Friday, May 6, 2016

How Do We Make Homelessness Rare, Brief and Nonrecurring?
Opening Doors, the National Strategic Plan to
End Homelessness (Courtesy of USICH)
When reflecting on the second to last blog post, and the happenings in Tent City, it is important to remember what three scholars recently wrote in the UT News, Closing a "Tent City" is Not a Solution to Homelessness.

So, how do we make homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring? The fact is, unlike some of the other challenges our nation is dealing with, we actually know the answer. We house the homeless, because once a person is housed, they are no longer homeless! Now, obviously, every person's needs differ. Some people need some extra help, and other people need a lot of extra help. This why the
consensus of researchers and policy makers calls for Housing First, i.e. housing with adequate supports, not Housing Only, for those that need that support. The fundamental fact remains - we make homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring through housing the homeless.

In order to house the homeless, research shows that a community needs to develop an efficient and effective homeless response system. This is why the U.S. Government, through the national strategic plan to end homelessness,
Opening Doors, has charged MDHA and its counterparts in every American community, with retooling the homeless response system, by transforming homeless services into crisis response systems that prevent homelessness and rapidly return people who experience homelessness to stable housing.

How this is done, on the community level, may differ from community to community, which is why our community is guided by the
2015-2016 Continuum of Care Strategic Work Plan - Building an Effective Homeless Response System, which is based on Opening Doors. As we mentioned in the last e-news, we are already in the process of building our 2016-2017 plan, and we welcome your ideas, each and every one of you, regarding actions, goals, objectives and measures that should go into this follow up plan, and how you can do your part in helping bring these to fruition.  

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