|Follow the "shelter hoppers" and the interests at SMOC||Friday, November 25, 2005|
|Harold J. Wolfe Framingham||Framingham Tab|
In the Social Services Selectman sub-committee meeting with Charles J. Sisistky
and Dennis Giombetti on Monday, Nov. 7, Gerard Desilets stated that there
were 650 unique individuals who use SMOC's wet shelters. Two-thirds
are substance abusers.
Desilets also stated that SMOC was concerned about "shelter hoppers."
On entering a wet shelter, you have 30 days to take the next step or your stay is terminated. SMOC is seeing quite a few individuals who simply hop to another SMOC shelter for the next 30 days. How many wet shelters does SMOC really have?
The notion that shelter hopping occurs is indicative that SMOC does nothing to discourage this. If SMOC is reimbursed (or receives grants) based on the number of clients served, it would make economic sense for SMOC to almost encourage this shelter hopping behavior. Bigger grants, more money, higher salaries all around.
A lot of people beyond SMOC do make a living off these substance abusing shelter residents, like police officers, court officials, correctional officers, etc. It's a thriving little economy working off the backs of the taxpayers. I've been wondering where all these substance abusers hide out during the winter.
While Jim Cuddy whines about town meeting member Steve Orr's actions, one has to wonder about Dawn Harkness' conflict of interest as a member of the PILOT committee and being a SMOC employee.
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