Housing for the homeless has been identified as the most basic urgent need for the homeless.
1. 100,000 Homes Campaign Housing the Chronically Homeless:
“San Diego counts itself among the many communities around the country involved in a campaign to provide 100,000 chronically homeless people with a place to live by July 2013.”
The campaign, called 100,000 Homes, was recently launched by Common Ground, an organization started in 1990 in New York City whose goal is to end homelessness.
The target of the 100,000 Homes campaign is the chronically homeless — those who have been without a place to live for more than a year — who often need medical care as well as housing. They’ve fallen into a vicious circle of homelessness. The longer they’re on the street, the more difficult it is for them to find a permanent home.
The campaign promotes a community-based approach, calling for local members to build their own team to join the nationwide effort. Over 70 communities across the country have shown their support so far, and that number is still growing.
In San Diego, those in charge of the campaign say this is different than previous homeless initiatives. “We’re not operating in silos anymore,” Robin Munro of the Downtown San Diego Partnership told NPR. This is the largest campaign to date, including police, lawmakers, hospitals, businesses and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
2. “Working to End Homelessness in Durham, NC” by Mary McGuigan:
Circles of Support is a program designed to empower homeless families with the skills to find employment, housing and improve their overall quality of life. This program was launched in August 2010 as part of our programming to help homeless familes.
A Circle of Support can be a civic group, faith-based small group or a close-knit group of friends. The goal is to match support circles with transitioning families helpin gto keep them in their homes.
Tasha Melvin, Volunteer Coordinator for the Genesis Home, facilitates the program. “This program is extremely important because often times our homeless families enter homelessness because they lack support. When they leave from a shelter to their own housing they still don’t have support so they are more likely to return to homelessness. That’s why I like the concept of this program so much,” Melvin said.
Support Circles will provide direct support to the household they are matched with. Support Circle members will meet with the household member(s) and assist them in setting and meeting attainable goals. Some activities include:
- Budgeting and finance
- Healthy eating habits
- Tutoring members enrolled in school
- Helping adults with job applications, résumés, and cover letters
- Providing transportation
- Helping member(s) access community resources
- Assisting with child care