Fix Homelessness How to rebuild human lives
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Housing First

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Landlord Turned Down by Seattle’s KCRHA After Offering Apartments for the Homeless

Homeless advocates, politicians, and leaders at the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) continue to say that “housing saves lives” and affordable housing is the solution to homelessness. King County Executive Dow Constantine has said that “we must make it affordable for everyone here,” and KCRHA interim CEO Helen Howell wants “every person [to] have a roof over their head.” This is why KCRHA launched a landlord incentive program in 2022 that promised housing providers an attractive package in “an effort to end homelessness.” The incentive program offered landlords on-time payment backed by KCRHA and tenant conflict resolution in exchange for rental units for the homeless. Funding for “Partnership for Zero,” a publicly and privately funded program, would offset the Read More ›

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Leftist Media Distort New Homelessness Study To Support Failed ‘Housing First’ Policies

Advocates of “Housing First” as the solution for homelessness are praising a new study that supposedly proves their case. The trouble is, the study — conducted by the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) — proves no such thing. Read More ›
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Olympia Homeless Hotel Opens, Homeless Say They’d Rather Stay in the Woods

Olympia’s Crisis in the Woods Outsiders think Washington state’s capital would be pristine and well maintained. But for the locals, the homeless and drug crisis has exploded over the past few years. And it’s become more visible and evident than ever, especially along Wheeler Ave. There are dozens of tents still on WSDOT (@wsdot) property. Unfortunately, tons of trash and drug paraphernalia’s starting to pile up as well. This is also turning into an environmental disaster. Look at all the rubbish in waterways. Some of the homeless are also chopping down fresh trees to make shelters. I’m sure there are some campers in this part of Olympia who would go into the new Lacey homeless hotel. But bottom line, most Read More ›

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California, the Dream and the Nightmare

“The homeless are just like you and me.” That’s a politically correct assertion that doesn’t quite recognize the reality on the ground, such as the link between self-destructive behavior — most notably, substance abuse — and living on the street with no place to call home. California is home to 12% of America’s population, but 30% of the number “experiencing homelessness” and half the population of unsheltered homeless. Why? A new study on homelessness, the California Statewide Study of People Experiencing Homelessness by UC San Francisco, lays out how a set of painful events can bring adults to the sad moment when they lose a roof over their heads. They lose low-paying jobs and then apartments; they bunk in spare Read More ›

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What the Homeless Owe Us

Do we love our homeless countrymen and women enough to insist that as we provide roofs over their heads, they also diligently engage in programs to restore themselves to lives of dignity and personal self-respect? We often hear about what “we” — i.e., society —owe the homeless. But we rarely discuss what the unhoused owe us. It’s time for that to change. This is a matter of great urgency. Some of our (once) most prosperous and beautiful cities — San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, etc. — are imploding under the pressure of squalid homeless squatter camps, populated largely by openly drug-addled or mentally ill people who befoul the sidewalks with human waste, litter the streets with needles used to shoot Read More ›

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American Captial Building.
American Captial Building.

Faith & Law: Compassion First, A Sensible Approach to America’s Homeless Crisis

Washington, D.C – Discovery President Steve Buri, Senior Fellow Robert Marbut, and Senior Fellow Wesley J. Smith spoke at a Faith and Law forum on Capitol Hill. Below is a summary from faithandlaw.org. Watch the forum and read more here. For nearly a decade, federal policies meant to address homelessness have centered around “Housing First,” which begins with an assumption that the crisis is driven primarily by a lack of affordable housing. But is it really? Studies show that most individuals experiencing homelessness suffer from severe addiction, untreated mental illness, or a combination of the two. Others end up on the streets because they have no one to turn to, typically owing to broken familial relationships. It’s time for a Read More ›

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After Reading Current Assumptions, Try Some Wisdom From the Past

C. S. Lewis once said, “It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between. If that is too much for you, you should at least read one old one to every three new ones.” The same goes for teaching about how to help the homeless and poor. Ever since 2013, federal policy has been “housing first”: Get homeless individuals under a roof with no pressure to get the mental health help many need, and no pressure to fight the drug addiction and alcoholism. We tend to equate compassion with giving-without-strings. That’s not the way influential poverty-fighters in the late 19th century thought. Maybe Read More ›

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Ranking Alternative Ways to Fix Homelessness

A lot of homelessness initiatives are 90 percent talk and only 10 percent walk. That’s why I’m impressed with the street-level experience of people involved in The True Charity Initiative, which champions “a national movement of voluntarily funded, effective charity at the most local level.” I asked local leaders involved with True Charity to rank the four views of fixing homelessness that I summarized in my column last week: 1) Housing first, 2) Improve mental health/stop substance abuse first, 3) Community first, and 4) Christ first. Bill Roberts of Love INC in Fishersville, Virginia, said ranking the four is challenging, but he’d give it a shot. He put housing first:  Having a place to call home creates a sense of safety and security. Housing allows individuals Read More ›

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Understanding the Homeless Debate

This column begins year two of my weekly writing specifically about homelessness: 52 down, 52 to go, and then it’s time to turn columns into a book. People new to the homelessness debate often find the recommendations of various groups confusing. So here’s a simplified, maybe over-simplified means of understanding the big four prescriptions: Let’s unpack this. Housing First advocates in government and at the National Alliance to End Homelessness say homeless individuals should receive permanent housing with no questions asked: They cannot be required to address their alcoholism or addictions, nor should they be pushed to meet with mental health professionals or take any medications. Further, Housing First emphasizes “client choice” regarding the housing that is offered: Those who Read More ›