At the meeting solutions for homelessness was the topic. Most of the people who attended represented 50 local area agencies and non-profits and most of them asked about increased funding. It was stressed that due to the shortage of funds, increased focus would be on results. See this article to find out about a similar meeting in another area. One woman at the meeting started a “no profit” that is housing men in five homes and helping them to get services they need and to move in to permanent housing. She said she decided to act because she was tired of seeing the same people living on the streets day after day. She gets no funding at all to do this. Wish more people were like her.
Anyway, I got my shot at commenting on the shortage of studios and one bedroom units in our city and about how the prices of many of these “low-income” apartments are too high for a person living alone (you’d have to share a one bedroom with two or three people to bring the price down). I suggested a sweat equity plan like Habitat for Humanity, where homeless people in the shelters volunteer to help do the unskilled labor tasks in exchange for getting to live in the apartment after it is finished. (How about a guaranteed 3 year lease, too?) They could get a lot of units back on the market if they used the labor available — and for free — to do the rehabs. Will it ever happen? You can dream.
As a side observance, I had introduced myself as homeless (one of the two people in the room), yet, not one of the 50 representatives of the agencies who were in attendance came up to me after the meeting and asked me if I needed help. Typical.
- Housing First Works, the details & supporting research: Christy Respress: Partnership Leads to New Beginning for Homeless Veterans (housingfirstsavannah.wordpress.com)
- FAQ about homelessness (cflhomeless.wordpress.com)
- Salvation Army to assist homeless affected by YWCA closing (cinewsnow.com)
- Low Income Senior Apartments For Rent (answers.com)
- HUD Housing Advocate that dealt with retaliation to improve the lives of HUD residents. (ireport.cnn.com)