Editorial: Housing for the Homeless
Housing for our homeless individuals and families is not keeping up. Funds are being reduced, units are becoming more expensive. Unit costs have risen to such a point where we might as well consider buying a house for each of our homeless. There is something wrong. Economically, our homeless are having a large impact on social services. Our society will be stronger if we get many more people off our streets, our chronically homeless need a home. How can one think about anything else if seeking shelter and food are all encompassing? A life of waiting in long lines, a life of discomfort and fear.
If a person can have a safe, warm and dry place to sleep, to eat, to bathe, to live, they can start to rebuild their life. Our chronically homeless need a place that will give them dignity, privacy and a place they can call their own.
We have built homeless housing and shelters, maybe for 100, maybe for 200 at a time. The projects take years from initial idea to occupancy. The units cost a lot, too much for a constant flow of new units to happen. For each new project, we have an opening ceremony, celebrate our accomplishment, and then go home satisfied. But, thousands still remain on our streets.
We need to build many more warm, safe and dry housing units for our homeless, much faster. Not bunk beds, but places an individual can live in permanently, with pride and dignity.
Our unit delivery system is obviously not working. Housing for the homeless begs for innovation, for solutions that will greatly increase the quantity of housing for our homeless.
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