Lt. Gov. Discusses Homeless Issue During Hyannis Visit

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HYANNIS – Local officials are continuing to work to find solutions to the homeless issue in Hyannis and are discussing possible assistance at the state level.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito attended a working meeting last week in Barnstable and was joined by Town Manager Mark Ells, police, Cape legislators, social service agencies and the public.

An update was provided on the current efforts being taken to assist those experiencing homelessness.

“We were able to, I believe, see a significant difference on Main Street this summer,” Ells said.

Ells said the town went into this year with two objectives: to end homeless camps and to better coordinate services to those in the Main Street area to help them transition out of homelessness.

Ells said the governor’s office was asked to look at updates to the voucher system.

“The voucher system is based on 2005 rental rates so it is not enough for Cape Cod housing,” he said.

Officials are also asking the administration to help provide more support for the homeless with substance abuse issues and mental illnesses.

Ells said finding ways to develop more transitional and affordable housing is key.

“I believe you’ll see the state step up and probably assist with things like doing some more study of how we might go forward with that both here in Barnstable and across the Cape,” he said.

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