 of them still in housing. That's a success ratio of about 92%, about 10% higher than the expected success rate for a similar program. The program is a simple, cost effective (compared to the community cost of leaving people outside), proven model for reducing chronic homelessness in the community. Between this program, ARCHES, and others, we have drawn down the chronically homeless population of Salem almost by 200 souls since June of 2017.

You may not see much of a change, because our Coordinated Entry program has proven that there are about 1,800 homeless clients in the urban growth boundary, about 2/3rds of them unsheltered. So even significant improvement can be hidden behind the massive number of folks suffering under these conditions. I know it may not seem like much is being done, but every day dozens of people in this community go to work to serve the homeless through housing programs, overnight sheltering, warming stations, domestic violence centers, day sheltering, transitional housing, veterans services, employment navigation, meal services, SOAR work, and literally dozens of other services. Most of it is hidden from public view. And honestly, we need many more resources if we are ever going to end homelessness for everyone in this community, which is the only goal I measure our work by. I just want to reassure folks that a great deal of work is being done, by the agencies and local government. We are all working closely with one another, and will continue to do so in the future. Because there is much more work to do.

By the way, our [assessment] system (which is designed to go out and find, document, and assess for vulnerability every homeless person in Marion and Polk) now has more than half a million data points on the homeless population in the community. I'd be happy to answer any questions about the homeless population in Marion-Polk or what's being done to serve them.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Sobering Center Sustainable?

By Sarah Owens and Michael Livingston

Touring future sobering space at 615 Commercial St NE, circa June 2018
The City's sobering center plans remained sketchy following Tuesday's presentation to the Public Safety Coordinating Council.  One thing was clear, however, the facility won't be opening before March 2019, probably later.

As discussed here last June, this  project is being "managed" by the City Manager's Office, and "led" by the Police Department. 

Construction of the space that will hold the sobering center has not yet begun, and it's not clear whether funding to cover the projected construction costs ($508,000+) has been secured.

MWVCAA, which owns the building at 615 Commercial Street NE, has accepted a construction bid of $1,395,000 to complete Phase 2 renovations, which now include the sobering center build out.  Originally, Phase 2 consisted of renovations to install showers, laundry, kitchen facilities and a sprinkler system, and the sobering center build out was to occur in Phase 3.  The decision to combine the two phases not only saves construction costs, it puts additional pressure on the City to move forward with the project, whether or not it's sustainable.  As of this writing, Phase 2 construction has not begun.

Also unclear is where the funds to operate the sobering program are going to come from.  The City projects annual operating costs of $638,000, but Tim Murphy, CEO of Bridgeway Recovery Services, which will operate the program, said he thought that might be too low, based on  conversations he had at the National Sobering Collaborative summit in San Diego.  Regardless, commitments from the City ($200K), Marion County ($150K) and Salem Health ($100K for a limited time) fall short of what's needed just for the first couple of years, by about $200,000.  

City Council 2018 Policy Agenda

We asked the City staff assigned to the project, Courtney Knox Busch, for a breakdown or more information about the operating costs.  She ignored the request, but did offer to come and talk to CANDO, presumably about the "one pager" she distributed at the PSCC meeting, the third published staff report on the sobering center project.

Courtney Knox Busch's one-pager
The first published staff report was issued about a year ago.  It stated that, "[a]s more details regarding specific roles, the site, and funding become available, staff will return to Council for consideration of budget, operational, lease and grant agreements."

The second staff report, issued in June to accompany a bare bones MOU with MWVCAA, stated that "to close the operating [funds] gap, the partners anticipate a grant from the local Coordinated Care Organization, Willamette Valley Community Health."
WVCH serves people covered under the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid), which covers detoxification and treatment services, but not "sobering."  The anticipated WVCH grant was not mentioned at the PSCC meeting, or in the City's one-pager, but WVCH isn't going to be around after 2019, anyway.

Let's face it, even if we are very optimistic, and assume that they can secure an additional $200,000/yr to  operate the program, few donor agencies are willing to fund operations over the long term.  Short term, yes.  But not long term.  That's why Salem Health hasn't committed long term.  After all, it's law enforcement that stands to benefit, not Salem Hospital.  

And what about the City?  The City's 2018-2019 budget states that "there is not an offsetting revenue" for the sobering center, so it has to come out of working capital (General Fund).  But the City has an increasingly concerning "structural imbalance between the proposed cost of General Fund services and anticipated revenues."  In addition to the PERS rate escalations in FY 2020 and FY 2022, City Council just approved a collective bargaining agreement that will cost the City an additional $8M over the next three years.  The City's either going to have to cut services or raise revenue, or both, in pretty short order.  Under those circumstances, one has to ask whether or not the City's ongoing commitment of $200,000 is, you know, sustainable, especially when costs are only going to increase over the long term.

But might urban Renewal change the calculus?  See "Urban Renewal to the Rescue."

Friday, November 2, 2018

Homeless Program Coordinator Calls it Quits

By Sarah Owens and Michael Livingston

MWHI Program Coordinator Ali Treichel, 10/30/18
The Mid Willamette Hopeless Initiative Steering Committee (MWHISC) bid farewell to its Program Coordinator this week.  Ali Treichel, who's become a familiar face in the community of local social services providers over the past ten months, is leaving her position at the MWVCOG to take a job closer to her home in southeast Portland.  In her new position, she will be  providing contracted services to Multnomah County as a community health education coordinator.  The steering committee, which had only praise for her work at their meeting on October 30th, is currently recruiting a replacement.  Applications are due by November 30, see here for details. Also see the 11/1/18 Statesman Journal article by Capi Lynn, "Salem-area homeless coordinator secured for second year, challenges remain."

Treichel's departure leaves incomplete several projects in the one-year work plan adopted this past summer (see here and here).  She was, however, able to complete the "Service and Resource Inventory Map", and present her initial findings to the committee this past week (also see here).

Same unidentified man, different story
 The Statesman Journal quotes Treichel as saying "We have a bunch of smaller systems that often work in tandem, but it's not a streamlined system, and that's considered best practice."  Her  assessment, according to the article, "confirmed what the...steering committee...and those who work with the homeless already knew."

But the article gets a couple of things wrong.  Lynn  reported that there "is no centralized list for prioritizing housing and shelter placements", and that data gathered in the 2018 Point-in-Time Count could have been used to start such a list.  

In fact, there is a centralized list.  It's maintained by The ARCHES Project, and the data in it was gathered by trained staff using an assessment tool called the "VI-SPDAT", which stands for vulnerability index service prioritization decision assistance tool.  The problem is, not enough providers use the list to prioritize placements, and that allows for cherry picking.  

Treichel's written report, dated August 10, 2018, but made public and presented on October 30, 2018, states that, as part of the mapping assignment, she was to identify "gaps and inefficiencies within the regional service continuum [of Marion and Polk Counties] as compared to best practice solutions and frameworks."  The report makes findings in four subject areas:  (1) the coordinated homelessness response system, (2) sheltering services outside the Salem-Keizer area, (3) shelter, and (4) housing.

With respect to (1), Treichel found that the "coordinated homelessness response both fragmented and largely uncoordinated" and lacking "key elements needed for an efficient response to homelessness", beginning with a functioning coordinated entry system.  (See our December 16, 2017 post, "Coordinated Entry After One Year", here.)  To address the problem that not enough providers use the list to prioritize placements, Treichel recommended that "participating jurisdictions require providers that receive funding to collect and input quality, timely and comprehensive shareable, data and fully participate in" the local coordinated entry system, with exceptions for programs serving youth and those fleeing domestic violence, etc.

The findings in (2) through (4) can be summed up with "additional sheltering options are needed to serve families of all types and individuals of all need levels" throughout the area.  Treichel recommended that "[a]ny new shelters should be low barrier" and that "the next coordinator further explore the creation of a multi-jurisdictional [housing] development team (originally included as part of the initial year-one work plan."        

Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility
Notably absent from the report to the committee was any mention of the City of Salem's recent interest in the Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility as a possible low barrier shelter option (see here and last paragraph here).  Hillcrest closed in September 2017, after the state determined an upgrade to meet modern standards was cost prohibitive.    

Treichel didn't know about the City's interest in Hillcrest, because the City didn't bother to include her in the October 3 "feasibility meeting" where it was discussed, and evidently, steering committee member Kristin Retherford, who did attend the meeting, didn't bother to tell her.

One has to wonder why the City is spending $45K/year on regional homeless program coordination.      

Councilor/Commissioner Lewis
The City also neglected to inform Councilor Lewis (Ward 8, West Salem), or anyone else from Polk County (which presently has no emergency shelter facility, low-barrier or otherwise) of the "feasibility meeting", or the interest in Hillcrest.  So, it was a little awkward when, at the last meeting of the Salem Housing Authority Board of Commissioners (October 22, 2018), Lewis asked SHA Administrator Andy Wilch about Hillcrest:   

There's been some talk about the Hillcrest interest is that there is a dormitory type building sitting there empty, and we have a homeless crisis.  So, putting those two things together, it makes sense to me -- is it usable, can we do it from a capacity standpoint, and let's assume for a minute that the State of Oregon just lets us use the building, if it's within our ability to use it for homelessness.  Comments?

To which Wilch replied,

Hillcrest's many pieces
About three years ago, we went up and looked at the same units that you're talking about, and at that time, we didn't really see the need...the market has changed a lot, for a lot of our clients.  And so we are having some additional conversations, working with the City and SHA.  I know there was a group that went up there [with] DAS...this afternoon to look at it.  One issue that I think is going to be hard to [overcome] is DAS will probably want to have a single sale.  So, unless they're willing to break up some of the pieces, it could be pretty hard to make that work.  But, if you want to, we could work on that, along with the City.

To which Commissioner Lewis replied:

I don't know if I'm interested in purchasing the property and using that part for homelessness.  I'm more interested in using it while it's still vacant or supposedly up for sale.

Whereupon the City Manager in his capacity as Executive Director of the Housing Authority reassured everyone that a report would be forthcoming.

In some ways, the City's Hillcrest project sounds a lot like what's going on in Eugene (just get 'em outta downtown) and Portland (say you'll do anything). 

Lime green = proposed site                                                                                 Red = existing site
Lane County is trying to move a camp set up as a protest from downtown out to an industrial area near Hwy 99 and Roosevelt Blvd.  As always, health and safety concerns are cited as reasons, but the proposed camp is actually closer to services.  Hillcrest, on the other hand, would not be close to services, many of which are downtown.

In Portland, gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler's promised to open Wapato for the homeless if he's elected.  But, as Darrin Brightman points out, the owner's already asked for and failed to receive any viable operating proposal, which suggests a homeless shelter is not a realistic option.  Hillcrest is certainly no more so, not that the City's bothered to ask any providers if they'd be interested, probably because it knows there aren't any.

So, is the City just going through the motions?  Is that why it didn't include Treichel or Lewis or Polk County in their conversations?  Maybe.  But if they're not just going through the motions, what are they doing? 

The MWHI Steering Committee hopes to have a new Program Coordinator starting in January 2019.

[11/10/18 Update: added links to Treichel's inventory map, initial findings and summary.]