- Ending Homelessness: A Model That Just Might Work
It seems counterintuitive to go searching for homeless people to help, but that is exactly what Rosanne Haggerty is doing. Her plan is to seek out the chronically homeless, the people with mental problems or alcohol dependency, and house them. She says these people do not seek out help themselves, so in order to help them; the opportunities must be brought to them.
The reason why this plan is so radical is that it hasn’t been done before. Previous solutions to the homeless problem have involved the homeless seeking out a job, and turning their own lives around. This new idea involves people seeking to help the homeless. First getting them help in a hospital, then having a place to house them, feed them, and train them for a job. In this plan, the help and housing come first.
Some people think that this is not going to work. That this idea will not change the homeless problem as much as previously hoped. Haggerty, however, is quite confident that her results will prove her plan to be a good one.
- Housing First Solution to Homelessness: Utah
It may seem counterintuitive to house the homeless with no strings attached, but it is actually more cost efficient for the country. By leaving them on the street, the homeless cost cities thousands of dollars in 911 calls, hospitals, and jails. The “Housing First” initiative is actually cheaper.
They argue that this way of helping the homeless is also more effective. What happens is that the homeless people are given somewhere to live permanently, and then services such as rehab are offered to them. The article tells how over 88% of those people were still in their apartments five years later. The idea behind this is to solve the initial problem of homelessness, by simply giving them a home. While the idea seems simple, it proves to be effective.
So this idea is good for the homeless problem, and good for the city. It was reported that New York City saved more than $15,000 by implementing this program. While it is still a rather unorthodox way of doing things, its effectiveness is proving itself.
- A Plan to Make Homelessness History
It seems counterintuitive to house the homeless before they are drug/alcohol free, but recently more and more cities have been doing this with surprising results. One of the reasons that the chronically homeless are the way they are is that to be eligible for a home, they have to be drug and alcohol free. The old way of thinking is to first have them clean themselves up, then their lives would improve. This new method kind of turns that old way of thinking upside down. The new idea is to first give the homeless a permanent residence. This way, the people who need help can get it. Having a home makes everything easier. Things like storing medication, or properly dressing a wound every day are almost impossible while living on the streets.
When these people are given somewhere to stay, their chance of recovery skyrockets. Staying clean, and keeping a job are much easier with a home. Keeping a body healthy on the streets is not an easy task, and most homeless people are not up for the task. The article reports that the only way to help these people was to go out and beg them to accept the help. That is where past homeless efforts have failed. They have been left up to the chronically homeless to come and seek help, and the homeless simply are not usually willing to put that work in.
This new idea is proving to be an amazing, innovative project. Saving the city money, while solving the homeless problem is not something that ever seemed possible, but Haggerty, and the Common Ground organization made it possible. With more and more cities implementing this program each year, the homeless problem could potentially become a thing of the past.