Roberts: An ounce of homeless prevention is worth a pound of cure

By | Apr 22, 2019

Years ago, the cutting-edge approach toward solving homelessness was a shelter bed and a transitional program that helped people become self-sufficient.

Back then, the agency I run housed hundreds of people with this approach. People would come to us who were unemployed, or struggling with emotional issues, or simply burned bridges at home, and needed a temporary place to live. We helped stabilize their lives and helped them find work. We called it “a hand up, not a hand out.”

At the time, this transitional housing approach worked for the people who were temporarily homeless. But for people struggling with significant mental health or addiction issues, these shelter programs were not designed or staffed to meet their needs.

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