30 April 2009

CONTINUUM OF CARE

Cincinnati City Council has recently decided that Continuum of Care, after a decade of near-miraculous feats of funding administration, suddenly needs to be given new hoops to jump through, and possibly a new leash to be held by the city of Cincinnati. I thought I would feature these reader comments. From AnotherBGrayProtege in OTR: "The Continuum of Care Process has been here since the mid 90’s. In essence it is the HUD monies that flow to cities and states in the whole country. In the early ‘90’s, here in Cincinnati, we called it the Prince of Peace Initiative. A group of agency leaders, and the two people who helped them co-ordinate the tremendous job of working together for the HUD monies, formed the P of P process where the two hired people went to DC and learned the ins and outs of HUD paperwork needed for all phases of the grant monies. The grant each year takes months of heavy duty work by administrations all over town working on their part of the application. Over many, and I stress many years, our city has blossomed into an awesome coordination of agencies working together in rating new ideas and programs. The process of going after grants is organized by a very intricate and wonderful voting process each spring. The agencies all learned to work together forming alliances for the good of the consumers and the city. Some months back, city council said the agencies had to do x,y.z in an impossible amount of time, maybe 30 days, or they would hire an independent organizer from out of town to come in and rid of city of homelessness and all agencies that serve them. That is why there is this mad scrambling and extra meetings and visits to council: to show the City Council how far it's own city has come over the years. " From Kevin LeMaster at www.buildingcincinnati.com "I expect public scrutiny and discussion about their (The Drop) role in OTR to stay strong as more and more development pushes into the neighborhood. And as you know, it's not like the Drop Inn Center to cower and fold when met with such discussion... I would never support "moving" the Drop Inn Center unless it made sense in furthering their mission and helping the people it serves. In other words, I wouldn't move it just because some people may find it inconvenient. It is simply too big and too important to just go away. It would leave an awfully large hole in the neighborhood." City Council's sudden interest in CoC is the subject of rumors and conspiracy theories, most of which are baseless. Naturally, local politicians would like more spending money in this slow economy. The concern is that some on City Council, or even the mayor's office, might be prepared to raid and "reprioritize" Continuum's federal funds. To a system that has already suffered funding cuts these last few years, this would further reduce resources for local homeless and mentally ill homeless.

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All original text (C) 2007, 2008 David J. Carney. All rights reserved.

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