Regional solution needed for homelessness


To the Editor:

As county commissioners, we do our best to see things from an Island-wide perspective and approach them with Island-wide solutions. That is why we were so thrilled to learn that state Sen. Julian Cyr and his team were able to secure $200,000 to help confront Island homelessness, addressing both immediate needs and a plan for the future.

We believe strongly that regional government, in this case Dukes County, has a large role to play in this Island’s future. Our homelessness affliction is one of countless issues that affect all of Martha’s Vineyard, not just one town or another. Climate change mitigation, our opioid crisis, and the affordable housing crunch are all examples of major problems that cannot and must not be dealt with on a town-by-town basis. Doing so unnecessarily wastes taxpayer dollars, and generates ever more red tape by creating endless layers of government.

Both of us are grateful for Sen. Cyr and his work to secure this funding. We are just as grateful for our associate commissioner for the homelessness, Karen Tewhey, and her work in making that office a hopeful first step for those in need. This funding will support her efforts to bring valued services to our less fortunate neighbors who need them to survive.


Keith Chatinover, commissioner
Christine Todd, commissioner
Dukes County


  1. The more you give assistance to the homeless, the more MV will be a magnet for new arrivals. However if you really wanted to solve the problem you build 100 modular units at 30k each for a total of 3mm. You get the support from various federal and state agencies like HUD Continuum of CARE program and put it smack dab in the middle of the island. You wont do it because of ”beggar thy neighbor” habits, zoning technicalities,”tragedy of the commons” issues and all manner of govt bureaucracy. Modular units for this kind of cost is being done all over the country.

  2. First, it needs to be determined if it’s a homeless problem, a substance abuse problem or a mental health problem!!
    Then start at the root of it for a fix!

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