16 Nov Homelessness Education and Solutions
There is no easy solution for family homelessness, but we believe that educating the greater community is an excellent start. Look for information on the problems, solutions, and debates in this new newsletter section and on social media. Share with your friends and family and be a part of a more knowledgeable community!
This Month: Housing First vs. Housing Ready
Which came first: homelessness or an unstable life? Which is the solution: permanent housing or stable lives? For many families, these are complicated questions but the answer is almost always: both. Then comes another question: should a family be required to stabilize their lives before receiving housing, or should they receive safe housing and then work on their challenges?
We believe in housing first. Without a safe, reasonably permanent home, it is next to impossible for homeless parents to get a good job (or two, as often needed), learn to budget, or return to school. Our program participants also receive supportive services and education while in a stable home. Housing Ready models require participants to already have the above before being assisted with housing.
An interesting factor in the housing first model is the willingness of landlords to give opportunities to people with poor credit or a history of evictions. They can be understandably wary of taking a chance on a family with prior problems. Many cities are mitigating this risk by providing reimbursement to landlords to cover potential losses, or offering insurance.
No one wants the problem of family homelessness to continue, but the exact right answer is tough to pin down. What we do know for sure is that the answer definitely lies with compassionate people; people who speak out and advocate for others—people just like you.