In the homelessness headlines this week, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom reported on his city’s progress toward the goals set in their 10-year plan to end homelessness. Since 2004 – when the plan was initiated – the city has created 1,649 units of permanent housing. Although advocates have pointed out that the city still needs more services for the homeless and a stronger emphasis on helping homeless families, San Francisco shows why it pays to have local political support for your ten year plan. Mayor Newsom – a reputedly charismatic and persuasive political leader – and his support of the Ten Year Plan has created momentum in addressing homelessness in his community.
In Waco, the VA office has started hiring homeless veterans to help them get back on their feet. Combined with housing, this sounds like a recipe for stability. Three cheers for the Texas city for NOT just talking the talk, but walking the walk to end homelessness!
Also in the news this week was this piece from northeastern Minnesota, which has some useful analysis of how to better serve people experiencing homelessness in rural areas.
There’s all kinds of exciting things happening in the blogosphere this week. For one, our McKinney-Vento Appropriations got picked up by the Change.org End Homelessness blog! (If you haven’t already, it’s time to write Congress! Now!)
I’ve also been really inspired by some of the amazing stuff coming from service providers, including Calvary Women’s Services here in DC. Kris Thompson writes:
Hearing another person’s story – their experiences, challenges, and successes breaks down the barriers we create between us. We move from seeing someone as the “other ” to knowing that our lives have commonalities and that we all strive for the same basic things in life.
Speaking of stories, the Unity of Greater New Orleans blog, Signs of Life, excels at sharing theirs. This week, they describe how it feels to get their clients housed:
I’ll speak only for myself here, but seeing the sparkle in a man or woman’s eye when you tell her that she’ll be housed next week is…a glimmer of hope. It is like magic. It is something that a lot of us have less and less of these days. It is in seeing their hope and thankfulness at times like this that my waning faith and hope in this world are bolster if only by a bit.