You need housing to achieve stability, not the other way around.
February 19, 2015 10:59 AM Subscribe
We could, as a country, look at the root causes of homelessness and try to fix them. One of the main causes is that a lot of people can't afford a place to live. They don't have enough money to pay rent, even for the cheapest dives available. Prices are rising, inventory is extremely tight, and the upshot is, as a new report by the Urban Institute finds, that there's only 29 affordable units available for every 100 extremely low-income households. So we could create more jobs, redistribute the wealth, improve education, socialize health carebasically redesign our political and economic systems to make sure everybody can afford a roof over their heads.Scott Carrier reports for Mother Jones on Utah's simple, cost-effective approach to ending homelessness: "finding and building apartments where homeless people can live, permanently, with no strings attached. It's a program, or more accurately a philosophy, called Housing First."
Instead of this, we do one of two things: We stick our heads in the sand or try to find bandages for the symptoms. This story is about how Utah has found a third way.
+ Hasan Minhaj investigates Housing First in Salt Lake City for The Daily Show: The Homeless Homed [video only]
+ Christopher Smart for The Salt Lake Tribune: Will Utah end chronic homelessness in 2015?
+ A four-part series published by NationSwell earlier this year:
• part 1: Utah Set the Ambitious Goal to End Homelessness in 2015. It's Closer Than Ever+ Although it doesn't focus on Utah specifically, this special reporting project was published by NPR in 2002 (!):
• part 2: 13 Images of Resilient Utah Residents Who Survived Being Homeless
• part 3: The Compassionate Utah Official Who Believes in Housing First, Asking Questions Later
• part 4: Far From Finished: Utah's 5-Step Plan to Continue Helping the Homeless
Housing First is a yearlong special reporting project by a team of NPR News radio and Web journalists. Through extensive coverage on-air and online, Housing First will explore why it's so difficult for Americans with special needs to find good housing -- and how the lack of housing often stymies their efforts to join, and flourish in, the mainstream of society.//
Tales of New Beginnings
• part 1: "This isn't a bad place, but still..."
• part 2: Beatriz and Jennifer move out
• Part 3: The promised land of a new home
• part 4: No beds, no gas -- but Beatriz is home
• part 5: In the quest to succeed, 'no margin for error'
• part 6: Coming out the other side of homelessness
who needs housing?
people fleeing abusive living situations, people recovering from substance abuse, ex-offenders, youth leaving foster care, chronically homeless people, people with mental illness, people with mental disabilities, people with physical disabilities
To find a shelter in your area, visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's State-by-State Homeless Shelter Listing, Homeless Shelter Directory[.org], the National Coalition for the Homeless, or the HUD Exchange's Resources for Homeless Persons.
★ If you are a young person at risk of becoming homeless, visit 1800runaway.org or call 1-800-786-2929 (1-800-RUNAWAY).
★ If you are a veteran in the same situation, visit the VA's Housing Assistance for Homeless Veterans site or call 1-877-424-3838 (1-877-4AID VET).
★ If you are in danger of experiencing domestic violence or simply hoping to help someone who is, call 1-800-799-7233 (1-800-799-SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) or visit thehotline.org.
For 24/7 access to confidential, personalized referrals to a variety of community resources -- crisis housing, long-term shelter, and beyond -- just call 2-1-1 (toll-free) or visit 211.org.
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