1. End Homelessness Now
Homelessness needs end. Now. And before we even talk about ways to remedy and/or prevent, let’s first talk about the current situation where actual human beings are living on the street with no housing. Imagine that! Imagine yourself (and I’m sure some of you may currently be without housing, or have had experienced it before) without housing. So, now think about our neighbors, our family, us, in the streets – we really need to care for each other as loving Americans and do what we can to lift each other up! And that means providing immediate housing to the homeless right now through subsidized “housing first” type apartments/units (permanent supportive housing) and then linking the homeless to support services such as financial workshops, mental health, therapy and job training, either on-site or in the community. We can build upon the success of NYC’s “housing first” approach to end street homelessness. To do that, we also need to:
2. Invest into Building More Permanent Supportive Housing - in certain areas where the housing crisis is full blown as doing so is choosing a cost-effective solution to the homeless crisis where both affordable housing assistance and vital support services are provided for individuals living with mental illness, HIV/AIDS or other serious health problems – this costs less than other forms of emergency and institutional care, and the 1990 City-State “New York/New York” Agreement is a good example where homelessness was tremendously reduced and saved taxpayer dollars that would have otherwise been spent on costly shelters and hospitalizations.