Archive for January 14th, 2010
Annual Point in Time homelessness counts are in the news again this week, as cities like DC, New York, and Kansas City recruit volunteers for their efforts. NYC is one city that’s also hiring decoys to help estimate how many people they’ll miss. For more on why we count, read about HUD’s Continuum of Care and check out our 2009 counts map.
There’s been a bit of buzz this week about affordable housing, including this story about moving families out of motels and into homes. Alliance president Nan Roman points out that this strategy works: 80 percent of homeless families who find housing don’t become homeless again.
Over on Inforumusa, Joel John Roberts asks: Do politicians use housing first as an excuse to only invest in the bare minimum? What do you think?
In other homelessness news this week, the Toronto Sun ran a heartwrenching story about Suburbia’s hidden homelessness, the New York Times covered the story of a California rancher arrested for housing the homeless – albeit in substandard conditions – on his property, and the San Francisco Library hired a social worker to reach out to its homeless patrons. (Thanks to Change.org’s End Homelessness blog for sharing such interesting stuff!)
I’ve followed blogs like Change.org’s End Homelessness blog and Poverty and Policy for awhile, but since I became the New Media Intern at the Alliance, I’ve been scouring the blogosphere for more good reads about housing, homelessness, and poverty. This week’s finds include the WRAP blog, the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness’s HPRP Q&A blog and the 13th juror.
Any other reading suggestions?
“When you think about it, it really makes sense to focus on getting people back into housing faster,” said Alliance president Nan Roman in Tony Pugh’s McClatchy story Demand overwhelms program to prevent homelessness, out yesterday. “Instead of long stays in some homeless facility with a lot of service delivery, wouldn’t a little bit of money help people stay where they are and not end up in the system at all?”
The story shows what a little bit of money can do: it helped Joseph Wright get back on his feet after he fell behind on rent. Instead of sleeping at a shelter today, he’s got a new apartment and a stable teaching job.
Service providers have made the original $1.5 billion allocated for HPRP go a long way, but those Pugh talked to – in Salt Lake City, Raleigh, Washington State and Alameda County, California – all agree: the funding is not enough.
How much more is needed? The Alliance estimates that an extra $1 billion would not only help 200,000 more families, but also create about 2,000 more jobs at community organizations.
As Elaine de Coligny, executive director of EveryOne Home, a housing agency in Alameda County, Calif, said simply: “It’s good money to spend.”