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  1. Who knows about the specific source of Connections’ problem.

    From the perspective of a resident all I know is that Connections says in their application that there are cop calls to the facility every other week which means there is something severely wrong. When the facility was a hotel there was nowhere near the stress placed on city services as we see now.

    Every call to the Connections facility takes a public safety officer away from other problems in the city.

    Whether this is because Connections is a poor manager or whether it’s due to their conceptual approach is immaterial.

    The key, in terms of evaluating their application for a special-use permit, is to follow the actual ordinance that authorizes special uses. It should not create “a negative cumulative effect”. It must “be adequately served by public facilities and services.”

    With the tax losses from switching the building from a hotel use and the documented stress on public services it is objectively clear that there is not adequate service and that there has already been a negative cumulative effect of the Connections operation.

    Let’s deny the application and move on.

  2. Having lived through a family member’s addiction and recovery, I’d like to respond to concerns about Margarita Inn’s position on accepting residents who are not fully sober. Addiction in and of itself does not make a person dangerous. I’ll bet anyone reading this knows at least one person whose family or friends include someone suffering from the disease of addiction. Insisting on sobriety at a shelter whose aim is transitioning residents into stable housing adds a huge layer of expense and difficulty to their mission and cruelly excludes people who may truly wish for themselves a better, safer life. I hope there will be safeguards in place to screen out those with dangerous or violent mental health conditions, which is a much more legitimate concern in a residential neighborhood like that of Margarita Inn. But Connections is right to leave addiction out of it.

  3. Mr. Morrow, As Connections has explained in public forums and listening sessions, residents may not use substances on site, but they don’t have to be fully recovering to receive housing. As the research shows, providing “housing first” enables people to live in a place where they can get the services they need, obtain an address so that they can access employment and benefits, and develop stability within a community. As a close neighbor of the Margarita Inn, I support the application for a special use license.

  4. Dear Mr. Morrow,
    CFTH has explained, explicated and informed the community about the tenets of the Housing First strategy to address the needs of unhoused people…they have done this at numerous community meetings, at City meetings, in print and in their own program materials. It is proven, cost effective and the has the lowest recidivism rate of all other approached to end homelessness. Insisting that participants are sober from the outset of their tenancy is the antithesis of Housing First. CFTH is most definitely NOT hands off! I fully support the ongoing programing at and purchase of the Margarita Inn.