Michael Zakaras poses a question that we as well as many homeless advocates have been asking,
“Why don’t we bring that same urgency to the way we respond to the nearly 50,000 New Yorkers (not to mention untold others across the U.S.) who before the hurricane were crowding the municipal shelter system each night?”
Those who experienced homelessness post-Sandy and will most likely remain homeless after the recovery and rebuilding, often became homeless do to their own personal catastrophes such as unexpectedly losing a job, health problems, a breakdown in their family, aging out of foster care or returning home as a veteran.
“And there are grave consequences for communities, not just the homeless, when the problem remains unsolved. Studies have shown that we spend far more public dollars on shelters, hospitals and other institutions providing short-term aid to the homeless than would be required to help end homelessness in the first place.”
But Roseanne Haggerty of Community Solutions reminds of what has been proven to end homelessness:
Using data to plan effectively,
Creating affordable housing,
Aligning systems, and
Let’s hope that as we help those newly homeless to recover and find permanent housing that we continue to dedicate resources to what we know will end all homelessness and do it quickly. We can not and must not wait for another super storm to bring our neighbors home!