There is a lot of culture, a lot of conversations that go into making a project like this. That process is listed here.

E-mails and calls that have not received a reply:

Dialogs with people about the project:

HOMEWARD BOUND OF MARIN

Hello Paul,
Thank you for the interview! I'm sorry you missed your first train.

Have you read Bessel Van Der Kolks book: The Body Keeps the Score? It is the best book on trauma
world-wide that I have been able to find. 
In it he talks about the ACE study and score, which correlates childhood trauma to various adult probabilities. https://acestoohigh.com/got-your-ace-score/
I want to assist as part of the documentary in gathering data on the ACE score of our homeless demographic, information which I will publish as part of understanding how much of homelessness corresponds to childhood experiences. 
The protocol:
1) It can be anonymous or not, as each individual prefers. People
as they sign up for shelter are asked: "Would you be willing to help gather scientific data that may connect homelessness to childhood experiences? It takes 10 minutes and can be filled out now or in your room and dropped off. You can put your name or leave it blank."
2) They receive the attached PDF in a printed form and can fill it out in a few minutes.
3) You provide a small box for them to drop it into (I can print and drop a box off if you can't do that easily).
Would you be willing to facilitate voluntary participation in an anonymous ACE score test by gathering one page forms from 100 people. Depending on the variance from the general population from this test I will suggest that other tests be done of 1,000 people to contribute to the knowledge about the issue. I may be doing this at Ritter center as well to screen for any variance in set and setting. 
As I am interviewing people I am forming a view of the cycle of homelessness, which I made into a system model, expressed in this video: https://youtu.be/nklVvwKCzt4. If you choose to watch that video I am interested in the areas you either see it differently, since you have years of daily interactions with individuals.
Sincerely,
Dane
Dane E. Rose
Chairman of Board
Happiness Data
www.HappinessData.org
(Your donations are
tax deductible
as a U.S. 501c3 non-profit.)
------ Original Message ------
From: "Paul Fordham"
To: "[email protected]"
Sent: 10/25/2018 3:33:55 PM
Subject: FW: Re[6]: Marin Documentary on Homelessness

Hello Dane,
 
Feel free to forward a few questions.
 
Thanks,
 
Paul
 
 
From: Dane E. Rose  
Sent: Thursday, October 25, 2018 4:48 AM
To: Maura Thurman
Subject: Re[6]: Marin Documentary on Homelessness
 
Hello Maura,
 
I had a few more questions for Paul when he needed to catch his train so we agreed to follow up by e-mail. Can you send me Paul's e-mail address?
 
Sincerely,
 
Dane
 
Dane E. Rose
Chairman of Board
Happiness Data
www.HappinessData.org
(Your donations are tax deductible as a U.S. 501c3 non-profit.)
 
------ Original Message ------
From: "Maura Thurman"
To: "Dane E. Rose"
Sent: 10/16/2018 9:17:05 AM
Subject: RE: Re[4]: Marin Documentary on Homelessness
 
Hi –
 
Paul has a window of time from 3:30 to 4:15 on Friday. If you’d like to come at 3 and set up camera, etc., he could schedule that time with you for the interview?
 
Thanks very much! You can find us in the Admin Office at Homeward Bound, 1385 N. Hamilton Parkway, Novato, CA 94949
 
Best wishes,
 
Maura Thurman | Development Associate
Homeward Bound of Marin
415-382-3363 x213
 
Check out our website   |  Follow us on Facebook
Watch Phil’s Story of finding a new life in supportive housing
 
From: Dane E. Rose  
Sent: Monday, October 15,
2018 5:02 PM
To: Maura Thurman
Subject: Re[4]: Marin Documentary on Homelessness
 
Hello Maura,
 
Starting at 3pm and available up until 9pm Friday works fine. What is the address?
 
Sincerely,
 
Dane
 
Dane E. Rose
Chairman of Board
Happiness Data
www.HappinessData.org
(Your donations are tax deductible as a U.S. 501c3 non-profit.)
 
------ Original Message ------
From: "Maura Thurman"
To: "Dane E. Rose"
Sent: 10/15/2018 4:43:01 PM
Subject: RE: Re[2]: Marin Documentary on Homelessness
 
Hi Dane –
 
Deputy Director Paul Fordham would be happy to set an interview appointment. Would you be available on Friday?
 
Best wishes,
 
Maura Thurman | Development Associate
Homeward Bound of Marin
415-382-3363 x213
 
Check out our website   |  Follow us on Facebook
Watch Phil’s Story of finding a new life in supportive housing
 
From: Dane E. Rose  
Sent: Sunday, October 14,
2018 8:36 AM
To: Maura Thurman
Subject: Re[2]: Marin Documentary on Homelessness
 
Hello Maura,
 
I had this conversation with Ritter Center with whom I'm conducting an interview this Monday. I'll quote from my e-mail to them to give you some context. As for who I interview, it should be someone who understands the protocols, statistics and budget since one goal is to give a clear sense of the various costs associated with homelessness on all levels. Here's the e-mail to Ritter Center:
 
[[The goal is to help every person watching the film understand as many of the patterns in play culturally and logistically that both create and help homelessness and to show the leading patterns of solving the issue worldwide. As such the conversations about the conversations of everyone involved will be a segment in the film. I am making calls to hospitals, the police, the county, the town and also talking with Congress and architects and the building department that drives up home prices. I am trying to present an ecological picture: When you do X, don't do Y, combine it with B, add M multiplied by T you get three million Homeless Americans. 
 
I travel and one of the things I find interesting is that in Thailand there are no beggars and homeless. They have a unique culture that does not spit out homeless Thai despite being very poor. In Denmark there are no homeless people and it's a very rich country. I will be featuring people from both Thailand and Denmark that will help break down the values, the money, the protocols, the culture and show two very compelling ways that homelessness does not occur. 
 
Very importantly I will be interviewing people on the street to show a cross sampling of how many people in San Rafael understand the issue, want to help or believe there is any problem with millions of Americans being homeless. I will be using graphics to illustrate the system: X % of Marin people interviewed believe this. X % of our politicians are doing Y. X % of money is being spent for X result. 
 
So the way I see it is that every culture and country has a system of thoughts, values which lead in a democracy to the type of person who will be elected. The person elected will generally do the things their population cares about, which will in turn create policies, laws etc. These have consequences, which will create a statistical probability field. This is basic science. Doing X and Y = Z result.
 
My goals for the movie are threefold:
 
1) That everyone comes away aware that they are a participant in their system.
2) That everyone understands the role and the choices they can play in that system.
3) That everyone knows there are better and worse systems than ours and how those are designed at all levels.
 
I believe that awareness of this system-view of  design. For example Marin County building told me it would cost me $30,000. and up to three years to get a permit to build my house and it would cost $30k to get a water meter hook up. In Washington state all these services took a month and cost $10k with more helpfulness. Do you think that Marin County is helping or hindering the goal of "low cost housing" with these policies? They are simply one part of the system that makes houses in Marin Cost $700,000. and houses in Washinton state cost $180,000. 
 
You are also a part of the system. From what I'm hearing you are helping the homeless get needed care. It's obviously not an ideal system (a perfect system would not have any more homeless people left) and it's obviously a lot better than nothing. My sense is that San Rafael is doing much better than average in America and that America is doing worse than countries such as Denmark. If we want to do way better I suggest we look to those who have done what we say we want and have not succeeded at. I may also be interviewing mayors nationally who can show statistical improvements such as: "Last year we had 2,000 homeless and this year we have 1,600 and we spent $200,000 to re-integrate four hundred people who are now paying taxes. I don't know about you, but that sounds like a data point that should be told - particularly as we look at how they did it.
 
I would summarize this by saying that if your number one concern is seeing that more Americans without a home become healthily integrated in the culture and start contributing in some way again, this movie will be your friend and a positive influence for your staff, and perhaps even the homeless. I have zero interest in making money so the movie will be free for anyone who wants it digitally. I will probably make a series of movies, as in "My town one year later," to help filter out the pattern of people who like to look good on movies by saying "we are going to do XXX in the next few months" and then make the issue worse or do nothing. 
 
I have no axe to grind with anyone but I think it's important that we know who is and is not helping the issue, know what protocols work, and also know what policies, dogmas or misconceptions are hurting the goal of zero homelessness in a country that has three million and rising. I'm volunteering to make this movie and don't take a salary and I'm personally making it because I'm tired of seeing more and more homeless people in my town and having no idea what to do about it. By the end of this film I will have an opinion about what the causes are at all levels, from childhood abuse, to education, to housing policies etc. I will take people along for the ride and they will make up their own mind. 
 
I think it's true that you cannot have a democracy without an informed population and I will offer everything I find out to my audience - particularly paying attention to patterns. I just wrote to my congressman and found they have zero awareness of the issue: no data, no strategy and that it's a low priority. I would imagine that it would be good for Ritter if there is more public awareness of this. My loyalty is to the issue being resolved, which means showcasing who is helping and who is not. I don't know you or Ritter and prefer to base the documentary on dialogs like this rather than a website. 
 
I'm sure you can help the issue by sharing what you know, but only you can say whether that will help or harm you politically since my interest is scientific: I want to know who can turn a homeless person into a productive member of society with as much success and as little wasted money as possible. And I don't care how they do it as long as it works.
 
If you still want to meet great. If this gives you enough to go into the interview without needing a pre-interview great. If you have a list of questions you want to be asked, e-mail them to me and I will ask them. I don't have enough information to have a formal list but with a curious mind if you tell me "we get 80% of our funding from X and not X" I may ask why until I understand where/why funding takes place. If you tell me this was founded by a particular person who had a homeless daughter, I will want to dig into what model the center is based on, is it influenced by any studies to see what is and is not working? If you say "yes" then I'll ask about them. If you say "no" then I'll ask you which studies you think would be most helpful for you to have the data to make good decisions. I want to know how things fit together until I understand them. I imagine the audience would understand them at that point as well. And since the project is non-profit and there is no agenda other than lots of information I could put all the documentary process on a website so that every conversation, e-mail, unedited interview is available for anyone in the world doing research on homeless people or who wants to make a documentary about the issue, write a thesis. Then I may include some of that thesis material in round two. 
 
I have only one thing that I'm clear about: Everyone benefits when there are fewer homeless people and more contributing members to a culture. The cultures that succeed at that will grow faster and feel more friendly than those who do not. It is therefore in everyone's personal interest to understand and cooperate around the issue in a way that works. 
 
I have one other goal for our meeting. I don't have data and have not been able to find anyone who has shown initiative to gather data about childhood abuse statistics. Simply by asking for volunteers and getting 100 anonymous forms filled out it will help get a sense of how much childhood trauma correlates to homelessness in Marin. This study revealed surprising results in the ACE study but was only asked of middle class Americans with health insurance so we have a good comparison study. I can print up forms to give out and provide a drop box your staff can make it available as a 10 minute paper questionnaire that can be anonymous to anyone who wants to help. For a science-based approach we need data!]]
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Dane
 
Dane E. Rose
Chairman of Board
Happiness Data
www.HappinessData.org
(Your donations are tax deductible as a U.S. 501c3 non-profit.)
 
------ Original Message ------
From: "Maura Thurman"
To: "Info" ; "Dane E. Rose"
Sent: 10/14/2018 7:56:49 AM
Subject: Re: Marin Documentary on Homelessness
 
Hello Dana -- 
 
Could you provide a bit more information about your project? Were you hoping to interview someone from our leadership team or from our programs?
 
We would be interested to know the time frame and how the film will be released, who is the intended audience. That would help narrow down to whoever might be the best subject.
 
Thank you, 
 
Maura Thurman  |  Development Associate
Homeward Bound of Marin
415-382-3363 x213
 
Follow us on Facebook  |  Check us on Twitter
Watch Phil's Story to see our impact
 
From: Dane E. Rose
Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2018 8:40:39 AM
To: Info
Subject: Marin Documentary on Homelessness
 
Hello,
 
Is there someone from Homeward Bound who I can interview as part of my documentary?
 
Sincerely,
 
Dane
 
Dane E. Rose
Chairman of Board
Happiness Data
www.HappinessData.org
(Your donations are tax deductible as a U.S. 501c3 non-profit.)

RITTER CENTER

Hello Mark,
I can move it to the 29th. In the meantime would it be possible for you to e-mail me any statistical data that you have so that we can spend our interview either touching on some of that data or talking about you and the history of the center and what you've learned subjectively rather than putting you on the spot with detailed questions. I'm not sure what data you keep or do yearly reports on but I'm thinking such things as:
Total budget for the year.
Number of people served in a given year.
Number of estimated deaths.
Talking with one homeless person three of his acquaintances were dead that year - one from an overdose, one from drinking and combining it with medication, one unknown. I'm wanting to put together data that shows the statistical probability per thousand people who will die in Marin in the general population (housed) and the percentage who will die in the homeless population. I'm sure your staff hears about people who die or witnesses deaths but do you keep records that help you understand are there more or less deaths this year than last and by what causes as part of tracking data about the leading threats of homeless death.
I hear there is a hepatitis A epidemic in the homeless population in California. How is that showing up or being tested for in Marin if you know?
Do you have the ability to spot trends either informally or formally in any areas:
Is violence escalating or de-escalating as a yearly statistic either in your clinic or in the surrounding areas?
Certain diseases rising/falling in the people who come through your door?
Percentage of increase every year in people asking for help?
Hostility towards police amongst the people you see increasing/decreasing (based on how many people comment negatively when talking with your staff about the police)?
Do you have any way of tracking how many or what percentage of people you helped last year have a home this year?
Is anyone tracking a) Number of people who arrive in the area homeless that are new. b)
Number of homes found for homeless people in Marin each year. c) Number of new homeless people who lost their Marin home in the past year? It seems like it would be good to know if there are more homeless simply because more people arrive from other states each year than the state finds homes for them, or if local residents are becoming homeless X % faster than we are helping people find homes and some of these people are moving out of state. These numbers would also allow us to predict the number of homeless people over the next five years that will be here, based on the current policies. It would also help us know if we are creating homelessness in Marin and then exporting homeless people to other counties or states or if  we are a net importer of homeless people who became homeless in other areas but want to live here, perhaps because begging is more successful in wealthier regions?
Anything along these lines that you keep on a spreadsheet is educational for me and the public. I don't know enough to know what an organization like yours might find useful to keep but I would love to read anything you have and this might make my questions more relevant to available data. If you don't have any of this yourselves but get reports from sociologists or state-wide surveys it would be great if you could send me a copy or link to your sources of data. 
Sincerely,
Dane
Dane E. Rose
Chairman of Board
Happiness Data
www.HappinessData.org
(Your donations are
tax deductible as a U.S. 501c3 non-profit.)
------ Original Message ------
From: "Mark Shotwell"
To: "Dane E. Rose"
Sent: 10/18/2018 5:25:07 PM
Subject: Re: Re[4]: Homeless in My Town
Hi Dane,  I have a conflict got our scheduled meeting next week.  Can we reschedule our interview to October 29th at 3?

Sent from my iPhone
On Oct 11, 2018, at 5:04 PM, Dane E. Rose wrote:

Hello Mark,
That time works great. I'll meet you at 16 Ritter St.
Best,
Dane
Dane E. Rose
Chairman of Board
Happiness Data
www.HappinessData.org
(Your donations are
tax deductible as a U.S. 501c3 non-profit.)
------ Original Message ------
From: "Mark Shotwell"
To: "Dane E. Rose"
Sent: 10/11/2018 11:22:24 AM
Subject: Re: Re[2]: Homeless in My Town
Hi Dane,  Thank you for the detailed information.  It really helps to know where you are coming from in regards to telling this story.  I am fine with us setting up the on camera interview for Monday, October 22 at 3.  Will that work?  Mark

Sent from my iPhone
On Oct 10, 2018, at 8:56 PM, Dane E. Rose wrote:

Hello Mark,
Ok. I'm happy to meet you and talk. However, as with every person I talk to the meta-conversation is also part of the film. The goal is to help every person watching the film understand as many of the patterns in play culturally and logistically that both create and help homelessness and to show the leading patterns of solving the issue worldwide. As such the conversations about the conversations of everyone involved will be a segment in the film. I am making calls to hospitals, the police, the county, the town and also talking with Congress and architects and the building department that drives up home prices. I am trying to present an ecological picture: When you do X, don't do Y, combine it with B, add M multiplied by T you get three million Homeless Americans. 
I travel and one of the things I find interesting is that in Thailand there are no beggars and homeless. They have a unique culture that does not spit out homeless Thai despite being very poor. In Denmark there are no homeless people and it's a very rich country. I will be featuring people from both Thailand and Denmark that will help break down the values, the money, the protocols, the culture and show two very compelling ways that homelessness does not occur. 
Very importantly I will be interviewing people on the street to show a
cross sampling of how many people in San Rafael understand the issue, want to help or believe there is any problem with millions of Americans being homeless. I will be using graphics to illustrate the system: X % of Marin people interviewed believe this. X % of our politicians are doing Y. X % of money is being spent for X result. 
So the way I see it is that every culture and country has a system of thoughts, values which lead in a democracy to the type of person who will be elected. The person elected will generally do the things their population cares about, which will in turn create policies, laws etc. These have consequences, which will create a statistical probability field. This is basic science. Doing X and Y = Z result.
My goals for the movie are threefold:
1) That everyone comes away aware that they are a participant in their system.
2) That everyone understands the role and the choices they can play in that system.
3) That everyone knows there are better and worse systems than ours and how those are designed at all levels.
I believe that awareness of this system-view of  design. For example Marin County building told me it would cost me $30,000. and up to three years to get a permit to build my house and it would cost $30k to get a water meter hook up. In Washington state all these services took a month and cost $10k with more helpfulness. Do you think that Marin County is helping or hindering the goal of "low cost housing" with these policies? They are simply one part of the system that makes houses in Marin Cost $700,000. and houses in Washinton state cost $180,000. 
You are also a part of the system. From what I'm hearing you are helping the homeless get needed care. It's obviously not an ideal system (a perfect system would not have any more homeless people left) and it's obviously a lot better than nothing. My sense is that San Rafael is doing much better than average in America and that America is doing worse than countries such as Denmark. If we want to do way better I suggest we look to those who have done what we say we want and have not succeeded at. I may also be interviewing mayors nationally who can show statistical improvements such as: "Last year we had 2,000 homeless and this year we have 1,600 and we spent $200,000 to re-integrate four hundred people who are now paying taxes. I don't know about you, but that sounds like a data point that should be told - particularly as we look at how they did it.
I would summarize this by saying that if your number one concern is seeing that more Americans without a home become healthily integrated in the culture and start contributing in some way again, this movie will be your friend and a positive influence for your staff, and perhaps even the homeless. I have zero interest in making money so the movie will be free for anyone who wants it digitally. I will probably make a series of movies, as in "My town one year later," to help filter out the pattern of people who like to look good on movies by saying "we are going to do XXX in the next few months" and then make the issue worse or do nothing. 
I have no axe to grind with anyone but I think it's important that we know who is and is not helping the issue, know what protocols work, and also know what policies, dogmas or misconceptions are hurting the goal of zero homelessness in a country that has three million and rising. I'm volunteering to make this movie and don't take a salary and I'm personally making it because I'm tired of seeing more and more homeless people in my town and having no idea what to do about it. By the end of this film I will have an opinion about what the causes are at all levels, from childhood abuse, to education, to housing policies etc. I will take people along for the ride and they will make up their own mind. 
I think it's true that you cannot have a democracy without an informed population and I will offer everything I find out to my audience - particularly paying attention to patterns. I just wrote to my congressman and found they have zero awareness of the issue: no data, no strategy and that it's a low priority. I would imagine that it would be good for Ritter if there is more public awareness of this. My loyalty is to the issue being resolved, which means showcasing who is helping and who is not. I don't know you or Ritter and prefer to base the documentary on dialogs like this rather than a website. 
I'm sure you can help the issue by sharing what you know, but only you can say whether that will help or harm you politically since my interest is scientific: I want to know who can turn a homeless person into a productive member of society with as much success and as little wasted money as possible. And I don't care how they do it as long as it works.
If you still want to meet great. If this gives you enough to go into the interview without needing a pre-interview great. If you have a list of questions you want to be asked, e-mail them to me and I will ask them. I don't have enough information to have a formal list but with a curious mind if you tell me "we get 80% of our funding from X and not X" I may ask why until I understand where/why funding takes place. If you tell me this was founded by a particular person who had a homeless daughter, I will want to dig into what model the center is based on, is it influenced by any studies to see what is and is not working? If you say "yes" then I'll ask about them. If you say "no" then I'll ask you which studies you think would be most helpful for you to have the data to make good decisions. I want to know how things fit together until I understand them. I imagine the audience would understand them at that point as well. And since the project is non-profit and there is no agenda other than lots of information I could put all the documentary process on a website so that every conversation, e-mail, unedited interview is available for anyone in the world doing research on homeless people or who wants to make a documentary about the issue, write a thesis. Then I may include some of that thesis material in round two. 
I have only one thing that I'm clear about: Everyone benefits when there are fewer homeless people and more contributing members to a culture. The cultures that succeed at that will grow faster and feel more friendly than those who do not. It is therefore in everyone's personal interest to understand and cooperate around the issue in a way that works. 
I have one other goal for our meeting. I don't have data and have not been able to find anyone who has shown initiative to gather data about childhood abuse statistics. Simply by asking for volunteers and getting 100 anonymous forms filled out it will help get a sense of how much childhood trauma correlates to homelessness in Marin. This study revealed surprising results in the ACE study but was only asked of middle class Americans with health insurance so we have a good comparison study. I can print up forms to give out and provide a drop box your staff can make it available as a 10 minute paper questionnaire that can be anonymous to anyone who wants to help. For a science-based approach we need data!
Sincerely,
Dane
Dane E. Rose
Chairman of Board
Happiness Data
www.HappinessData.org
(Your donations are
tax deductible as a U.S. 501c3 non-profit.)
------ Original Message ------
From: "Mark Shotwell"
To: "Dane E. Rose"
Sent: 10/10/2018 7:56:30 PM
Subject: Re: Homeless in My Town
Hi Dane,  I understand your desire for authenticity in your interview.  However, it is very important for me to know the type of questions you will ask and the overall tone of the film.  As the Executive at Ritter, I have to ensure that our message and mission is accurately captured and that there is a mission of this project that aligns with ours.  So, I must insist on a conversation before I agree to be on film.  Matk

Sent from my iPhone
On Oct 10, 2018, at 7:08 PM, Dane E. Rose wrote:

Hello Mark,
Thanks for getting back to me. The interview itself should not take more than an hour. My goal is to show things as they are, not a pretense. I'm basically playing the role of someone in our town going from knowing nothing to knowing more about the topic. I don't know who you are or what I will learn talking from you until we talk. By running the cameras in that conversation it mimics what anyone else might find if they stopped by the center and asked a few questions, something that won't be rehearsed if they do. I believe that an audience respects authenticity over something scripted for effect. 
Do you have any questions for me that could allow this first meeting to be the interview? I'm assuming meeting at the center is a good location and we could do it after hours if it's too noisy to have a good interview during hours. I've already interviewed a few homeless people in front of the building so we just need a quiet place to sit a few feet apart facing the camera - any 10 by 10' area or I can provide a space in San Rafael if that would interfere in any way with homeless services, since I don't want to interrupt those.

Best,
Dane
Dane E. Rose
Chairman of Board
Happiness Data
www.HappinessData.org
(Your donations are tax deductible as a U.S. 501c3 non-profit.)
------ Original Message ------
From: "Mark Shotwell"
To: "[email protected]"
Sent: 10/10/2018 5:18:11 PM
Subject: Homeless in My Town
Hello Dane,

My name is Mark Shotwell.  I am the Interim Executive Director of Ritter Center.  Simon passed on your e-mail to me.  I would be glad to have an initial meeting with you and discuss a potential interview.

I am currently available at 3:00 on Monday, October 22nd.  Would that work for you?

Mark

From: Dane E. Rose [mailto:[email protected]
Sent: Tuesday, October 09, 2018 8:03 PM
To: Simon Tiles
Subject: Homeless Documentary

Hi Simon,

My assistant contacted Ritter Center and was given your name as the best person to interview for my documentary "Homeless In My Town," which will be based in San Rafael and my personal interviews with the various officials here. There is a book, among all the books on trauma that has been the most illuminating for me. It's called "The Body Keeps the Score" http://a.co/d/iuIVcYD and I wonder if you have read it, and are familiar with the importance of the ACE score in understanding the probability that someone will be sick, suicidal, have PTSD, spend more time in hospital over a lifetime.

One of the goals of the documentary is to see where we are now: What we do and do not know. As such I don't expect you to have all the answers, but shed some light on what we do and do not know in the various centers of influence. In my interviews with homeless people Ritter Center was mentioned as a primary resource.

Thanks for your interest in interviewing. I'm available from 3pm on most days including weekends. Let me know a good time for you.

Sincerely,

Dane

Dane E. Rose
Chairman of Board
Happiness Data
www.HappinessData.org
(Your donations are tax deductible as a U.S. 501c3 non-profit.)






Mark

Mark Shotwell
Interim Executive Director
(415) 457-8182 xt. 131
Ritter Center
16 Ritter Street
San Rafael, Ca 94901

SAND / ORGANIZATION IN USA

I contacted an organization in Denmark called SAND - The Danish National Organization for Homeless People. And they said the Danish government do a count every two years of the homeless population.  They calculate the number of homeless people by using the data from shelters and social services that homeless people use.  So basically every homeless person that utilized their shelters or any other services they will receive a unique number and according to that, they provide an official number.  But the real homeless population would be higher than the official number because people that don't use the shelters or other services have no connection with the national census.  They said other organization has a different number is because everyone has a different definition of homelessness.  They use the official number to build on their count of the homeless population.

And in the US similar strategy is utilized to count the homeless population.  The large difference in the homeless population is due to how people view homelessness and how the data or count is taken.  So the 550,000 homeless number only takes into account the sheltered and unsheltered homeless people.  Following is how the US government calculate the homeless population.  While other organizations have a larger number in the millions because they take other data into consideration and their definition of homeless maybe a little different.  For example, an organization did a study and according to them, there are 2.5 million homeless children in America.  The get that number from two primary sources: school districts, which are required to report on the number of homeless students they serve, and censuses of homeless shelters and temporary housing conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  I tried calling different organization but was not able to find the person that did the study.

One of the most common ways to measure homelessness is through so-called 'point-in-time' counts of people who are sleeping in shelters or on the streets. These are figures that are intended to reflect the number of people who are homeless 'on any given night'.

The main source of point-in-time estimates in the US is the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which releases the Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (AHARC). They calculate 'point-in-time' estimates by counting homeless people in late January of each year.

The main underlying sources of data used to produce the figures published in the AHARC are (i) registries from shelters and (ii) counts and estimates of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons provided by care organizations, as part of their applications for government funding.

The counts from the care organizations (called 'Continuums of Care' in the US) come from active counts that are undertaken at the community level, by walking around the streets, using pre-established methodologies.

Source: https://ourworldindata.org/homelessness

CONGRESSMAN JARED HUFFMAN


Hi Amy,
Thanks for sending me this list of contacts. That is very helpful and I will post your e-mail on the site to make it easier for the homeless and others involved in the project to find resources. I already have interviews set up with Ritter and Homeward bound director. 
My assistant is building a list of national and international success stories and I'll send you the link to that list and all the data we can find that seems relevant. I will be trying to find who does the best job with the least money most sustainably and sharing how they do it.  
What's running through my mind is the following:
Utah has a clear goal of 100% elimination of homelessness and has already reduced it by more than 50% successfully by giving every homeless person a no-strings apartment, which they assess to be less expensive than incurring the costs to various government agencies of sustaining chronic homelessness. Iceland has done the same based on studies that people cannot deal with addiction and discipline while on the streets so housing of some stable nature must come first with no strings and then people can be helped to get off their substance addiction and then get a job.
If certain states enact bills like this in a country that has freedom of movement might homeless individuals in California decide Utah is the place for their new home because that is not being offered here, thus making it unsustainable for Utah because we don't get our act together over here? 
These are obvious questions and I'm not sure who is asking and answering them with any data gathering but it would be someone who is looking at the country as a whole. This is where I'm very interested in understanding Jared's personal and professional assessment. 
One of the things that is emerging is discrepancies between various published data sources. One place puts homelessness at 570,000 while another puts it at 2-3 million and rising. Another data point is "one in thirty American children are homeless." My assistant will be sorting through how and why these numbers are so different and what we are going to publish is all of it so that people understand how this number was reached and how that number was reached, the date of the study and the report. But what you may be able to help me with is sharing all the specific data Jared uses to formulate his opinion of the best thing to do:
1) What is the homeless figure for America and for California that Jared is using today as a working number and why was that source chosen over other sources with higher or lower numbers?
2) What studies Jared has read that pertain to:
The causes of homelessness on all levels, from education to parenting, to untreated illness, trauma and pain management including addiction.
Of those studies that Jared has read which of them make sense to him and does he personally believe, since so many of the issues will have conflicting data and theories.
Based on Jared's understanding and opinion of the information he is relying on, how much does he believe homelessness is rising in California and nationally this year over last year.
Based on the current status quo what is his expectation of that number over the next three years? Everyone I am talking to is saying: "It is getting much worse and will continue to do so." Is that also Jared's perception?
What does Jared believe would be necessary for California to move towards Utah's goal of eliminating homelessness? 
Which of the things that he thinks would be necessary is he capable of influencing?
Over the last three years do you have a record of specific votes on specific bills and specific meetings with people that were primarily oriented towards reducing homelessness? The goal is to have a sense of in a given 12 month period is it a .5% topic that gets five hours of time a year or is it a 3% topic that he has meetings about on an ongoing basis to learn what is and is not working and what can be done?
Has Jared talked personally with anyone in the state who had a home and then became homeless to understand one of the many stories of how that happens and again someone who was homeless who now has a home, to get a personal sense of what throws people into crisis and  what helps them recover?
If Jared put on an imaginary God hat and could write and pass any bill with the primary goal of insuring that every American had a safe place to sleep without breaking the law and without fear of crime and harassment by the police what would that bill look like, based on the data he considers relevant and his theories about the causes and elimination of homelessness?
On a personal note, it is illegal for me to let a homeless person camp on either my garden of the house I live in now, or the spare room under the garage, or the raw land the local planning department has made it so miserable to build that I've put on hold. I am prohibited by law to give someone a place to sleep in a tent, a garden shed, a shipping container or anything else that would be 500% safer and healthier than sleeping under a bridge or in bushes without any security. How much does Jared believe the homeless dynamic is actually being created by a tapestry of laws that prohibit anyone from doing something humane and saying: "You can sleep here until you find a place and you can contribute $50. or whatever you can a month and have a safe, stable place from which you can get a job?" 
A counter-productive pattern to the homeless pattern is:
a) Planning departments drive up the cost in time and money which prevents affordable housing (I worked out the fees the county added to the house I and my engineer would have built with full neighborhood support and found that various government agencies and policies were adding $250,000. to the cost of a very basic house I would have built without them. I decided not to build in California largely because I found myself feeling like the enemy of my planning department who I was paying $300. an hour to try and find something that they would permit that I actually wanted to live in. If you consider how much lower rent would be if the average home in California sold for $250,000. less that would deal with many marginally homeless without a single government program). 
There is one law in particular that I'm not sure Jared is aware of. In most countries and states an engineer is asked to do foundations suitable for the earthquake activity of that area. The engineer looks at the history and comes up with a recommended design. California requires that once the engineer does all of the actual calculations to make my home safe, this number is then doubled for no reason my engineer can explain and in ways my engineer says is absurd. On my land this cost alone added $75,000. of redundant concrete foundation work that a 100 year history of quakes would not suggest necessary. 
b) People can't buy or pay rent on million dollar homes in many entry level jobs so they become homeless.
c) Laws are passed that make it illegal for the homeless to sleep or go to the bathroom on park or public land, which makes them feel anxious and shamed every day, which in turn is both traumatizing and reduces immune system performance, which in turn makes it more likely they get sick and not have full courses of antibiotics and then you and I get a resistant strain of a disease we would not catch if we did not treat our people in this way.
d) More  planning and building laws prevent people who want to help by giving human beings a place to sleep from doing so.
e) Every year a person is homeless in the status quo they are hundreds of percent more likely to be dead within twelve months, which means more Americans killed every year. In my interviews with homeless locals they inform me the police will not protect them if they are threatened by drug addicts or things are stolen so being homeless also means being without police protection, which leads to more death.
f) The officials who both increase home-prices, prevent low-cost housing and prevent people from giving someone a home in a garage or summer house then put on another hat and say they have no money to fix the problem they created in the first place by blocking the thousands of big and small ways the problem could be solved. 
There are thousands of acres of land all around me and thousands of people who would not mind helping a specific homeless person they felt comfortable with. But instead everyone doing something healthy is turned into a criminal by current law and officials watch as millions of Americans are treated with less rights than the deer, who do not get a ticket for taking a leak, and don't get yelled at by people to get a job, when no one wants to hire people who are and look homeless. I get to watch this as I have to trespass on private land to get the interviews with people who have no legal place to go. I am greeted by police notices that say: "Anyone found here will be arrested." Public officials have time and money to go out into fields and undeveloped land that has been vacant for fifty years and put up these notices, but none of the officers can provide a legal alternative for the quantity of homeless people, which is 90% more than the shelters are built for. Some say they hate the shelters because they feel like a prison with a curfew and would rather camp than feel small and worthless in that framework.
I want to know if Jared would vote for a bill that removes the laws that raise prices and prevent anyone from being as helpful to a homeless person as they can. There are an estimated 1,000 homeless people in my town. I could help three of those if it were not illegal and with the documentary 40% of the more pleasant and kind in the demographic would probably end up with some win/win solution if public officials did not interfere. That seems like the most valuable thing that could be created: An oasis of protection for homeless human beings from the many laws that keep them disenfranchised. We have preserves for owls, weeds and other native plants. How about a preserve to protect human beings without a home from the officials whose laws are threatening their lives. Even twenty acres of public land or the right to offer camping in homes could be enough. And if not, we can learn and try something else. We need our officials helping as they can and then getting out of the way of the many obvious fixes there are.
I will be putting everyone's answer to these questions unedited on the website and including highlights in the documentary because I think if we are to solve this problem we must understand the specific people, policies, laws and values that create the problem and the specific people, policies, laws and values that are capable of taking as many of our citizens wandering around our streets and helping them go from a government burden costing the system an estimated $20,000 per year to someone contributing something to taxes and making our communities safer, healthier and more fun to live in. I don't understand whose interest it is in that I can't let someone camp for free or for a donation on my land and I don't want to be paying taxes and higher hospital bills to cover the many varied costs of $20,000 per year per person when this would not be happening in the first place if we were free to behave as human beings.
I don't see any homeless people in Thailand, where the average salary is $300. per month. I also don't see any homeless people in Denmark where the quality of life that I measured is 400% higher than even relatively successful Americans and I encourage you to reach out to one of your Danish counterparts to find out how they do it. I've always learned best by hiring or talking to mentors who are the best in the country or the world and even though I enjoy Thailand more than Denmark I don't know a Western country that has done better in technical quality of life for it's people on every level, from universal college education (students are paid $1,000. per month for going to college so everyone I interviewed had no student debt and a college degree based on passion) to paid maternity leave for both parents to fantastic parks and stunning architecture and universal health care with a people who love their country.
Best,
Dane





Hi Dane,
Thanks so much for getting back to me. Jared asked me to please reach out to you and send over all of the below information to aid you in your documentary. The below list is a mix of various authorities and trusted sources on homelessness and homelessness prevention and are where our office would go to ask questions if we need to speak with someone on these important issues.
Further, Jared works in many different ways to address the problem of homelessness in our community by working to include federal funds for veterans housing, section 8 housing, mental health services, substance abuse programs, and many more programs that will continue to work towards finding solutions for our most vulnerable community members.
While you are making your documentary if you come across any information or resources that you think we should know about, please feel free to send them to me. I would be happy to continue to grow our list of contacts as well.
https://www.cityofsanrafael.org/departments/homelessness/ - this the city of san Rafael site on homelessness in the city. I think that Andrew Hening (415-485-3055) is probably a very good person to speak with about homelessness here. He is the Director of Homeless Planning and Outreach.
https://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/cgi-bin/id/city.cgi?city=San%20Rafael&state=CA – this is a listing of homeless shelters in San Rafael. I thought this might be a good way to reach out to the various shelters and speak with people who work there or even seek shelter there.
http://rittercenter.org/ - The Ritter Center is an amazing organization here whose sole mission is to prevent homelessness. I think they would be a great resource because of their different programs and experiences working in the community. A good person to speak with here might be Simon Tiles, Director of Operations and Community Development at 415-457-8182.
https://www.marincounty.org/residents/health-wellness/homelessness - this is the Marin County site on homelessness. It lists a lot of great resources in the county, either public or private.
https://hbofm.org/ - Homeward Bound is the primary provider of Marin County homeless shelters and services, so I think they will have a lot of great information to share. A good contact here might be Anna Hurtado, Director of Supportive Services at 415-382-3363.
https://www.marinhhs.org/homelessness-marin - this is another county resource, through Marin County Health and Human Services. They have a Homeless Policy Committee that might have some very relevant discussions about homelessness in the county as well as a network of systems that all work together to provide various services to the homeless population. This Committee also has public meetings every few months that might also have a lot of good current information. The link to the committee page is here: https://www.marinhhs.org/boards/homeless-policy-committee.
I think that this mix of city, county, and private organizations will be very helpful in answering any questions you have or any issues you want to approach for your documentary and I wish you the best of luck with it.
Thank you!
Amy Schroeder
Senior Field Representative
Congressman Jared Huffman
999 Fifth Avenue, Suite 290
San Rafael, CA 94901
o. 415.258.9657
c. 707.296.6652
f. 415.258.9913