Supervisor Do: Resign From Commission to End Homelessness
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When Supervisor Andrew Do said, “If we were to subscribe to the Housing First model, and people are not ready for housing, the housing we give them, we provide them, will become crackhouses,” it was not a gaffe, but a candid expression of the supervisor's views.
And it is unacceptable that Supervisor Do continues to sit on the Commission to End Homelessness, which administers federal Continuum of Care funds, and is therefore “encourage[d]... to follow a Housing First approach to the maximum extent practicable."
According to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, Housing First is “a proven approach... based on overwhelming evidence that all people experiencing homelessness can achieve stability in permanent housing if provided with the appropriate levels of services. Study after study has shown that Housing First yields higher housing retention rates, reduces the use of crisis services and institutions, and improves people's health and social outcomes."
Demand that Supervisor Do resign from the commission whose policies he necessarily does not support. To address the local affordable housing crisis, local officials should turn to national best practices rather than dehumanizing rhetoric.
"Two related strands... contribute to homeless stigmatization. The first arises from invocations of disorder, illegality, and immorality and leads to processes of regulation, criminalization, and enforcement. The second is the disease and decay image, which leads to processes of sanitization, sterilization, and quarantine."
― Randall Amster, Patterns of Exclusion: Sanitizing Space, Criminalizing Homelessness
“Dehumanization isn’t a way of talking. It’s a way of thinking—a way of thinking that, sadly, comes all too easily to us. Dehumanization is a scourge, and has been so for millennia. It acts as a psychological lubricant, dissolving our inhibitions and inflaming our destructive passions. As such, it empowers us to perform acts that would, under other circumstances, be unthinkable.”
― David Livingstone Smith, Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave, and Exterminate Others
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