What Can we do to Fix Homelessness?

Published: 2021-06-20 17:20:05
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ContentsA shelter crisis was declared on October 30, 2018. This called for the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority to have be allowed to spend $81 million in a more flexible way. Declaring a shelter crisis allows the homeless ability to bypass some regulations and get access to emergency housing. This also gives the flexibility to spend from the Homeless Emergency Aid Program. This program set aside $500 million that must be spent by June 30, 2021 to help with the homelessness issue. The homeless authority is also eligible to apply for $81 million, more than half of which will provide short-term housing beds, upgrades to existing interim shelters and safe parking, [] prevention programs, rapid rehousing and improvements to the county’s coordinated entry system. Along with all of this,The state Homeless Emergency Aid pot awarded the city of Los Angeles $85 million that will go to skid row services and housing. $3.7 million of this money has been directed toward the mayor’s A Bridge Home program. They will be able to provide 170 shelter beds in Hollywood and West L.A. Measures also being brought up rule that homeless people cannot be criminalized for sleeping on the street when they have no other alternative.Richard Barry, mayor of Albuquerque, gives a Ted Talk on homelessness. He knows there is a better way to help the homeless with money. He started up a program called There’s a Better Way. He offers homeless work so they can earn money with dignity and are more likely to spend that hard earned money on things to better themselves rather than on drugs and alcohol. He employed a man by the name of Will to drive around a van and recruit other homeless people to work for the day. The workers are then paid nine dollars an hour, provided lunch and get sent to a connected with counseling service. He goes on to detail some of the work that’s been done and how it has improved the city and helped the homeless in his community. They also work with the Housing First model to help find homes for people. He explains how housing first and providing jobs is a lot more effective in helping homeless individuals than handing money out of the car door.This article describes a temporary homeless shelter called the Link opened in Santa Ana. It was set up and completed in just 28 days in response to the removal of a tent city in near the Angel Stadium. The Link alone accounts for about 70% of the entire county’s homeless population. The shelter hold enough beds for 90 men, 60 women, a room for a number of couples and 40 beds for families.This article emphasized the importance of getting the homeless into housing, not just shelters. Dr. Mitchell Katz, head of New York City’s Health and Hospitals corporation and the former head of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services believes that a living in a home is one of the best ways a homeless person can improve their health as people who live without shelter suffer from bad health and safety issues. He’s comparing the homelessness issue in Toronto with those of some cities in the United States and encourages Toronto to use the Housing First model to deal with their homeless population.This is an article about the help church can provide to homeless people. This church is called The Presbytery of the Pacific and they have 53 churches in Los Angeles and Hawaii. Their mission is to be kind, loving and compassionate to homeless individuals. The Refuge is a church in Los Angeles and they work in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, the Los Angeles police and housing providers, they get about 25 homeless people each year. It is obvious that homelessness is not an easy issue to fix and they want to work together, with love, with the homeless and try to help them and find solutions.This is the official Housing First Program website. It details what Housing First really is and its mission. This is a great source to go back to because it is going to provide accurate and up to date information on the program with real statistics and stories. It provides a program overview as well as results.This article describes the living conditions of skid row and how homeless people live every day. At one point they tell of a clean up that cost the city of Los Angeles $2.2 million and workers picked up almost 200 syringes and needles, over 60 razor blades and tons and tons of waste while also bleaching hundreds of locations of urine and feces. They speak of the horrors of skid row and later lighten the mood in the article by describing a local church service that is held on the streets of skid row. The idea with this is the same as the previous article, it’s about showing compassion to the homeless people and treating them as respectable individuals. The main focus on this article is how handing things out to the homeless such as food and materials, does not actually help them. Collins, a homeless man living in skid row is quoted saying, If you’re providing me clothes, food and tents, I don’t have to spend the money I get from the government on anything else but my next hit. Collins manages stores in skid row and sleeps part time in his van and part time in a recovery shelter. He says that temptation is strong at times, but he remembers that people who love him and want to see him do well and better himself. He gets that strength from the people who are compassionate and trying to help him.In this article, Patrick Mcgreevy informs that California takes up a quarter of the nation’s homeless population. Mayors from major cities around the state have gathered together to stress the importance on working together to tackle the homelessness issue. Although there are planning approvals and other obstacles to providing permanent housing any time soon, it is not a wasted effort and should still be a problem to be fixed. They also note the importance of mental health services for the homeless.This is a Ted Talk by Lloyd Pendleton presented in 2016. He had seen how the Housing First model has been effective in New York and wanted to see the impact it could have on Utah. He talks about launching a pilot program including 17 homeless individuals for the Housing First model and describes how it unfolded before them. He speaks of how his perspective on homelessness changed from his experience with helping the homeless directly. Individuals were able to move directly into housing and although they were offered services to clean up their lives and assist them, they were allowed to continue to use drugs and alcohol in their homes. This method of housing the homeless helped them build trust and encouraged them to stay on the right path. They proceeded with this trial with the most challenging homeless people. If this could work for them, this might really be a solution. They were able to reduce chronic homelessness by 91 percent in 10 years.This article explains the shift from treatment first, to housing first and the importance of this change. Some people may think that housing first reinforces bad behavior because it houses individuals quickly without job training or education. The upside though, is that this program is said to be responsible for the 30% decline in homelessness. As for the argument of bad behavior, any person who accepts this housing is subject to frequent check ins to check on their sobriety and mental health.The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has plans to build or renovate housing for homeless veterans. 1,200 units of housing is are set to be created. The article refers to it a new town on its grounds. This is going to be a big project that could take a while but the principal developers will oversee and ensure that the project stays on track. The L.A. city advisory committee is planning to get homeless housing done faster. They should be funded by $1.2 billion bond to help them produce 10,000 units of housing in 10 years. The committee wants to launch a pilot program that would encourage the city to extend it and use this as a long term solution for housing the homeless. With the success of this pilot, it would allow for the city to abolish the requirement that projects have to receive their funding from a number of different sources. This program could be 100% funded from HHH. An obstacle with this pilot is that although it sounds like a good idea, the plan requires making city-owned land and making it public.This document is an analysis of 55 articles on Housing First. The authors wanted to link the lack of explicit information on housing first to be a contributing factor in the oversight when applying this housing first model to the real world. Only 21 of the 55 articles reviewed and analyzed mentioned harm reduction properly and in comprehensive detail. 22 of them didn’t mention any requirement of being sober or abstaining from drugs but it also did not indicate that abstinence was required for program entry either. The rest of the articles offered very low-barrier entry criteria.

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