This is the speech I made to City Council on Monday, October 28, 2018.
On Monday, September 17 you voted no on our homeless village. That was 43 days ago.
We have housed 11 people out of 43.
There are 5 people that are what is called “self-resolved.”
- 1 moved in with a friend.
- 1 disappeared.
- 2 are in an abandoned house.
- And 1 is in rehab.
There are 24 days left until Thanksgiving.
27 people are left.
My hope is that you are willing to understand that housing the homeless is a slow and difficult process.
- Fingerprinting takes 30 days.
- Getting an ID takes 3 weeks.
- Getting a social security card takes 10 days.
- There are orientations.
- There are intake processes.
- There are countless meetings and phone calls required for people that don’t have phones and can’t afford a bus ticket.
And that’s just the logistics of housing a homeless person. The psychological condition of treating homelessness is a long, complicated process.
Terri Heckman reported in a recent article that she expects 10-12 people are going to be very difficult to house. She put out a plea in the paper for my supporters to come forward to help house these people.
That’s a big admission. The truth of housing the homeless is that it is more than just available housing inventory.
Homelessness is a condition. It is not just a simple lack of a socially approved dwelling.
In 1935 Dr. Bob and his wife Anne began allowing alcoholics to live in their house on Ardmore Ave here in Akron. The first realization they made was to remain sober, an alcoholic needed another alcoholic to work with. Our program has a similar belief. The homeless helping the homeless is the core of our program. I believe we are creating the beginnings of a new kind of program to help the condition of homelessness. That’s why we are pushing to ask the courts to allow us to continue our work.
I believe history will show that Akron is not only the home of Alcoholics Anonymous but also the home to a new kind of treatment for the condition of homelessness.