As a former member of an elected body, I hate it when you pass something with full expectations that one thing will happen, and then a completely different thing happens. As a member of the public, I hate it when an elected body passes something without really intending to follow through. As a human being, I hate being deceived.
This concerns the “plan B” for homeless day services this winter. Particularly the transportation piece. The discussion was about bus passes vs. a van and all kinds of . . . there is no other word for it . . . lies . . . were told about the van services.
The resolution language that was passed was as follows:
“To increase Porchlight’s existing transportation services, Dane County will provide a van and supplement funding for the agency for this purpose. A van will increase the availability of transportation for homeless persons to get to and from the service providers available to them and to meet other individual needs. The Dane County Department of Human Services has a 15-person van that will no longer be needed by the Neighborhood Intervention Program. The county would transfer the title of the van to Porchlight, which would be responsible for providing transportation services at the cost of $22,000 for the following period (November 1, 2013 to October 31, 2014). Porchlight shall present their plan for transportation services of the homeless under this contract to the Health and Human Needs Committee before November 1, 2013.”
Funny thing is, when Steve Schooler from Porchlight presented the plan for how to spend the money, he said the services will only run through March and he will be over budget. He also said that there will not be an efforts to meet individual needs.
Now, anyone who was paying any attention could have predicted this. Clearly Porchlight was set up for failure. There was no way they could run any kind of reasonable services for a whole year for the money offered. I’m not making this Porchlight’s fault. I’m not sure how ANYONE could have thought this would work. I am not sure how staff said with a straight face that they wanted the resolution amended to be for the entire year. I am not sure how the Health and Human Needs made that amendment without questioning it. I am not sure why the county board went along with it. Did anyone really think this was going to happen? Why did no one at Health and Human Needs bat an eye when he said the services were just going to run through March. They made the amendment for it to be a whole year.
Lies? Deception? Incompetence? Whatever it is, it is gross. People are watching, we see what you are doing and you are losing all credibility. Who is going to fix this and how? Or will it be swept under the rug?
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