Helping out ‘town treasures’
EDITOR: Mary is my good friend. In July, I picked her up near where she lives in a tent on the river, and in my Mustang convertible we went to the drag show at the Villa (where our mayor was DJ!), then to our local watering hole, The Elephant in the Room, to dance.
Mary is a “town treasure.” She should be able to live here. Also, many other Healdsburg residents in her situation, which is to be shelterless, deserve to live here. Recently I’ve been stunned by the reports I hear from our homeless services coordinator about their health problems. The National Health Care for the Homeless Council has produced a fact sheet covering the issue.
Mary has been on the waiting list for housing for two years. Healdsburg’s housing director has told us that adequate transitional and permanent supportive housing is at least four years away. My goal since January 2017 is to get the city to provide emergency shelter until there is adequate shelter. The city is resisting but now that Mary is on our committee meeting with our housing director, we’re hopeful that we are making headway.
If Mary becomes chronically seriously ill or leaves Healdsburg or even dies, it will be our loss.