For a while, state, county and local leaders seemed to finally be on the same page when it came to combating homelessness. But with winter coming, major legislation remains stalled. And the early promise of bipartisan cooperation on the issue is not guaranteed.
The state is at a crossroads on the issue of homelessness, as legislators, advocates and service providers wonder whether flashes of bipartisanship and progress can be sustained.
Many feel the harsh realities coming from a low-income housing shortage, low vacancy rates, and state tenant-landlord laws that usurp local control and create barriers for those with spotty credit or rental histories, evictions or convictions.
In mid-April this year, there were four people at the site. By mid-May there were 27. And by mid-July about 60. The tent city then spread east and west with about 75 individuals in 90 tents through the early fall.
Efforts to address homelessness continue to evolve. Below is a list of responses in an effort to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurri…