There is no doubt about the passion and concern by many people in our community that led to the creation of Naomi’s House, as was referenced by Claudia Howard in her Letter to the Editor last week. And, yes, as Ms. Howard mentioned, I’ve spoken to women with pets who are unable to avail themselves of the shelter beds, because they were told pets aren’t welcome.
The dream for Naomi’s House was to improve the health and welfare of unhoused single and pregnant women. I believe the project has started, yet there seems to be little activity on the site during the day each time I drive by. A sign on the door says the house opens at 5 p.m.
Are COVID lockdowns still in effect or are there other operational problems? Or has the program concept changed? I’m curious how many people have taken advantage of the programs and beds. What programs are up and running? According to the MOU between the City and Cambridge Academies, “the Project...shall include...ten (10) overnight shelter beds for women” and “the Project shall provide shelter for up to twenty-five (25) women.”
The City would do well to follow up on the MOU stipulations which require a number of reports due from Cambridge Academies and to make that information available to the public, perhaps at a City Council meeting. City Council member Shivaugn Alves is right to ask for information about the program as the City is responsible for an accounting of the funds given to start the facility, and we in the community want to see the project be more than a dream.