Homelessness is not some horribly complex problem
To End Homelessness the number of homeless permanently housed must exceed the number of new homeless over a given time period. And you must focus on the homeless being Permanently housed or you simply continue the current policy of recycling the homeless into housing and quickly back onto the streets.
What adds complexity to reducing and eliminating homelessness is :
- People are involved in all aspects of the issue – the homeless, politicians and citizens – and human beings will make the simplest and straightforward problems and issues messy and harder to address.
- There is no quick, easy solution. The results of the federal governments housing first research project showed that 18 months is the minimum time you need to invest in getting people well enough they can maintain their housing on their own.
- What people “know for sure, that just ain’t so.” What research sets out as the effective approach to getting people housed and well is at odds with what a majority of the people ‘know for sure, that just ain’t so.’ When all the homeless need to do is ‘stop partying’ or ‘get a job’ or ‘rent a place’ the disconnect between what the research shows is needed and effective and the misinformation that is widely believed to be true impedes or prevents reducing homelessness.
On the hopeful/positive side the federal Housing First research did show that the Housing First approach is effective in getting people to the point they can maintain their housing on their own.
So, although reducing homelessness is not easy or quick, it is straight forward. A matter of: