Ending Homelessness Today — Chronic Homelessness
What We Know About Housing First
August 04, 2011
Nan Roman, president and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, penned this piece on Housing First for FEANTSA (the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless) which is an umbrella of not-for-profit organisations which participate in or contribute to the fight against homelessness in Europe.
What Is Housing First?
Housing First is an approach that is built on the principle that a short experience of homelessness and rapid stabilization in housing are best for homeless people and most effective in ending homelessness. Housing First places homeless people in housing quickly and then provides or links them to services as needed, rather than the more customary approach of services first, then housing. While not assuming that housing is sufficient to solve all the problems that people have, Housing First does assume that housing is a necessary platform for success in services, education, employment, and health: in short for achieving personal and family well-being. It also has the benefit of being consumer-driven: housing is what homeless people want and seek.
The Housing First approach focuses on a few critical elements.
There is a focus on helping individuals and families access housing as quickly as possible and the housing is not time-limited (it is not shelter, transitional housing, etc.).
While some crisis resolution and housing search services might be delivered in the process of obtaining housing, core services to promote well-being and housing stability (treatment, education, child development, etc.) are primarily delivered following housing placement.
The nature and duration of services depend upon individual need and services are voluntary.
Housing is not contingent on compliance with services; however consumers must typically comply with standard requirements of tenancy (paying the rent, etc.).
Housing First has most often been used to describe an approach for assisting homeless people with serious mental health and substance abuse disorders. In this context it has been contrasted with a “housing readiness” approach in which people are required to achieve sobriety or treatment compliance as a pre-condition of receiving housing. However, the principle of Housing First is also applicable to people with less significant or more temporary problems, such as families or individuals who are homeless for economic reasons. Typically such people are temporarily housed in shelters or transitional housing, often at relatively high cost and for relatively long periods of time (up to two years), while they receive services that will make them “ready” for housing. However, an increased focus on housing placement, even with relatively small amounts of housing subsidy and linkage to community-based services, is a more effective strategy with a lower cost for this population as well.
What Does a Housing First Approach Entail?
While there is a wide variety of program models, Housing First programs or systems typically include the following activities.
Assessment and Targeting
Individuals and families receive an in-depth, up-front assessment before being referred to or receiving services from a Housing First provider. This allows providers to ascertain both the needs of the consumer, and whether the available program(s) can meet those needs. The level of assistance programs are able to provide most often shapes who a community can target for Housing First services.
Evidence indicates Housing First is appropriate for most, if not all, homeless people. The combination of housing linked to services can help a wide variety of people exit homelessness more rapidly. This is supported by research that demonstrates that most formerly homeless families, including those with significant challenges, will retain housing with the provision of a long-term ... Read More »
What Does It Mean To Improve Our Communities?
November 03, 2010
Today’s guest post comes from Alliance research associate Pete Witte: homelessness researcher, urban planner, and brand new dad.
Last week I attended a meeting with the local D.C. chapter of the American Planning Association. Xavier Briggs - urban planner, academic, and current Associate Director at the Office of Management and Budget - spoke to the group.
Briggs is most acclaimed for his work on the concept of “geography of opportunity,” the idea that race and class segregation affects the well-being and life potential of people with fewer means. As a former urban planner turned homelessness researcher, Briggs caught my attention when he dropped the h-word into the conversation:
“…and planning for low-income housing and for those who are homeless.”
One of the things that I quickly learned in my post at the Alliance is that there is plenty of overlap between my former role as an urban planner and my current role as a homelessness researcher. Namely, I still spend my time asking one central question: what does it mean to improve our communities?
As an urban planner, that meant considering the best way to incentivize “green space,” or deciphering what the zoning code had to say about “FAR,” pondering what it meant to “rethink the auto” and encourage “TOD.”
As a homelessness researcher, it means new and different things.
I’ve learned that one way to improve communities would be to increase the amount of permanent supportive housing options for persons w... Read More »
Take Five with Rosanne Haggerty!
October 27, 2010
Today's guest post comes to us from Rosanne Haggerty,founder of Common Ground New York and the 100,000 Homes Campaign.
What is the newest issue emerging in homelessness policy?
One issue with large potential impact is that more communities are using data to redesign their response to homelessness. Communities with the most information on who is homeless are in the best position to help people out of homelessness. Better data means being able to use mainstream programs more effectively— for instance, if we know who exactly is a veteran, or who qualifies for senior housing, our options for housing those people expand significantly. Along with many partners, we recently launched the 100,000 Homes Campaign to help communities across the country identify, house and support their most vulnerable homeless residents. Participating means having help in gathering person-specific data on who is homeless and in the most fragile health; creating a successful housing placement system; and being part of and learning from a network of others working collectively to house 100,000 vulnerable people by July 2013.
What issue in homelessness policy should everyone be reminded of?
I think many of us were inspired after Hurricane Katrina when over 80,000 people took to craigslist to offer housing to those made homeless by the storm. It jolted me into realizing that people naturally take care of each other in moments of crisis. The homeless never forget that homelessness is an urgent problem, but I think the rest of us o... Read More »
Goodbye from Marisa
August 31, 2010
Hello everyone! I can’t believe my internship at the Alliance is over, but I can definitely say I am so glad I came here! When I interviewed for this job, I just wanted to work for a good cause and I didn’t know anything about homelessness. That certainly isn’t the case now!
I have learned so much about homelessness since I came to the Alliance, my perceptions have been completely changed. I have learned about the struggles the people endure and the causes that force people into homelessness. I have learned that the stereotype I had before I came here was just not in line with reality. The biggest misconception I had? That the people I see on the streets are the majority of the homeless population. Chronic homelessness only makes up 20 percent though! After working here, I will definitely do my best to help change people’s perceptions, because I can see that this is the most important step in affecting change.
It has also been great blogging with you! I had never worked on a professional blog or ran social media for an organization before, but the experience has shown me how such tools can really be great ways to get information out to people. Running social media like Facebook and Twitter has also shown me how we can develop communities of people who really care, to help spread information and start to affect real change.... Read More »
Friday News Round Up: Housing Those Most At Risk
August 13, 2010
This week, we heard a lot about the troubles people are having in housing. In Boston, we read about how rentals are becoming harder to find and afford, while in Atlanta, we saw the commotion caused by crowds gathered in an attempt to sign up for Section 8 assistance. What a state things are in when over 20,000 brave the heat in order to seek help!
However, we have also heard good news coming out of places like Arkansas, where they are using HPRP funds to help house people in their population who are experiencing homelessness.
In USA Today, they even examined the possibility that home ownership might not be the best thing for the federal government to push.
Finally, in the LA Times this week they talked about Project 50, a pilot program to house some of Los Angeles’ most vulnerable citizens experiencing homelessness. This program, they explain, could be the start of housing not only 50 of the most vulnerable people, but 10,000. Shelter Partnership also wrote a blog, examining Project 50 on a deeper level.... Read More »
Friday News Roundup: a farewell, vets, and the cost-effectiveness of Housing FIrst
June 04, 2010
This is my last Friday news roundup at the Alliance. I've been really inspired by all the fantastic work that's happening, both locally and at the federal level, and I'm so glad I got to help spread the word. Hearing stories from community across the country has made me believe that ending homelessness really is possible. Catherine's back at the helm of the About Homelessness blog and soon she'll be joined by a NEW new media intern. Thanks for reading!Memorial Day brought some attention to veterans experiencing homelessness. An in-depth piece from the Arizona Star takes a look at the divide between the VA's plan to end homelessness within 5 years and the attitudes of some vets who are chronically homeless. Change.org's Poverty in America blog features Swords and Plowshares, a facility that combines housing and services to get former soldiers back on their feet. The Corporation for Supportive Housing's Deborah DeSantis shares a recent report that shows there are three times more mentally ill people in jail than in hospitals. The solution is not only humane, but cost-effective: Permanent Supportive Housing.Speaking of cost-effectiveness, the Providence Journal discussed the benefits of the Housing First model by telling the story of Bill Victoria, who was homeless for 30 years before finally finding stable housing: "I thought I'd be homeless forever," he says.Not so. About the Housing First approach, Eric Hirsch, a sociology professor at Providence College, says:It’s d... Read More »
Las Vegas: Lights, Glitz, and Public Policy
May 24, 2010
Today's guest post is from Policy Associate Anthony Stasi. You might assume that people experiencing homelessness in Las Vegas and the surrounding areas are former gamblers, drifters from California, or people that were hit hard by the foreclosure crisis. But according to Continuum of Care Coordinator Michele Fuller-Hallauer, many of the homeless in this region are mentally ill, and require regular intake of medication. Last week I visited the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition’s Committee on Homelessness, where I met Fuller-Hallauer, Shannon West, and Catherine Huang Hara, who are part of a small group that oversees homeless policy in this area. The Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition works with several other organizations and committees in an effective team that has seen results: street homelessness has decreased 16.4%.They’ve also seen family homelessness drop: in 2008, there were 933 homeless households with children. In 2009 that number dropped to 346 homeless households with children. This is a reduction of 587 households or a 63 percent reduction in family homelessness.Still, the overall figure of homelessness in Las Vegas has climbed 16.8 percent. The increase in the overall number of homeless comes from their increase in people that are utilizing transitional housing programs. They have experienced a great deal of success in moving people to permanent housing, but – in cases of those who are mentally ill and unable to make rational choices – they cannot move them into permanent housing as easily. They do a great job in what is a ve... Read More »
Friday News Roundup: Welcome new Alliance staff!
May 21, 2010
We're welcoming two new staff members at the Alliance this week: Kim Walker is our new Capacity Building Associate and Kate Seif is our new Assistant to the President. We're excited to have their experience and enthusiasm in our office!We had a visit this week from Sarah, John and James, three intrepid college students from North Carolina who are biking across the country to research Housing First initiatives and raise money for housing in their own community. We'll be following them on their blog - and you should too. We're still waiting on the Federal Plan to End Homelessness, but in the meantime, check out the Homeless Law blog's post "Five Reasons I'm Looking Forward to the Federal Plan.The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities sets the record straight about the Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Contingency Fund, in response to claims on the YouCut website. (Pssst: The Emergency Contingency Fund is part of HR 4123, which is being discussed in the House today. if you haven't called your Members of Congress about HR4123, do it now!)We've mentioned Street Roots' photo project, where they asked their vendors what matters most and this week, they posted this cool word cloud. What jumps out at you? Love this editorial in the Salt Lake Tribune about how to end homelessness. They're speaking our language:How do you eliminate chronic homelessness? The problem seems so complex that the obvious solution... Read More »
McKinney-Vento Advocates Speak Out: Q&A with Leah Bradley
May 11, 2010
As we've talked about the McKinney-Vento Appropriations Campaign on this blog, we've often mentioned the impact that that federal funding has on homeless assistance in your community. Today's blog post is from Leah Bradley, Director of Housing and Program Development at Community Health Link, and one of the winners of our 2010 Letter Writing Contest. She knows first-hand how crucial McKinney-Vento funding is for Worcester, and along with our advocacy team, she traveled to Washington DC to tell her members of Congress.Why is it important for your community to fund McKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance programs at $2.4 billion? Can you give an example of a program that might be affected? The McKinney Vento- Homeless Assistance programs have been the primary programs in our community to reduce chronic homelessness. According to our 2010 Point In Time survey, chronic homelessness in the City of Worcester was reduced by 38% from 2009 to 2010. The majority of those were housed in McKinney-funded permanent supportive housing. In addition, our community has used HPRP funds to transform our emergency shelter system to a rapid re-housing system. The components of this are a triage system where anyone seeking emergency shelter must see a triage worker first. No one is denied shelter; however, through this system we have been able to divert 67.4% (622 out of 923) of those seeking shelter from staying at the shelter. In order to maintain this new system and house those individuals who become chronically homeless over the next year, we... Read More »
Friday News Roundup: the latest on HPRP, homeless female veterans and counts
April 30, 2010
If you've never read UNITY of Greater New Orleans blog Signs of Life in Greater New Orleans, do it now. This post highlights the complex issues many chronically homeless people face, as well as their dedication to finding each and every person a place to call home. Last week, UNITY GNO took home our Nonprofit Achievement Award and this week, let's continue to celebrate their work.Although we've been discussing programs like the National Housing Trust Fund and the Housing and Services Demonstration Program, our key federal priorities are still on our minds. Here's some updates:The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program is one with transformative potential, and an initiative we've covered extensively on this blog. The latest on the significance of HPRP comes from from Change.org's End Homelessness blog. Blogger Steven Samra writes:The beauty of HPRP over the few other sources of assistance available is that agencies participating in HPRP are able to help remove the huge barriers to housing that people who are newly homeless often face.We've been paying particular attention to the struggles facing female veterans experiencing homelessness, and it looks like the federal government is, too. The Department of Labor announced a $5 million dollar grant for reintegration initiatives this week, while one former servicewoman in Florida moved into her new home. We're also keeping a close eye on data released from January Point in Time counts. This week Dallas announced that despite... Read More »
NYC Homelessness Commissioner Rob Hess Steps Down
April 19, 2010
Today, we at the Alliance learned that Rob Hess, commissioner of the NYC Department of Homeless Services, will be stepping down from his post on Friday, April 23. During his tenure, Rob has been a valuable contributor to the efforts of the Alliance and an important ally in our fight to end homelessness in America. Most recently, Rob had served as co-chairman of the Alliance’s Leadership Council - a group of eleven leaders in the homeless assistance field from across the country. The Leadership Council has been instrumental in pulling together information about effective work around the country, most notably in the implementation of the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP), the $1.5 billion stimulus-funded effort to prevent and curb homelessness resulting from the recession. Rob also served as frequent speaker at Alliance Conferences, sharing his experience as a leader in our homeless assistance community and offering lessons from the field. He has been an important source of information, for people working at the local level and for policymakers. He also made important strides in his work at the city-level. As DHS Commissioner, Rob was committed to innovation – he expanded the HomeBase program in NYC, which was the inspiration for the existing federal HPRP program. He worked to reduce street homelessness and focused his efforts on homelessness prevention for families. He also brought thoughtful, empirical data to the problem – integrating data into prevention efforts and emphasizing outcomes for street outreach. His l... Read More »
"Housing can save lives," says Martha Kegel, 2010 Nonprofit Achievement Award Winner
April 08, 2010
At our Annual Awards Ceremony on April 22, we'll honor Unity of Greater New Orleans, a nonprofit organization leading a collaborative of 63 agencies providing housing and services to the homeless in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish. In 2009, UNITY provided housing or services to 19,468 homeless children and adults - nearly twice the number of people served annually before Hurricane Katrina.Executive Director Martha Kegel will accept our Nonprofit Achievement Award on behalf of UNITY. Read on to learn more about Martha's story and UNITY's work.1. What is the newest issue emerging in homelessness policy?As climate change leads to more disasters of great severity here and around the globe, a sustained commitment is needed to ensuring permanent housing solutions for the poorest and most vulnerable victims of disasters. Here in New Orleans, nearly five years after poorly designed levees broke, several thousand of the most vulnerable victims of Hurricane Katrina – most of whom have serious disabilities but were stably housed before the disaster -- are living in Third World conditions, squatting in New Orleans’ 61,000 abandoned buildings filled with mold, rotting debris and gaping holes in the ceilings as though Katrina just happened. The Mississippi Gulf Coast too is seeing widespread homelessness as a result of massive loss of housing stock and dramatic increases in rents since Katrina. The lion’s share of attention is given to emergency relief when disasters happen, but a strong and sustained partnership is needed between nonprofits, government and phila... Read More »
Friday News Roundup: Elderly homelessness, the Census, and even some good news
April 02, 2010
Policymakers can consider themselves warned: in 10 years, homelessness among the elderly population will have increased dramatically unless they take action. Along with our own report, The Rising Elderly Population, the AARP's Public Policy Institute and the Center for Housing Policy also released a study this week on Strategies to Meet the Housing Needs of Older Adults. It even comes with an online toolkit to help make these strategies into reality.Although predictions about elderly homelessness are a cause for serious concern, there has been some good news in headlines about homelessness this week:In San Francisco, a new 56-unit development for formerly homeless individuals opened its doors this week. 149 Mason Street also offers a host of services, including an on-site medical clinic. Two officials in Ventura County, CA are working to invest extra revenue in homeless assistance, including start-up money for a housing trust fund. The Cleveland Homeless blog reported on a study by the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless that shows despite increasing unemployment and an increasing difficult housing market, homelessness has only risen slightly due to a solid network of prevention and emergency services. The Huffington Post featured a story about a mother with two children who recently moved into permanent supportive housing after escaping domestic violence.And it's census week! We shared some neat trivia on our blog as census workers visited emergency shelters, free meal sites, and outdoor areas like parking lots in an attempt to g... Read More »
Reoprt out today: Homelessness among the elderly to rise 33% by 2020
April 01, 2010
According to The Rising Elderly Population, the latest report from our own Homelessness Research Institute, homelessness among the elderly is set to increase 33% between 2010 and 2010.I sat down with MWilliam Sermons, director of HRI, to talk about the report, specifically our recommended solutions to the increasingly urgent problem of elderly homelessness.Liz: These projections are pretty dire. What can we do to start curbing elderly homelessness now?Bill: I think the primary thing that can be done right now is to trying shore up affordable housing programs on which elderly persons rely.There's a mix between project-based Section 8, housing choice vouchers, Section 202, Section 515. Because elderly persons have a diverse range of needs, they utilize a diverse range of federal programs and local programs. So I think it’s really critical that the housing stock in these programs be preserved.Bill: It’s also critical that new housing units be created moving forward. Federal policy definitely has to move in a direction such that we’re dramatically expanding the availability of affordable housing that elderly persons rely on.I also think that one of the things that’s critical from a homelessness perspective is that the job of ending chronic homelessness be completed. The projection is that there will be a 33% increase in elderly homelessness between 2010 and 2020 and a lot of the people that are chronically homeless now are in the "older adult but not yet elderly" category.So the success that we... Read More »
Friday News Roundup: new HUD study, plus healthcare and homelessness
March 26, 2010
This week, HUD released a study that supports this argument we’ve been making for years: emergency shelter is actually more expensive for society than providing permanent housing. Along those lines, the latest in our series of seriously neat interactive tools, which we launched this week, illustrates the cost savings to communities with permanent supportive housing. You can read more on the new HUD study on Change.org's End Homelessness blog or in USA Today. As this week began, a historic piece of healthcare legislation was passed in the House and signed by President Obama. While kinks get worked out and the fight continues, we’re focusing on how reform will impact people experiencing homelessness. On Monday, we talked about why healthcare matters in the fight against homelessness and in the Huffington Post, Deborah De Santis of the Corporation for Supportive Housing made a convincing case:The administration's proposal includes expanding Medicaid to everyone who earns below 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Currently, permanent supportive housing projects across the country are constantly trying to find funding to pay for mental health services, substance abuse treatment, primary health care and intensive case management services. Expanded Medicaid insurance coverage will allow supportive housing providers to focus on providing services, rather than chasing after funding.The full article is definitely worth a read. Speaking of healthcare, the Street Roots blog published a stellar interview with Jim O’Connell, one of the founding physician... Read More »
Spotlight on budget: Permanent Supportive Housing!
February 09, 2010
Last week's budget recommendations included a pleasant surprise for permanent supportive housing advocates: 10,000 new homeless and special needs vouchers specifically focused on building collaboration between federal agencies. It's a welcome sign that the Obama administration is willing to invest in real, practical solutions to homelessness.Permanent supportive housing is a proven solution to chronic homelessness; it's a paradigm shift we've been working on here at the Alliance for years, so it's really exciting to hear the federal government speaking our language:Stable housing is the foundation upon which all else in a family’s or individual’s life is built--absent a safe, affordable place to live, it is next to impossible to achieve good health, positive educational outcomes, or reach one’s full economic potential.Here's what's special about this initiative:Targeting mainstream supports to homeless people: The program could be a catalyst for learning how to target programs like Medicaid and substance abuse treatment to homeless individuals. Since these systems are frequently used by chronically homeless individuals and permanent supportive housing cuts down on use of services, it just makes sense for these agencies to figure out how best to work together.A "silo-busting" alignment of resources: The program represents a move toward interagency collaboration. Take a child whose family is in shelter: not only would the program provide her family with a housing voucher, but it would also connect them with income support such as the Temporary Assistance for N... Read More »
Friday News Roundup: Research on chronic homelessness, youth, vets
January 22, 2010
Organizations across the country are looking to fill their volunteer rosters for annual Point in Time counts next week. Volunteer in your area and look forward to a more detailed look at counts on this blog next week.Otherwise, a variety of interesting, important research pieces have come out this week. Here's a handful of highlights:Results of a study on youth homelessness in Oregon came out this week. While we're always glad to see data on youth homelessness, it looks like numbers of youth experiencing homelessness are increasing pretty dramatically, service providers say.A University of Birmingham professor Jeffrey Michael Clair spent two years interviewing Birmingham's chronically homeless. His conclusion? "Public policy should be oriented more toward enabling people to work and to secure a dwelling." Agreed. (Found this one through Inforumusa.)The Corporation for Supportive Housing's Richard Cho was featured on the Funders Together blog this week with research from the Frequent Users Forum. Their work shows why permanent supportive housing is a cost-effective solution to chronic homelessness: case management combined with permanent housing for those stuck in the "institutional circuit" reduces time and public money spent in hospitals, jails and shelters. The Department of Veteran's Affairs recently reported on the ways they're shifting medical systems to better serve veterans who are homeless, including integrating health care and other services, like job training and housing. Though many of the 131,000 homeless veterans in the U.S. struggle with addiction... Read More »
Friday News Roundup: 38 percent drop in homelessness in Los Angeles, California
October 30, 2009
Without question, the news of the day is the reported 38 percent drop in Los Angeles, CA.
In a year when everything seemed to present endless challenges for the homeless and homeless advocacy community – rising unemployment, stifled state budgets, increasing homeless counts, reduction of public services, and the rest – it seemed incredible that the city with the largest homeless population in the country saw such a pronounced decrease in their numbers. The Los Angeles Continuum of Care (CoC) is a solid ten percent of the entire homeless population in the country – so any significant movement in their number would represent a notable change in the nation’s homeless population.
All to say – we definitely noticed.
And the inevitable question that rises from such a report is this: how?
Alliance staff has ruminated about the data for the last couple days. Together, we discussed the drop in the sheltered count (down by 19 percent), rental unit vacancy rates for the last five years (up by 3 percent), the unemployment rate (up by 5 percent), the Consumer Price Index (down by 4 percent), and – of course – methodology. We compared Los Angeles to New York and the nation, comparing numbers and rates and population, noting the general difficulties in counting homelessness people – especially the unsheltered (67 percent of the homeless population in LA is unsheltered.)
Of course, all these variables could play a role in determining how and why the count went down as significantly as it did. The rate of rental ... Read More »
HIV/AIDS in DC and housing
October 21, 2009
Recently, the Washington Post launched a series about HIV/AIDS funding in the District of Columbia. The series shed light on waste, mismanagement, and neglect – hallmarks, it seems from the story, of a program intended to serve those desperately in need of services. DC, as the story confirms, has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the country; higher than some West African countries.
As I was reading this well-researched expose, I was struck at the intersection of HIV/AIDS and housing.
I was particular taken with the profiles of two people: a homeless man afflicted with HIV named Alexander Harrington and a [housed] single mother of two named J’Mia Edwards.
Harrington was an ex-offender who, upon his release, sought out assistance from an AIDS service center that promised counseling, a lead on permanent housing, and job training. Shortly after his stay there, he was pushed out with nothing to show for his time.
J’Mia Edwards is an outreach worker, attempting to ensure that her friends and neighbors are educated about HIV/AIDS, all the while caring for her two young children.
Resonant throughout the stories of these two was their deep desire for stable housing.
J’Mia Edwards go so far as to remark,”…if I don’t have adequate housing, I’m not gonna worry about taking my medication…a part of my prevention is my housing.”
And these deliberations by people who are presently experiencing this need only soli... Read More »
Data + Research: Video Fact Sheet
October 06, 2009
Apologies for the hiatus over the last week.
But today, we make it up to you by launching our very first video fact sheet.
A lot of times, we get asked this question: How many homeless people are there?
And while that may seem like a simple question to answer, it’s actually more complicated than it seems. It’s not easy to count homeless people, so there are a lot of estimates. It depends on how you define “homelessness”. It depends on the groups you’re interested in – most people think of single adult men when they picture homelessness, but there are also families and children and veterans.
There’s also different methodology – the Department of Housing and Urban Development requires that all communities count homeless persons in their area every other year, but people count in different ways, so the number should account for that.
And we get variations of the question, too. How many people are homeless in a specific community? How many people who are homeless have a serious disorder? How many people are disabled? How many are youth? How many qualify for federal assistance – and of those, who’s accessing federal assistance?
So it’s actually a pretty complicated answer – and sometimes it can be hard to understand.
But luckily for you, the director of the Homelessness Research Institute – M William Sermons – put together this great video fact sheet explaining the numbers in an easy, understandable way... Read More »