To end homelessness, a coordinated, community-wide approach is needed to provide services, housing and programs. The solution for the homeless is simple: housing. We know what it takes to end homelessness. Housing provides a foundation from which an individual or family can access the services and supports they need to achieve stability, begin the recovery process, and pursue their personal goals.
One of the most effective ways to help people overcome homelessness and move to permanent housing is to increase access to meaningful and sustainable job training and employment. An effective response to the crisis involves coordinating and redirecting programs and services to adopt the “Housing First” approach, and emphasizes rapidly connecting individuals and families to permanent housing, while mitigating the traumatic effects of homelessness. Recognizing that solutions to homelessness affect federal, state and local jurisdictions, we need to create a robust, inter-agency and cross-sectoral approach to preventing and ending homelessness. 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. The government has tried to address the problem of homelessness at almost every level, but comprehensive solutions have proved difficult to achieve, despite the billions invested over time. However, to continue to qualify for state funding, Solutions for Change recently eliminated its sobriety requirements and periodic drug testing at most of its housing sites, reducing the number of families served in its sober living program from 200 to 60, said a spokeswoman for the organization. Chris Megison, president and CEO of Solutions for Change in North San Diego County, says Housing First has been around for years and hasn't achieved any significant results.
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