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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Health, Housing, and Public Services

Pamela Comstock Proposes "Smart Solutions for Shoppers" as a Way to End Homelessness
by SC News
Friday May 24th, 2013 4:07 PM
A study session on homelessness was held by the Santa Cruz City Council on April 30, 2013. When given a chance to speak at the end of the session, new council member Pamela Comstock explained that funding for homeless services comes from increasing the tax base, and that to help the homeless, the council should focus on "smart solutions for shoppers."
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download video:

pamela-comstock-homeless-study-session-smart-solutions-for-shoppers-santa-cruz-april-30-2013.flv (9.1MB)

Comstock's remarks came at the end of the study session when council members themselves were summing up and sharing their own thoughts about homelessness in the area.

Comstock said:

"All of the suggestions I heard tonight involve funding, and I want to talk to you about root causes of funding. The best way for the city to continue to provide funding is to have a vibrant business community. Our tax base is our greatest asset and has to be part of the solution. We need to find a way to address the bad behavior that is sending our residents to other cities to shop. How about smart solutions for shoppers? [There are] smart solutions for everything else. Tonight many of the speakers spoke about how to improve the quality of life for the approximately 2700 homeless people. I think it is time to take a broad look at the needs of the entire community. All 60,000 of our residents deserve a better quality of life."

Comstock made a play on words when she spoke about "the root causes of funding," substituting the word "funding" for "homelessness," which was a phrase used during the evening, and a common phrase when discussing homelessness, "the root causes of homelessness."

She also made a play on words with regards to the phrase "smart solutions for shoppers," which was derived from the title of an organization of individuals working to end homelessness locally, "Smart Solutions to Homelessness Santa Cruz County."

From the Smart Solutions to Homelessness website:

Our Mission is to reduce and end homelessness in Santa Cruz County.
Goals:
Create broader and more diverse community engagement on homelessness.
Develop better communication & coordination among those concerned about these issues.
Improve understanding of the realities of homelessness in Santa Cruz County
Share information about proven, successful models and solutions working in other communities including some that are taking shape in Santa Cruz County.
Develop a shared vision for change and agreed upon action steps.
Form an ongoing community leadership group to carry the work forward on shaping policies to address homelessness

Smart Solutions to Homelessness Santa Cruz County
http://www.smartsolutionstohomelessness.org/

To see the entire four hour video (high quality) of the homeless study session:
http://sire.cityofsantacruz.com/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=495&doctype=AGENDA