HYANNIS, MA-Barnstable Town Councilor Will Crocker, a Republican candidate for State Representative in 2nd Barnstable District, was asked earlier by the Greater Hyannis Chamber of Commerce to convene a meeting between the business community and the Baker Administration to address the issue of homelessness in Hyannis and Barnstable and its impact on the business community and the community at large.
At Crocker’s request, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito met last February with members of the Hyannis business community and key area stakeholders, including Retired Brigadier General Tony Schiavi. Polito urged Crocker and others to aggressively pursue a solution.
Crocker then spearheaded an effort to research successful plans in other parts of the country and determined that a model called Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) was the most viable long term solution to address homelessness in the Barnstable area. PSH is recognized by the National Alliance to End Homelessness as the best and most cost effective solution, and would alleviate stress on the Hyannis business community.
To address the short term, Crocker reached out to Gen. Schiavi, former Executive Director of Joint Base Cape Cod. A legislative appointee to the state Commission for Long Term Care and Housing for Veterans, Schiavi is an expert on the base and its use several years ago to temporarily house hundreds of those displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Underutilized housing at Joint Base Cape Cod has significant potential as a short term, Phase I, solution to the homeless issue, using a PSH model and addressing the need for an alternative to the Noah Shelter. Schiavi also is a Republican candidate for State Senate.
In addition to Lt. Gov. Polito, Crocker and Schiavi have presented the two-phased plan to: Rose Evans, Associate Director Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development; Linn Torto, Executive Director, Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness; Rick Presbrey, President/CEO of Housing Assistance Corporation Cape Cod; Michael Sweeney, Vice President Administration and Finance of Housing Assistance Corporation Cape Cod; Robert Ciolek; Treasurer of the Board of Housing Assistance Corporation Cape Cod; State Representatives Tim Whelan and Randy Hunt; and State Senator Vinny deMacedo.
A presentation on the plan was presented on August 9th, to the Transitional Living Center Steering Committee.