Supportive Housing Tour Opens Insights
On Monday, June 30, I went on an informative, free bus tour that was offered by the Friendship Shelter to illustrate how supportive housing works. Our group traveled to Midway City and Anaheim to see successful models of supportive housing for homeless people who struggle with mental illness and other problems that had kept them from stable housing.
I was so impressed with how these residents are now thriving and leading their lives with dignity. As with the other communities we visited, each resident at the proposed Laguna Beach community will have a full gamut of supportive services: an assigned case manager who keeps regular office hours, on-site resident service coordinators to act as liaisons to the client’s case managers, a certified resident manager living on the premises, and access to 24/7 support. All this was housed in tidy, well-maintained buildings that are attractive additions to their neighborhoods.
Having seen firsthand how an established supportive housing community functions, I am in full support of the Friendship Shelter’s proposal to house 40 homeless people in a similarly well-managed, money-saving community in Laguna Canyon.
As a final thought and a challenge, as well, to everyone reading this letter: please tell me where you would prefer to sleep if you had the grave misfortune of finding yourself mentally ill and homeless — supportive housing or on the ground or bench out in the open?
Kim Bailey, Laguna Beach