January 12, 1998
To: The Honorable Members
of Richmond City Council
From: John M. Felts, Co-convener, ASWAN
A Society Without A Name, For People Without A Home
Re: Proposed Homeless Coordination Body
by Richmond Regional Homeless Task Force
As a representative of ASWAN, I'm writing with serious concerns regarding consideration of forming an homeless coordination body in Richmond. Also, I'm confused as to two resolutions on your consent agenda for tonight, that would thank Homeless Task Force members for thier efforts. These resolutions thank the Regional Homeless Task Force and one of its members. The language of these resolutions refer to efforts towards development of an "Entity" the proposed coordinating body for homeless services. There was no notification in the advance January 12, 1998 agenda for your meeting that these resolutions would concern this coordinating body concept.
Due to the gravity of possible decisions regarding the proposed coordinating body, which might have influence in allocation of future public funds for shelter and services for the homeless, ASWAN requests that you continue to a later City Council meeting any resolutions on development of the proposed coordination body. ASWAN appeals to you to continue these two resolutions to a later date to allow for further opportunity for public input.
ASWAN opposes the current proposal for a coordinating body. Enclosed is a letter from me on behalf of ASWAN presented to all members of the Task Force on December 9, 1997 giving reasons to support that opposition. ASWAN's opposition to the proposed coordinating body seeks to protect the interests of homeless people and is not personally directed at any members of the Task Force. ASWAN's opposition to the proposed coordinating body is based entirely on policy issues.
If these resolution are not continued, ASWAN would oppose the general proposed resolution scheduled for a vote tonight regarding the work of the entire Task Force and would submit for your consideration the attached proposed substitute for the proposed resolution scheduled for a vote tonight to thank one of the members of the Task Force.
If you decide to continue these resolutions to another date, ASWAN hopes that you would keep separate resolutions adopted on the contribution of any person or persons in the helping community from issues regarding controversial policies regarding the proposed coordinating body that could impact on the future location and funding for shelters and services to homeless people in the Richmond area. ASWAN hopes that our genuine concerns and input will be considered by City Council.
John M. Felts, ASWAN Co-convener
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