Reducing Homelessness

This is a thread for articles, comments, and discussion about reducing, eliminating, homelessness. Here’s the first article:

Can Houston’s model work for chronic homelessness, in the city and beyond? https://t.co/52otuqH8N7— CityLab (@CityLab) February 7, 2019

Takeaways:

  1. In Houston, they claimed to have found housing for every homeless veteran. A key part of achieving this was streamlining the process to get these individuals into permanent housing. Having an individual to shepherd the individual through the process seemed critical as well.
  2. Observation: The article gave the impression that the availability of permanent housing was not a big issue. The housing is available–it’s just securing resources to help these people go through the process as well as expediting the process.
  3. VA funding, plus HUD, funding made this possible. The lack of funds for non-veterans seems like a major limitation for addressing non-veteran homeless population.
  4. We should remember that there might be bigger problems–the actual causes for homelessness. That is, homelessness is a symptom to other problems (e.g., drug abuse, poor life decisions, poverty, etc.)

One thought on “Reducing Homelessness

  1. Honolulu Is Seeking A New Way To Address The Growing Homeless Problem by Denby Fawcett at Civilbeat.

    This is feature about Anton Kruky, Mayor Blangiardi’s executive director of Office of Housing and Homelessness. To me, the article doesn’t paint a very encouraging picture of the new executive.

    One example:

    Krucky, like Blangiardi, is opposed to homeless sweeps. Sweeps, or “enforcements” as the city and state prefer to call them, are periodic disruptions of people living illegally in parks and on sidewalks.

    The enforcements help break up homeless camps that are growing out of control. Participants alert police about criminal activity and remove tons of trash and feces that pile up in encampments without restroom facilities or regular garbage pickup.

    Social services providers are always part of enforcement actions to offer medical services and shelter to the disrupted campers.

    The idea of sweeps is not appealing, and it’s really a solution. But my sense is that previous Mayors have resorted to them out of necessity, particularly for parks frequently used by the general public. The Mayor and Krucky may not like them, but would allowing homeless population to become entrenched or even grow on city property be preferable?

    The following makes Krucky seem a bit clueless and naive:

    When it comes to sanitation, Krucky says he looks forward to a time when the community will become involved in homeless camp cleanups, working side by side with homeless people. Get the campers to start picking up after themselves. Take responsibility.

    Also a bit of concern for me:

    He says his approach to solving problems is that of a businessman, not a bureaucrat.

    (His experience seems exclusively from the private sector.)

    Krucky also has embraced some flashy new ideas such as buying two or three vehicles to be branded with the letters CORE that would carry teams of social services and medical providers to respond to calls to help homeless people in distress — 911 calls the police would normally handle.

    For example, the CORE team would head out to help a homeless woman yelling and screaming while wandering dangerously into traffic or a homeless man on the verge of harming himself.

    I like the concept of social services provides responding to problems with homeless individuals instead of the police, but three vehicles to service the entire island seems like it won’t be very effective. I imagine the average number of incidents, occurring at any time, would be quite high. I’m not sure how these teams would be deployed.

    The following is the last paragraph:

    Krucky says in its final form the City’s approach to reducing Oahu’s homeless population will have to be something of which we are all proud, but what that will be he is not yet sure.

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