I like good news. As I read our daily media clips and search the blogosphere for news about homelessness, what I find is mostly infuriating, depressing, or somehow deeply upsetting. While that’s the nature of the beast, I also think we’re making progress, and I want to highlight it. Here’s a few bright spots in homelessness headlines from the week.
- Boston’s WBUR reported on how funds from the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program helped a mother fleeing from an abusive boyfriend find housing. (I interned for Heading Home, the organization profiled, in summer of 2006, helping out in their drop-in shelter and helping pave the way for their transition to providing permanent housing. I think they’re amazing – and that’s where I first learned about the Alliance!)
- Folks broke ground on a new housing development for veterans experiencing homelessness outside Seattle
- As part of their ongoing series on youth homelessness in FL, the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida posted some adorable pictures of the children at their Early Child Development Center.
- This is a pretty incredible story: despite struggling with homelessness, this LA teen has totally conquered his high school and is moving on to West Point with the help of their alumni association.
- A new permanent supportive housing development called Florence House opens this week in Portland. For more on progress toward ending homelessness there, check out this post from HUD’s blog.
Speaking of frustrating news, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty posted this week about insurance companies that consider domestic violence a pre-existing condition, which is apparently legal in DC, my adopted hometown:
DC has the dubious distinction of remaining among the handful of states that permit insurance companies to regard a history of domestic violence as a pre-existing condition for purposes of denying coverage . As outrageous as this fact might seem in isolation, it is particularly disturbing when viewed in tandem with such additional barriers to stability as housing and employment discrimination.
Despite these barriers, organizations like the District Alliance for Safe Housing are working to keep survivors We put out a best practices brief on their work this past week.
I’d also recommend checking out this persuasive argument for permanent supportive housing on the new and improved Inforum.
Hearing from Campus Progress that a recent panel on youth homelessness offered “no definitive remedies” makes me glad we’re covering policy updates on the Runaway Homeless Youth Act on our blog next week. A new study shows that the situation for young people who age out of foster care is often pretty dismal – which makes policy solutions all the more critical. Stay tuned!