Tuesday, August 9, 2016

It’s Important to Do What Works

Opening Doors - the national strategic plan
to end homelessness
Sometimes folks tell us that we should not let HUD dictate what we do. Who are they, in Washington, to know what is right for us in Dallas?! Well, in fact, HUD does NOT dictate what we do; the evidence does. Decades of research, culminating in the landmark national strategic plan to end homelessness, mentioned above, Opening Doors, guide our work in every community. This plan came about through the specific contribution of 750 leaders and experts from around the country (including in our community), but also "through thousands of individuals (emphasis ours) who contributed online, in meetings, and in Agency analysis", whose "wisdom and experience helped determine priorities based on data, research, and results."

So, while there are certainly philosophical reasons to advocate for Housing First, not Housing Readiness, for Rapid Rehousing, not Transitional Housing (except for youth and domestic violence survivors), and for a coordinated homeless response system, rather than an uncoordinated homeless service environment, what really matters is that in each of these examples is that the former works, and the latter does not. We have to follow data, research and results. Would any other approach be fair to those we ultimately serve, those experiencing homelessness?  

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