Gina Naomi Dennis
City Council District 6
Address Homelessness, Addiction, and Mental Health
1) Let’s Get People Up And Out Of Homelessness.
There’s been a rise in homelessness in the last three years. Homelessness is everywhere, in our parks, our alleys, on our street corners, in front of gas stations, and in front of commercial buildings. With public input from our 17 neighborhoods and our homeless-service providers, let’s get people up and out of homelessness. Rather than shuffling people from park to park or alley to alley, let’s stop the chronic homelessness so that we substantially reduce the amount of homelessness.
2) Let’s Address The Underlying Issues Of Addiction And Mental Health.
The path to getting people up and out of homelessness means addressing the underlying issues of addiction and mental health. Many people experiencing homelessness today are suffering from an addiction or a mental health issue. These issues impact the public health and the public safety of our community, our children, and our families. With public input from our 17 neighborhoods, our addiction-treatment providers, our mental health specialists, and our homeless-service providers, we can develop and implement a strategy that addresses the core underlying issues of addiction and mental health. The strategy includes: (a) crisis intervention, which involves boots-on-the-ground, directly interfacing with people experiencing homelessness, using harm reduction, using motivational communication, and encouraging them to receive on-site sobriety treatment directly where they are, and to receive on-site mental health treatment directly where they are; (b) monitoring the progress of continued sobriety, continued mental-health treatment, and transitional housing, and (c) life-skills, job training, and independent living. The idea is that the person getting high on heroin in the park today, is the same person that can get sober and become an entrepreneur that saves our economy tomorrow.