“There’s that disconnect from the community when you’re homeless, and it’s a big leap to get back to that connection,” Deborah Beste, executive director of Phoenix Programs told the Columbia Missourian this week. “That’s what we’re trying to avoid.”
Funds from the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) allow Phoenix Programs to do just that: keep the community together by preventing homelessness. In addition to Beste in Missouri and Zamora in Salt Lake City (who we featured earlier this week), folks in California, Minnesota, and Illinois are using HPRP to help stem the rising tide of homelessness in their communities.
However, we’re starting to see some of the issues that arise at the local level when organizations start to use federal dollars. One example is the Keller Community Storehouse in Texas: although they’re glad for the funds, they’re struggling to keep up with increasing demand while trying to negotiate the complexities of paperwork and deadlines.
We’ve covered homelessness among veterans extensively at About Homelessness, but this week, news came from a slightly different angle: female veterans often face some unique obstacles–responsibility for children, sexual trauma, to name a few–in addition to those that male vets deal with. Check out this AP story, which tells former Army Pvt. Margaret Ortiz’s story and describes how Veteran’s Affairs is re-structuring some of their programs to better serve homeless female veterans.
It’s that time of year and Change.org’s End Homelessness blog urges you to celebrate by helping fight homelessness. They’ve got 12 fantastic suggestions about how to do it: donate clothes, toys, food, and your time at a shelter. We’ve got one, too: donate to the Alliance through our Change.org page.
And today is National Homeless Person’s Memorial Day. If you’re in DC, join the National Coalition for the Homeless and others for a candlelight vigil outside Union Station tonight.