I beg to differ with the conclusion of “In Our View: Learn from Navigation Center mistakes” (The Columbian, July 18), that the Navigation Center didn’t work. As a person who has worked in social services, it was clear to me that the Navigation Center failed because it was understaffed and underfunded. Also, the need was underestimated.
When the expected participation went from 50 clients per day to 160, it should have been apparent that the staff serving the center should have at least tripled. That statistic also tells you that the services were badly needed. If the city had approached this in a more realistic manner and listened to the people from Share, who are experts in providing homeless services, it could have succeeded.
Yes, there are lessons to be learned from this attempt, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. The idea of a navigation center was a good one.