Helping the chronically homeless
I’m a few days late on this, but it makes for good Christmas Eve reading: an online article from the New York Times‘s David Borenstein about the 100,000 Homes Campaign, an attempt to address chronic homelessness in more than 60 communities.
Each day, roughly 700,000 people in the country are homeless. About 120,000 are chronically homeless. They often live on the streets for years and have mental disabilities, addiction problems and life-threatening diseases like heart disease, cancer and diabetes. They are also five times more likely than ordinary Americans to have suffered a traumatic brain injury, which may have precipitated their homelessness. Without direct assistance, many will remain homeless for the rest of their lives — at enormous cost to society and themselves.
The 100,000 Homes Campaign aims to get these people into housing, realizing that a stable home must be the first step, not the last, in addressing their other problems. The campaign is a project of New York-based organization Common Ground, which was founded by Roseanne Haggerty, a longtime friend of Commonweal. Borenstein quotes her and others on the challenges of dealing with chronic homelessness, and what past attempts have taught them that could make this campaign successful.