Homeless Housing

Providing housing to the homeless with no services attached to it is a recipe for disaster, as this article from the New York Times notes; but following the Pathway to Housing approach, http://pathwaystohousing.org/ is not.

An excerpt from the Times article.

The very term homelessness suggests that providing low-cost housing is the right cure for the problem. But there are reasons to think that is not always the case.

It’s crucial to think differently in regard to the two largest, and quite different, populations which are grouped together as homeless: single adults and low-income families with children.

Single adults — some 11,000 of the 58,000 New York City shelter residents — include many with mental health and substance abuse problems. These include those most in danger from the current frigid cold. They can be described as the British do — as street-sleepers, or those “sleeping rough.”

Many have fallen through the cracks of our porous mental health and drug treatment programs. Housing per se is not the answer for them. Instead, we must provide shelter and supportive services—mini-institutional replacements for a previous generation’s precipitously-closed mental hospitals.

For the families with children — many headed by single parents who had been doubled-up with family but were not literally on the street — our strategies should not be the same. We must acknowledge the risk that offering housing units will increase demand and even the formation of more such households, which are often homes to children who will face toughest type of poverty and greatest economic disadvantage. In other words, the “homeless” family problem is actually a subset of our challenge in assisting low-income, single-parent families without encouraging their formation.

Retrieved February 19, 2015 from http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2015/02/19/homes-for-the-homeless/offering-housing-to-the-homeless-could-increase-demand-for-it

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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