There’s a homelessness conference going on in New Orleans on homelessness while this post is being written & one of the topics is “Housing First“!
A local newspaper reporter wrote an article about how it works in New Orleans! Here’s a quote from her article:
A growing body of research shows that most homeless people, even grizzled street dwellers plagued with addictions and severe mental illness, are better able to stay housed if they move into an apartment first and are then offered an array of services.
There are several other points & quotes from the article that are important for us to point out:
In the United States, its use with longtime, chronically homeless people was first advocated by Bush administration officials, who touted the model’s fiscal savings, beyond its humanitarian appeal. A landmark study in the mid-1990s showed that the most ill — roughly 10 percent of the homeless — can rack up $35,000 to $150,000 in annual public tabs by cycling through shelters, courts, jails and hospitals.
Regarding support in a community:
Support comes from all corners. The store owner may blame the drunks who sleep on his sidewalk for their own situation, but he still supports Housing First. “It gets them off his doorstep,” said Barbara Poppe, head of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and the architect of the new federal plan to end homelessness, which also endorses Housing First.
Regarding band-aids (scope of the solution):
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, even mentioned the strategy a few weeks ago during an appearance on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” “It’s actually not only better for people but cheaper to solve homelessness than to put a band-aid on it,” Donovan said.
Government support & focus on solutions that they can adopt easily:
Mayor Mitch Landrieu, a well-known data wonk, put his support behind Housing First in the city’s recently released 10-year plan to end homelessness. Other jurisdictions have followed suit. “Governments love Housing First,” said conference co-chair and longtime Seattle homeless-service provider Bill Hobson. “It’s become the policy coin of the realm.”
How it works:
The idea is simple. Housing ends people’s homelessness. Services keep them housed, at a high rate — about 85 percent.
Once people are in their apartments, Tsemberis and his teams make house calls and say, “OK, what next?” Answers vary: jobs, family visits, education, sore feet, “noises in my head,” he said.
Our local action to date:
- We have been writing & posting on social networks a lot of content recently trying to get the community in Savannah to engage in a meaningful discussion on the topic
- We are in the process of putting together a L3C (social enterprise) with the goal of creating more housing inventory that can be used in an initial effort to prove the concept of Housing First here in Savannah as the right way to end chronic homelessness
- We are engaging the faith community in a dialog on “Disrupting Homelessness: Alternative Christian Approaches” available on Amazon & the Kindle, as modeled in the Minnesota area by a group called Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness (they are on Facebook)!
If you or your organization are interested in learning more about our efforts, want to explore partnerships or social good investing opportunities to launch this L3C effort please contact us via a comment here or through our “Contact Us” block on the right side of this page!
- A discussion on the Faith Community doing more to end homelessness & support the poor: Faith Leaders Blast House GOP Budget As ‘Immoral Disaster’ That ‘Robs The Poor’ | ThinkProgress (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- Homeless Entrepreneurs find a way to move out of their homelessness, start business in a shelter!: Rosenblum: A new business grows in an unlikely place | StarTribune.com (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- How to allocate inventory in a Housing First Model, some thoughts: Who’s more vulnerable? Index guides housing plan (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- Is this a street model for engaging the street homeless & helping to end their struggles?: Fighting homelessness in Atlantic City a constant battle for cop, social worker – pressofAtlanticCity.com: Atlantic County News (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- Why Everybody is Obsessed with Housing First: A Primer (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- Announcement: A series on homeless living in a shelter, please follow: Faces of Homelessness: A Night at the Shelter – Burke, VA Patch (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- We appreciate the coverage, but…: Homeless organizations receive $3.5 million annual award | savannahnow.com (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- Is this what we have come to with Housing for the Homeless? (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- Interview with Frederick Ferrer, CEO of The Health Trust (housing1000.wordpress.com)