Note: I am specifically referring to plans to open a navigation center shelter in New Port Richey, FL, however the concepts I discuss also apply to other communities.
Opening a homeless shelter will usually involve compromise. It may with the physical plant, funding levels, expected outcomes, or in this situation, the location.
Building a shelter from scratch is challenging due to costs. So alternatives (usually re-tasking an existing building) have to be evaluated. In this case, a vacant boys and girls club was chosen, creating the classic NIMBY (not-in-my-back-yard) response.
I recently spoke to the Municipal Association of Pasco (FL) with my thoughts on homelessness, and why now is the time to affect positive changes:
Municipal Association of Pasco Remarks
St. Leo, Florida – August 3, 2017
Good evening…my name is Daniel McDonald. I’m here tonight to talk about homelessness, and why it’s important, and why it’s important right now.
- I’m originally from England
- I was awarded an MPA degree from USF in 2010
- I’m a 25-year law enforcement veteran
I’ve been privy to some crazy ideas over the years about solving homelessness. The one that always get a chuckle was when I was asked if I owned a farm. And if I did, was I enslaving the homeless and forcing them to work against their will. And if it is true, did I have any room?
Here is the text of the actual e-mail that I received:
To: Daniel McDonald
I hope this finds you well.
Getting an ID or driver’s license from your local department of motor vehicles may tax your patience but the process is not usually difficult: you bring your birth certificate and social security card, then walk out several hours or days later with a new license or ID.
Now imagine you’re homeless, trying to do this. You are hungry as you don’t know where your next meal is coming from. You have not showered in several days or a week. Your clothes are dirty as you can’t wash them. And you’re hearing voices telling you to kill