The issue of homelessness is undoubtedly a complex one. While many solutions have been attempted, all have ultimately fell short.
While homelessness is, at its core, a national issue, potential solutions can be found at the local level, both in government and in communities. Here are a few potential solutions to the homeless epidemic.
Increasing Employment and Income
This solution can be a challenging one due to the amount of moving parts it involves, but it also offers legitimate opportunities for people to move out of homelessness and improve their lives.
Homelessness can quite often be the result of a lost job, cut hours, or other hardships in the workplace. If this is the case, income support programs can be crucial to keeping people and families from slipping into homelessness.
Increasing employment opportunities is also a great way to combat homelessness, although it’s a task that’s easier said than done at both the state and federal level.
The “Housing First” Approach
The main idea behind this approach is that the problem of homelessness can’t be solved without homes.
No matter the reason for your homelessness, according to supporters of this approach, you have a right to permanent housing. But homes are just the first step in the process of the housing first approach. Additional services would also be offered after providing homes for people to live in. These services include things like visits to doctors offices, therapy sessions, and help from social workers.
Local Solutions: Committees and Community Action
In some communities across the country, waiting for the federal government to solve the homeless problem is no longer an option. Community leaders have sprung into action by organizing concerned citizens in an attempt to actively combat the issue.
A major aspect of the attempts of communities to solve this issue, at least in Austin, Texas, is to give the homeless population a voice. This allows communities to work with those individuals directly afflicted by the problem, and increases the likelihood of figuring out long term solutions that work for their specific community.
The truth is that homelessness is an issue that can be solved, but it’s going to take invested communities, committed government figures, and communication between everyone involved to truly make an impact.