Monday, February 29, 2016
#60 / Cycles Of Funding
Tully MacKay-Tisbert is an associate director at a nonprofit organization in the Los Angeles area that serves homeless individuals with a mental illness. He has a master’s degree in applied anthropology from California State University Long Beach. On February 21, 2016, the San Francisco Chronicle ran his opinion piece, "Endless cycle of funding won't end homelessness."
MacKay-Tisbert, who works for a nonprofit, says this: "The nonprofit industry and all our emergencies will not end homeless [sic]."
What will, then? MacKay-Tisbert asks exactly that question, and then provides this answer: "Real advocacy that isn’t compromised by the funding of an industry. Advocacy that produces deep changes in how our economic system creates and responds to poverty, how we create housing, how people get the health care they need."
Frankly, to me, this suggested solution seems somewhat opaque. Because of my twenty years of experience as a local elected official in Santa Cruz County, I do have some understanding of how local governments are struggling with the problem of homelessness, almost always in alliance with the nonprofit sector. MacKay-Tisbert is concerned, speaking from within the "nonprofit industry," as he calls it, that nonprofits working on homelessness issues are largely motivated in their daily work by a desire to qualify for the next grant opportunity. That has not actually been my own experience, though maintaining the flow of grant funding to the nonprofits that deal with homeless people is critically important, as we in Santa Cruz recently learned, when our Homeless Services Center lost a major grant.
In fact, the way I read MacKay-Tisbert, he is actually advocating for what one candidate for President is calling a "political revolution."
No more bandaid grants!
Instead, "deep changes in ... our economic system."
I'm glad that the nonprofit "industry" is out there doing everything it can, and hustling the funding and grants to do it.
But that "political revolution" is actually what's required!