Archive for March 19th, 2010
In our effort to end homelessness through a wide-angle lens – focusing on federal policy, best practices, capacity building, and the like – sometimes we lose sight of the human impact of our work. Even on the streets of DC, where the impact of poverty and homelessness is often in plain view, it can be a struggle to put two-and-two together.
So it was a refreshing reminder when a colleague of mine from the National Housing Conference (NHC) showed me some on-the-ground efforts from her alma mater, the University of Georgia. There, students are shedding light on homelessness in their community by hosting an event called “Southern Hospitality: A Recipe for Ending Homelessness in Athens.”
The event will bring together students, faculty, and staff to learn about homelessness and the effects of poverty and housing in the college town and focus on solutions and methods to curb, prevent and end homelessness in the city. They put together a little teaser video to attract participants:
In big cities and in small towns alike, it can be easy to forget about homelessness or to dismiss the issue as an insurmountable, inevitable part of modern society. But efforts like the one hosted by UGA – and yours and ours, too! – remind us why our work matters.
If you’re in Athens or can swing on by to show your support, please do!
Although the $1.5 billion in federal stimulus funds called Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, should help some renters stay in their apartments and move some families from homeless situations back into housing, it’s too little money and distribution networks need to be ramped up. The capacity to distribute funds in many places is stymied by previous staffing cuts. Lest Congress think the slow funneling reflects lack of need, think again.