Published on Rosie’s Place, not dated.
The primary cause of individual and family homelessness is the lack of housing. However, other conditions exist that are barriers to permanent housing: …
… What are the answers?
The Solutions to end homelessness require the political will and the resources to address the root causes of homelessness and barriers to permanent housing.
Affordable Housing is a need for homeless individuals and families across the spectrum. Government affordable housing programs, such as Section 8 or public housing, have waiting lists that are several years long. Increasing resources for such programs will help thousands of families overcome homelessness. Affordable housing initiatives should also be targeted to the families with fixed or low income, who are at or below 30% of the Area Median Income (annual income of $24,800 for a family of four).
Homelessness prevention initiatives, such as rental assistance or support services, provide families the help they need to remain in their homes. Programs such as rental assistance, provide a limited monetary assistance to cover the shortfall in rent payments, at a lower cost to taxpayers than emergency shelters. Non-financial support services for vulnerable tenants provide appropriate interventions to prevent homelessness.
Access affordable healthcare, including substance abuse treatment and mental health recovery services.
Access to support services: childcare, employment assistance, designed to assist individuals and families in overcoming barriers to their homelessness.
Reinstating services for immigrants: Immigrants are significant contributors to the economy and are tax payers. Federal and state legislation has targeted immigrants, particularly legally-present immigrants, for cuts to services and programs. Immigrants continue to pay their fair share of taxes but are politically viewed as burdens instead of contributors. These regulations have left many immigrants without access to basic services available to citizens, such as affordable housing and healthcare. Citizenship is a goal for most immigrants and though their status limits them from voting now, they will eventually be voting citizens. (full text).