Responded Smith: "If that's the case, why are people sleeping on the floor at Safe Haven?"
Dougherty also defended that commission -- although homeless advocate Diane Teti, who serves on it, said it has "no teeth or clout" to provide emergency shelter to the homeless. Smith said he chairs that commission's subcommittee on seasonal sheltering.
Dougherty said last year the city invested $185,000 to assist the commission and will continue to support it as best it can.
Wrote the managing director: "The administration supports the Commission to End Chronic Homelessness' own advocacy for a regulated environment where certified case workers and experts are there to provide for the full continuum of care needed towards the ultimate goal of ending homelessness and finding permanent housing."
Smith said the pleas for Allentown to do more for the homeless are not coming from "a competing interest group at odds with the methods of the commission," as Dougherty maintained in his memo.
When founded in 2007, Smith said the commission's goal was to find housing for 150 homeless people by 2017. "We're not even halfway there yet."
Dougherty said that organization is in the process of following up with speakers who offered shelter assistance at the City Council meeting.
One of those speakers was Robert Smith, president of the Allentown School Board. He told council he would speak with Dr. Russell Mayo, superintendent of the Allentown School District, to immediately do something about the homeless issue by opening schools.
At that City Council meeting, Council president Julio Guridy suggested the city work to find an emergency solution “over the next couple of days.” He asked Dougherty to lead the effort to find an appropriate shelter.
The only action homeless advocates have seen was council member Cynthia Mota visited Safe Haven one night last week.