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Poor tired depressed hungry homeless man holding a cardboard h
Poor tired depressed hungry homeless man holding a cardboard house. with "help" handwritten text on cardboard. nostalgia and hope concept.

Discovery Institute Releases National Report on Homelessness

The problems linked to homelessness, including substance abuse, mental illness, and crime, are increasing in America despite untold sums of government money spent to address this complex problem. Read More ›
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People support each other in a rehab session
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Community — Not Housing — First

Can people, laden with childhood traumas plus the hard experience of years of homelessness, overcome their pasts? On a Monday afternoon in May, I threw that question at Alan Graham, founder and CEO of Austin's Community First! Village (CFV), where close to 400 formerly homeless humans now live. Read More ›
Seattle overregulation

Seattle Overregulation is Driving Out Affordable Rentals

The number of registered rental properties in Seattle has declined consistently since 2019.  This according to a December 2023 audit by the Seattle City Auditor titled Understanding Seattle’s Housing Market Shift from Small to Large Rental Properties. The audit was performed at the request of several councilmembers in hopes of explaining a decrease in rental properties registered with the city. The audit relied on data derived from the Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance (RRIO) passed in 2012, which requires all rental properties to register with the city and undergo regular inspections to “ensure basic safety maintenance requirements are met.” Although the inspection goal evidently isn’t being met, RRIO provides useful data on rental market trends in Seattle. [1] Ironically, the Read More ›

Restorations Thumnbails

Public Camping Bans: Not a Cure-All, Not Cruel

We've accepted the dangerous conditions of public camping as a fact of urban life. It's time to change the status quo, and the Supreme Court's homelessness ruling gives us the chance to do that. Camping bans are not a cure-all or a cruelty. Here's why. Read More ›
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Volunteers close up are serving meal to homeless
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A Church Dinner for the Homeless

At 5:50 pm on a drizzly day in May, in the parking lot closest to the church's back entrance, backpacks held spots in line for the central Austin homeless who sat on a nearby patch of grass, waiting for dinner. Read More ›
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Inside of a homeless shelter
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Homelessness is Exceptionally Hard to Solve

Sunrise pastor Mark Hilbelink said its navigation center last year helped more than 800 people get off the streets. Michael Busby was typical among those who benefited. He told the press that Sunrise staffers "helped me out a lot. They helped me restore my sanity. They help out with housing, they help out with medication, they keep your meds for you, and they give them out to you every day or every week." Read More ›
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The United States Supreme Court at dusk
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U.S. Supreme Court Backs Local Communities in Nation’s Homeless Response

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Grants Pass v. Johnson that city ordinances against public camping do not constitute “cruel and unusual punishment” under the Eighth Amendment. The Court’s decision is a win not only for the small Oregon city of Grants Pass, but also for dozens of Western localities that had been hamstrung by the Ninth Circuit as they grapple with record high rates of homelessness. In response to the ruling, Robert Marbut, Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and former Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, said, “The Supreme Court’s reversal of the Ninth Circuit’s opinion in the City of Grants Pass v. Johnson is a great first step in giving authority back to local Read More ›

Housing-affordability-image

Washington State Needs the Private Sector to Meet Urgent Housing Needs

The Washington State Affordable Housing Advisory Board recently released a “Housing Advisory Plan” to address what it describes as an “urgent crisis” of needed affordable housing options in the state. According to the plan, there is only one affordable housing unit available for every five households in need (for those at or below 50-percent of median family income (MFI)). To illustrate the scope of the problem, the plan notes that in 2023, there were 453,423 renter households in the 0-50% MFI bracket and a supply of only 155,214 subsidized units. Drawing on the additional need in higher MFI brackets and the expected population growth, the plan’s authors claim that Washington “needs to add more than a million new homes” in Read More ›

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Middle America Has a Lot to Teach us About Homelessness

In this episode, I’m joined by Discovery Institute Senior Fellow Marvin Olasky who is the author of 29 books, the former editor of WORLD Magazine, and has spent the last year living in homeless programs across the U.S. to learn from the people living in them. We discuss the bias of West Coast journalism, what makes programs successful, and the Read More ›

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Aerial view of american suburb at summertime.  Establishing shot of american neighborhood. Real estate, residential houses. Drone shot, from above
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Not In My Backyard: When Serving the Homeless Clashes with Neighbors

Five miles southwest of "Church Under the Bridge" is Sunrise Community, a church that's part of everyday trench warfare against homelessness. At 11 am on Wednesday, May 22, 60 people (mostly in T-shirts and worn jeans, and carrying plastic shopping bags) waited patiently in two quiet lines. One line was for lunch: Two volunteers sat at a table handing out cups of cold water and plates of pizza and sandwiches. The other line was for everything else, including picking up ID cards and bus passes. One window was for getting mail — for thousands, it's their only address. Read More ›
Violent-Evictions

Violent Evictions and the Anarchists of Reddit

An eviction in Auburn, a city south of Seattle, turned deadly the other week. Six deputies with the King County Sheriff’s SWAT team approached an apartment home to “serve a high-risk civil eviction order” and were shot at, according to video. It appears that deputies returned fire in self-defense, killing the shooter inside the home. The circumstances surrounding this dangerous eviction are unknown for now, but the event brings to mind another eviction-turned-violent that occurred in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle last spring. In this case, a tenant named “Eucytus” fired at deputies while barricaded in the apartment and then died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Seattle detective David Easterly was critically injured by a gunshot wound during the incident. Read More ›