GOP Candidates Back Off Plan to Use Base For Homeless

CCB MEDIA PHOTO NOAH Shelter in Hyannis

NOAH Shelter in Hyannis

HYANNIS – Two local republican candidates for state office have backed off a plan to temporarily house homeless individuals at Joint Base Cape Cod.

State Senate candidate Anthony Schiavi, who is a retired brigadier general and former commander of Joint Base Cape Cod, and 2nd Barnstable District State Rep candidate Will Crocker, a current Barnstable town councilor, presented a plan to address homelessness last week to the Committee to Assess Homelessness in Hyannis and it did not include the idea to use the base.

“I think with the work that was done this summer by a lot of folks, including the police department, that I think it made the need for a short-term plan not as critical,” Schiavi said.

The original plan that included housing homeless at the base came about as a result of a meeting Schiavi and Crocker had with Lt.Gov. Karen Polito in February.

“There was a desire to have both a short-term plan with the upcoming summer, and knowing the issues that occurred last summer, as well as a long-term plan,” Schiavi said.

Schiavi said the base idea was never a key to their overall concept.

“The overall concept, or the title of our presentation, really is about permanent supportive housing as the solution for homelessness for today and tomorrow,” Schiavi said. “It’s been nationally recognized also recognized as successful in Massachusetts as they built almost 1,100 permanent supportive housing units in the state through both the Patrick administration and the Baker administration as well.”

Schiavi sits on the state’s long-term care and housing commission for veterans and said there still is a potential for housing for veterans at Joint Base Cape Cod.

“It still again needs to go through a number of different wickets as we look at the feasibility of that,” he said.

Schiavi recently took a trip to Haverhill to look at the Northeast Veteran’s Outreach Center. The center has a campus where they have permanent housing units that include one-bedroom, two-bedroom and efficiencies.

“The services are right there that they require,” he said. “That’s one of the successes behind permanent supportive housing. You solve the housing issue first and that enables someone to concentrate more on the services they need to help them get back on their feet and get a job and that sort of thing.”

Schiavi said it is now in the hands of the committee which will determine if they want to conduct a feasibility study.


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