Housing First is a viable option to end chronic homelessness. We see if working in places like Salt Lake City, UT and Santa Clara County, CA, Cutting the costs per person in half (homelessness costs cities through the services that get utilized like police, social services, hospital and emergency care, etc) and opening up new avenues for treatment for those who want it.
“Ironically, ending homelessness is actually cheaper than continuing to treat the problem. This would not only benefit the people who are homeless; it would be healing for the rest of us to live in a more compassionate and just nation,” Tsemberis says. “It’s not a matter of whether we know how to fix the problem. Homelessness is not a disease like cancer or Alzheimer’s where we don’t yet have a cure. We have the cure for homelessness—it’s housing. What we lack is political will.”
Read the entire article here.
Besides the societal stigma homeless people face, many cities are passing more laws that apply to homeless people and/or charities that help them. Last fall saw the high-profile case in Florida where an elderly man was arrested for feeding homeless individuals in a public space. Should being in need make you a criminal?
Fact No. 9 reflects the seriousness of mental health and substance abuse. While it is not a fair stereotype, up to 1/4 of those who find themselves homeless suffer from mental illness and about half of those also have substance abuse issues. For some people, substance abuse is a form of self-medication. Some folks became homeless due to addiction or mental illness and some only begin using illicit substances and/or alcohol because of their homeless status. There are many sides to this Pandora’s box.
The Greater Seattle Cares program published this report in 2013 on 26 commonly held misconceptions about homelessness. These myths & facts apply across the nation, no matter what location.
Here’s an excerpt and fundamental philosophy shared by The Habitation:
“Ending a complex problem like homelessness requires a commitment from all members of our community–government officials, philanthropies, faith and civic groups, communities of color and their institutions and organizations, businesses including small business owners, housing and service providers, and concerned individuals…As a community we can–and we will–end homelessness.”
The state of being homeless is a multifaceted issue for many. A one-size-fits-all approach to eliminating homelessness does not work. We need multiple options available to meet the needs of the unhoused. With community involvement we can make a difference! Will you help us in our efforts to bring a Tiny House Village to the Kenai Peninsula? If you would like to find out how you can volunteer, please contact Krista Schooley at 907-252-2081 or e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whose job is it to care for the needs of the homeless and poor?
“For Attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.”
― Sam Levenson
Still in the affordable housing vein, Fact 7 highlights the housing crisis and unemployment crisis we have been facing for the past several years.
Unemployment is down nationwide, yes, according to the numbers. The reality is that people are qualifying for less time, no extensions, and required to fill out work search requirements in order to prove you’re trying to find work. But finding work here on the Kenai that can support a family can be difficult. Tourist season is imminent and along with the summer months comes increased job opportunities as employers ramp up for the extra business in months ahead. Unfortunately the same time period sees a dramatic increase in rents for many available properties. And most of these jobs are temporary and low pay.