As the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty notes, a growing body of research comparing the cost of homelessness – including the cost of criminalization – with the cost of providing housing to homeless people shows that ending homelessness through housing is the most affordable option over the long run.
With state and local budgets stretched to their limit, rational, cost effective policies are needed.
Lastly, arrests, unaffordable tickets, and the collateral consequences of criminal convictions make it more difficult for people to exit homelessness and get back on their feet.
COCs receive funds from HUD under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to provide direct services to the homeless people in their communities.
However, as the report by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty in the link below details, there are serious concerns with the accuracy of the data obtained – that it actually significantly underestimates the number of homeless in the US.
This link is to a page where you may drill-down to every Continuum of Care (COC) in the US to view several years of data on homelessness. This data is the result of the annual Point in Time (PIT) count conducted nationwide. I encourage you to take a look and see what homelessness looks like in your community. If you have any questions, please contact us anytime!
A Bigger Vision, who brought us the films “Uncharted” and “Under the Bridge”, is working on a new documentary called “Beyond the Bridge: A Solution to Homelessness”. What is this solution? It is called Housing First and it is a proven model that provides immediate access to permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals with mental health and addiction challenges. Please check out the web site at bit.ly/EndHomelessCrisis to learn more!
It is both delightful and sad when I come across a homeless person with artistic talents. They are to me like diamonds in the rough, lost and forgotten by society. This sculpture of a tree was made for us by one of our homeless friends as a token of appreciation for the help we’ve given him. When I saw the sculpture, which, to me, is equal in beauty to the pieces of art that I’ve seen in galleries and gift shops, I couldn’t help but wonder. . . What if he is discovered by certain influential people with connection to rich people who would appreciate his art and buy it? Would he then be able to start a business making sculptures and get out of homelessness? Perhaps I’m just dreaming. But I’ve got to try to help make it happen for him. So here is my effort to share his art work, hoping that somewhere out there, someone with such influence and resource would feel moved to help him in ways that I cannot.
Lost diamonds. . . So many of them out there, homeless in Indianapolis.
Coming soon: information on Indy School on Wheels and Outreach, Inc – two organizations working to help children and young people experiencing homelessness in the Indy area