HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY END HOMELESSNESS? WON'T THERE ALWAYS BE SOMEONE WHO IS HOMELESS?
You are right, in that we may not be able to help every person avoid a housing crisis. But we believe that, with the right system in place, they never have to become “homeless”, in the way we understand homelessness today: months or years on the street or in shelter, essentially crossing over to a state-of-being called Homeless.
When we talk about ending homelessness, we mean getting to something we call “functional zero”:
At any point in time, the number of persons experiencing sheltered and unsheltered homelessness will be no greater than the current monthly housing placement rate for persons experiencing homelessness. In other words, your local system has the proven capacity to re-house someone in crisis within 30 days. Watch this great explanation of Functional Zero (from Community Solutions), using Veterans as an example.
HAS ANY COMMUNITY ACTUALLY REACHED FUNCTIONAL ZERO?
Yes, as part of the national Built for Zero movement, ten communities have reached functional zero for homelessness for veterans, individuals experiencing chronic homelessness, or both: Abilene, TX; Arlington, VA; Bergen County, NJ; Ft. Myers/Lee County, FL; Gulf Coast Region, MS; Lancaster, PA; Montgomery County, MD; Norman, OK; Riverside City and County, CA; Rockford, IL. Many more communities are expected to hit these milestones within the next year.
WON'T IT COST TOO MUCH TO HOUSE EVERYONE WHO'S HOMELESS?
Many studies have shown that the public costs of maintaining homelessness are much greater than the costs of ending it through the provision of rent and services. This is especially true for persons who are homeless who also have intensive service needs due to mental health and/or substance abuse issues.
This fact surprises many people, until they learn about the costs of the multiple public crisis systems that serve, or otherwise encounter, persons who are homeless, including: emergency shelter, emergency rooms/hospitals, jails, police, courts, detox centers, in-patient mental health centers, and more.
There are many studies, but here is a selection of reports on cost-effectiveness of supportive housing (i.e., housing for high-needs individuals):
I WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT BEST PRACTICES TO END HOMELESSNESS--WHERE CAN I GO?
These are great places to start:
ARE THERE ANY SPRINT-RELATED VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES?
Thank you! It is so important to have the community involved in these efforts. Please visit our Get Involved page
I AM A LANDLORD AND AM INTERESTED IN BEING PART OF THE SOLUTION - WHERE DO I GO?
Thank you! Landlords are critical to the success of our efforts to end homelessness in the City and County of Eau Claire. Please visit our For Landlords page.