Friday, December 31, 2010

Can we end homelessness?

Photo Credit: 100,000 Homes Campaign

A friend sent us an article today: A Plan to Make Homelessness History by David Bornstein.  Mr. Bornstein is the author of How to Change the World, and his ideas about social problems are intriguing.  This New York Times article talks about the problem of homelessness, and how to find a solution in a new, yet simple, way: to see the homeless as people first.  People do not become homeless because they want to, or because they have given up, but because they just don't have enough resources to pull themselves up.  According to the article, about 700,000 people are homeless in the United States, with 120,000 of those chronically homeless.  "Without direct assistance, many will remain homeless for the rest of their lives — at enormous cost to society and themselves."  Instead of paying for these homeless to float in and out of our food banks, hospitals, and jails, shouldn't we support them in supporting themselves?

The goal of the 100,000 Homes Campaign is to target those chronically homeless and help them find permanent supportive housing by July 2013.  The website explains: "Launched by Common Ground and a host of national and local partners, the Campaign is designed to fundamentally alter our response to homelessness by giving communities concrete tools and connecting them to each other so no one has to innovate alone."  With support and data from volunteers and communities, the 100,000 Homes Campaign hopes to better understand the problem and find innovative solutions to keep people off the streets and into homes.  Sometimes people just need a little help up, and from there they can build a better life for their friends and families.

In a few hours, we will begin a fresh, new year.  Won't you help someone in your local neighborhood start a fresh, new year too?  Join the movement.

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