Will Veteran Homelessness Soon Be a Crisis of the Past?
Homelessness has long seemed an insurmountable problem and veteran homelessness is a particular tragedy. Making positive progress on such an overwhelming issue has often felt fruitless, with solutions that are not much more than band-aids. But in Houston, which once had one of the highest populations of Veteran homelessness in the country, over 35 agencies partnered to tackle this situation with stunning results.
In the last five years, Houston has almost entirely eradicated its homeless population by providing supportive housing at very low cost. Beyond getting someone off the street, it is even more important to get them the help and support they need. It has also been proven that providing supportive housing is actually 40% cheaper for the city than typical methods of dealing with chronic homelessness. Los Angeles is following Houston’s example and has already cut its homeless population by 33% and is setting an ambitious goal of eradicating homelessness in the city by the end of 2015.
Author and media strategist Shawna Vercher says that the example Houston has set raises the bar for other major issues as well. “I think the lesson for us as voters and as citizens is to stop settling for how things are. We don’t have to settle; we can fix these problems. The solutions are there if we are willing to look for them and work hard enough.”
Learn more about how Houston was able to solve their homeless crisis and exactly how effective these strategies have been as Shawna and I discuss this remarkable development on Dare We Say.