I write in to correct inaccurate comments about Porchlight's Hospitality House program in the article by Joe Tarr ("Quest for a Homeless Shelter Drags On," 8/24/2012).
Hospitality House has been operated by Porchlight as a daytime resource center since the early 1990s. It offers a broad range of services to an extensive number of individuals and families in need. The overwhelming majority of guests and clients express satisfaction with Hospitality House personnel and services. Porchlight has done semi-annual surveys of guests of the Drop-In Shelter and clients of Hospitality House for years. Over 80% (and often over 90%) of these guests and clients have routinely answered "yes" to the questions, "Do you feel you have been treated in a professional manner by Hospitality House?" and "Do you find counseling services offered by Hospitality House helpful?"
While Hospitality House does not have showers, laundry facilities or storage facilities, showers are available in the community at other locations, and storage facilities are available at St. Vincent de Paul across Fish Hatchery Road from Hospitality House. According to Ralph Middlecamp, executive director, they to his knowledge have never turned anyone away. Medical care is also available at Meriter Health Program, which is also located across Fish Hatchery Road.
Certainly there is need for more services, and surely Porchlight cannot be all things to all people. But that belies the point: What is the most effective and efficient way to spend very limited resources? The discussion about whether a new or another daytime resource center is a necessity should be had against the backdrop of what is already available.
Steven J. Schooler, executive director Porchlight Inc.