Charrette Notes: Pre-Charrette Consumer Meeting

South Central Housing Network

Region 10 Plan to End and Prevent Homelessness Charrette

Pre-Charrette Library Session for Consumers, March 27, 2013

 Monroe County Public Library Auditorium

RAW NOTES. Please send corrections to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Crime, Safety, & Prejudice

What issues do we need to address?

  • Police “pick on us” “drive us out” “charges are so petty” ; responding to public intox / drug use and homelessness ; public intox arrests continue to be enforced following law change ; profiling ; arrests/harassment for actions that do not harm any one… ; not best use of BPD’s time and resources ; criminal trespass ; disorderly conduct ; selective enforcement
  • These issues will be exacerbated when winter shelter closes
  • Is there an arrest quota? If so, are individuals who are homeless targeted because of this?
  • Crime, safety, & prejudice are linked but very different
  • Prejudice in BPD ; crimes of homelessness ; “homeless on homeless” crime ; safety concerns individuals who are homeless
  • Prejudice in business community ; homelessness seen as problem for downtown business
  • Housed community members fear personal vulnerability to homelessness ; hate homeless people ; housed community members have more control over prejudice than police.
  • Jaywalking incident at Shalom ; prejudice “techniques” are not new (reflection on 60’s)
  • Conflicts between BPD & Sheriff’s Department need to be addressed

Affordable Housing

What issues do we need to address?

  • More public information on housing rates
  • Looking for less expensive housing options
  • Zoning issues, coding laws and taxes that make building more expensive and difficult to build
  • Section 8 housing for individuals with felony, drug convictions
  • Concerns about concentrated affordable housing ; “ghettos’ ; segregation ; neighbors labeling and stigmatizing affordable / permanent housing such as Crawford Homes
  • Need more landlords to devote units to affordable housing ; mixed income housing
  • Background checks on housing that prevent individuals from being housed
  • High security deposits
  • Stringent requirements (lease apps, background checks, app fee, deposit, income verification) make renting difficult ; primarily for individuals with criminal records (i.e. burglary); results in people living with roommates without being on the lease (vulnerable to eviction)
  • Capitalism, profit, greed and the impact on building affordable housing
  • Don’t care about each other enough

Employment

What issues do we need to address?

  •  Fair wages ; factories not coming back to Bloomington
  •  Criminal history ; lack of rehabilitation in the incarceration system ; perpetuates poverty, homelessness, unemployment ; legalized prejudice for people who have done their time
  •  Transportation ; jobs located off of bus lines or inaccessible on Sundays when buses don’t run
  •  People applying for lots of jobs and not getting anything; competition with college students ; prejudice against Shalom address (aka homelessness); favoritism
  •  Lack of job skills for jobs that pay living wages ; lack of opportunities to gain job experience (need work to gain work experience…)
  •  Lack of references to put on job applications
  •  Unreliable references ; bad supervisors
  •  Need for professional clothing, hair cuts (physical presentation); especially male clothing ; a need for education on professional presentation at interviews and during job searching
  •  Lack of cottage industry ; artisan market

Chronic homelessness, mental health & addiction

What issues do we need to address?

  • No detox center / services for individuals experiencing poverty
  • Must be sober for 30 days for Centerstone services
  • Abstinence-based local programs prevent people from getting help in a more holistic sense ; keeps people away from support and community opportunities
  • Lack of proper medical care in jail
  • Using jails as detox center
  • Challenge of getting insurance if have addiction
  • Lack of free mental health services (outside of addiction services like REC)
  • Need for independent / life skills training (financial management, cooking, cleaning) ; also shared living situations where people can build of each other’s skills ; expectations may be too high all at once
  • Drug importation and profit ; cocaine epidemic ; (as root problems) ; punitive approach to drug use with specific targeting of people in poverty and minorities Illegalization of drugs ; profit & capitalist system

Prevention

What issues do we need to address?

  •  Safety net for job loss
  •  Empty houses + homeless people ; predatory lending ; exploitation
  •  Property tax hikes that make homes and lands more expensive ; eminent domain (i.e. I-69)

The right service in the right place

What issues do we need to address?

  • Lack of compassion / community ; a need to recognize interdependency
  • Need for a community effort, particularly in poorer, rural counties
  • Lack of financial resources in outlying communities
  • Service providers who will not provide services to nonresidents
  • Overlapping of services (i.e. food pantries, clothing, overnight shelter) that leave gaps in other services ; “turf wars” over funding for different services/agencies ; waste in the system ; lack of coordination
  • Confusion around location of services (i.e. multiple IWS sites)
  • Shelter capacities result in people being turned away, even on cold, snowy nights
  • Lack of emergency, low barrier summer shelter ; complete lack of low barrier emergency shelter in the rest of Indiana
  • Restrictions in services in other communities
  • Need for communication system across counties ; coordinated intake
  • People being paroled in Bloomington

What issues have we not identified?

  • Selective enforcement of drug laws with bias towards people living in poverty
  • “Dead time” between Shalom closing and shelters opening (lack of shelter from 3pm-9pm); when most people are getting arrested ; limited places to go in between (i.e. library, IMU)
  • IMU kicking folks out; checking ID; threatening of trespassing charges; excessive ban lengths for small offenses
  • Lack of usable, safe, clean public bathrooms
  • Who is responsible for addressing these issues? City? Churches?
  • Need for holistic approach

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