Housing First is considered one of the best practices for addressing the problem of homelessness, but when one city has succeeded, another continues to struggle. Increasing aid to the homeless during the pandemic will help, but experts say only with strategic planning. Before The Way Home, area service providers and nonprofit organizations were an uncoordinated “tangle of services”, but the city worked to coordinate local efforts, including the adoption of the Homeless Management Information System to connect people to adequate and stable housing within 30 days of entry into the system and evaluation. The best way cities can help their homeless populations is to house and support them with services that help them find stable employment, health care, and child care services.
In Los Angeles, the number of homeless people increased by more than 33 percent in the last two years and increased by more than 42 percent for people who don't live in shelters. While some of those increases have been reversed, Houston has not yet recovered as it was before the storm, said Catherine Troisi, an epidemiologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center, who checks the annual count of homeless people. However, Vienna, Austria, Helsinki, Finland, Salt Lake City, Utah and Columbus, Ohio are 4 impressive cities that have almost completely solved homelessness. San Diego tried to carry out a series of one-off projects, but it could not expand on the lessons learned and saw far fewer reductions in the number of homeless people.
Boston has experienced a recent increase in the number of homeless people, but it is in a state that has a law on the right to housing. Houston renovated its entire system so that more people can access housing quickly and reduced the number of homeless people by more than half. Cities with large populations of homeless people tried to solve their problem by adopting a strategy that prioritized providing housing and assistance to people rather than giving them temporary housing. To treat and manage chronic health and behavioral health conditions that often affect their ability to stay in a home and achieve their personal goals, homeless people must have access to comprehensive health care.
San Diego's few Housing First initiatives were successful in housing more than 1,000 homeless people, records show. Other cities have tried or are testing similar approaches, but are still struggling with a stable or growing population of homeless people. The family options study showed that, when it comes to transitional housing, quick rehousing and vouchers, vouchers proved to be the best option to help homeless families achieve residential stability, and other studies have shown that rapid rehousing can work in certain contexts.