Here is a workable idea to house the homeless, rehab housing, and create community involvement:
I’ll add my 2 cents:
* How about having the homeless people volunteer to do the rehab (if able, and under supervision).
* Shelters can be the first place where potential good neighbors and responsible property caretakers can be found. (Yes, there are some people who are, and it shows.) People who get along naturally cluster together in shelters and these bonds should be supported. (No throwing a trouble maker in their midst and making the homeless decide the best way to deal with the nasty person. Even if that’s how the staff gets some jollies. Doing this causes friction in the group, because they will differ on how to deal with the trouble maker. Some will be passive and some proactive. ) Instead use the community that they have together and try to build on it.
* Sit those potential candidates down together and set out a plan: A house will be offered as a rehab to the group. They will contract to help rehab it within their abilities, dedicate a certain amount of days a week to work on the property, name people who would like to be alternates (in case anyone pulls out), set the rent amount and have some kind of guarantee payment worked out. Maybe the gov can give these people a grant (after they have rehabed the house and shown good faith) to cover 3 to 4 months rent in case some of the members of the house co-op mess up and don’t pay rent. They would have to put another renter in (another person from the shelter? must pay deposit, since no rehab of house was done?), but 3 to 4 months to cover the short fall will keep everybody from landing back on the street.
This is a related post of stuff being done in Chicago:
Of course, all this work can be done, but if a few sour neighbors get nasty because they find out that the house is inhabited by former homeless people, well that’s another battle. To which I say, don’t be an a**hole. You could be homeless too.