Roberts: “Don’t leave the county out” of Project 25
At the press conference this morning to announce the launch of Project 25, the United Way’s new initiative to get 25 of the county’s most costly chronically homeless people off the street and into supportive housing, San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts got some time at the podium:
A couple of years ago, the only solution [to chronic homelessness] was an MOA [memorandum of agreement] between the city and county. Documents and all that are nice, but let’s get into solution-focused programs.
Since 2006, when the regional Plan to End Chronic Homelessness (PTECH) was unveiled, the county Board of Supervisors has been slammed for being one of only two local governments (Santee being the other) who’ve refused to publicly endorse the plan. I asked Roberts about this in January 2009 and what he told me then echos what he said today. Here’s an excerpt from a blog post I wrote after talking to him:
Roberts said that the supervisors want to see something more concrete. Right now, endorsing [PTECH] is, largely, a symbolic gesture of support…. It doesn’t obligate any local governments to actually build supportive housing (that job’s pretty much being left up to non-profits and private developers who want to tap into federal funding sources or receive tax credits).
“We try to stay out of symbolic gestures,” Roberts told me. “If we’re going to endorse something, we’re going to do something.”
Roberts said today that he told PTECH Commissioner Brian Maienschein, “Don’t leave the county out” when Maienschein first started talking about Project 25. The United Way’s issued a request for proposals to find a nonprofit to implement the project. The county’s agreed to provide the social-services component and the San Diego Housing Commission will provide housing vouchers. For more about Project 25, check out my story in this week’s CityBeat. I’ll also be blogging a bit more about it tomorrow and Friday.