But it’s the slow pace of addressing homelessness in our country that is literally killing people who are dying on our streets. We should all feel the sense of urgency to fund solutions and end homelessness every single day, until it’s no longer an issue.
Tag Archives: housing first
We are afraid to admit that the crisis of homelessness is our fault, even though the solution to homelessness is simple: provide housing for everyone.
But calling in the Cavalry to address homelessness simply does not work. Being homeless is not a crime. Any action that might criminalize a person’s state of homelessness simply attracts a civil lawsuit that essentially shuts down a community’s ability to actually help those who need housing, and prevents a community from dealing with those on the streets who are actually breaking real laws.
Give a person a real home – a studio apartment would suffice – with regular supportive services, and you have ended homelessness, at least for that one person. Clearly, an apartment is way better than a shelter bed.
To date, we have never had a proposed building turned down. However, the bruises from past community battles still hurt. The misconceptions, the attacks, and the miseducation start as soon as a community gets word that a “homeless program wants to move in.”
Cities throughout California are seeing more tents on the sidewalk, sleeping bags in their parks, and bodies of sleeping people sprawled inside of business vestibules. They are clear signs that visible homelessness is increasing at an alarming rate.
Alex, who has been homeless for years, should not be worried about being set on fire while he sleeps on the streets. And, he should not be worried about his next meal or where he will sleep tonight.
So our experienced outreach workers compassionately, patiently, tenderly, work with these people, day after day, in the search for housing.
After 20 years, the work of ending homelessness is much more difficult. The people we help are much more chronically homeless than before. Our supporters are more jaded. Our community is less compassionate for people who have been on their streets for decades.
Forget shelters, they were simply bandages. Tear those shelter Band-Aids off quickly. The new, and improved solutions to homelessness were supposed to end veteran and chronic homelessness by the end of 2015