OrgCode Consulting President Iain De Jong has lectured on ways to end homelessness in many U.S. communities. He was scheduled to make a presentation to Lexington’s city council Tuesday, but got snowed in in Chicago.
Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention Director Polly Ruddick offered council a glimpse of his presentation. She says relegating homeless to tent cities or tiny two feet by seven feet houses as tried in a California community don’t work well. “What happens to the tiny home in ten years? You spent a ton of money building the tiny home. You didn’t have any codes to build it. You had no plumbing, no sewage, no anything planned. Then, in ten years, it’s going to fall apart,” noted Ruddick.
The De Jong program calls for $1.5 million to support city coordinating services. Vice Mayor Steve Kay says that would be doubling the current allocation. “It’s not out of the question, but, at this point, it’s not likely. I think we need to keep doing what we’re doing,” said Kay.
Kay says that’s an emphasis on housing first and supporting services to stave off homelessness.