Helping the homeless

What would you do: Spend $150,000 to figure out how to help the homeless, or buy the homeless $150,000 worth of beds or meals?

The Board of Sups will vote today on the issue, Alison Hewit reports:

Funding study on homeless debated
Critics say money should go to shelter beds, donated meals
By Alison Hewitt, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 02/25/2008 09:55:15 PM PST

Advocates for the homeless are divided over whether the county should use $150,000 to do a detailed analysis of the San Gabriel Valley homeless population and the services available for them.

The Board of Supervisors is slated to discuss approving the funds today. It would go to a team of consultants selected by the 31-city San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments and identify any gaps between what’s provided and what’s needed and to organize providers to fill those gaps.

Some local homeless services representatives praised the effort, but others asked if the $150,000 wouldn’t do more good paying for shelter beds or donated meals.

“Unless you have good accurate information, we’ve seen for years that … people would just want to do something and they’d just start feeding people without knowing what the need was,” said Jan Cicco, chair of the 52-agency Consortium of the East San Gabriel Valley on Homelessness. “$150,000 is not a large price to pay to ensure that the greater sum of services goes where it’s really needed.” Read more.


UPDATE: The Board of Sups okayed a grant for a homeless study.