Say you’re homeless and you live in a city with a growing homeless population. At night, the shelters may be crowded or filled, and during the day the shelters don’t provide a place to sleep. You're exhausted and have to sleep somewhere, but you have no options. What do you do?
Every day and every night, thousands of homeless people find themselves in this very situation. So they find a park or a place on a sidewalk or somewhere else not fit for human habitation. They do the best they can to make themselves comfortable and they fall asleep. Should that be a crime?
Ever since the days of the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP), communities have been using rapid re-housing to making great strides toward ending homelessness.
And while we know that rapid re-housing, which provides short-term subsidies to get homeless people into housing and back on their feet, is much more cost-effective than traditional homelessness interventions, some people still assume the model won’t work for homeless youth. But youth providers around the country are already proving that assumption wrong.
There are many paths to homelessness—job loss, a medical emergency, or an increase in rent, to name a few—and there are many paths to exit homelessness. Though every person’s story is unique, there are commonalities amongst them.
Recently, we looked at why minimum wage isn’t enough to afford housing and why there are increasingly few affordable rental units available to low-income households. When you take these two trends together, it’s easy to infer disastrous results: many low-income renters are at risk of falling into homelessness.
Now that we’re approaching the end of the Federal Fiscal Year (it ends on September 30), you may be wondering where spending levels for homeless programs stand. Under normal circumstances, the full Senate and House of Representatives would have passed spending bills by now and they would be working to reconcile them. Circumstance have changed.
Do we have cause for hope or alarm? Well, yes and yes. This phase of the appropriations process has in recent years become so contentious and fraught that it has resulted in government shutdowns and a budgetary compromise (sequestration) that everyone agrees was a bad idea to begin with. So it should come as no surprise that the appropriations process for FY 2016 is, for the time being, stalled.
You may know Richard Gere as the actor who appeared in "Pretty Woman," maybe even as the close personal friend of the Dalai Lama, but did you know he’s also a longtime advocate for human rights?
He’s taking that spirit of advocacy to the big screen in his new film “Time Out of Mind.” The film, which will be released in September, documents the struggles of a homeless man (played by Gere) living on the streets of New York City. Last month Gere stopped by our 2015 National Conference on Ending Homelessness to discuss his experience making it.