People Encountering Homelessness
Getting to the root cause of the challenges those in our community who are encountering homelessness and addressing those root causes is what we should be focused on. There are three main challenges people face when encountering homelessness.
1.) I call them "marginally displaced". Typically these members of our community can not afford first and last months rent, deposit, lost their job and need help. Getting these residents the resources they need through a rapid rehousing model is great. We have resources in our community to get these people the resources they need.
2.) Behavioral Health challenges: This makes up about 80% of the population that are encountering homelessness and is really has two separate categories, mental health challenges and substance use disorder. We can address both of these key challenges at once and addressing these issues will fix more than our challenges with people encountering homelessness. The most loving and compassionate thing we as a community can do for these folks is get them to the resources they so desperately need. We have resources in our community to accomplish this. The use of Community court has a 14% repeat offense rate whereas traditional incarceration has a repeat offense rate upward of 50%. This is the path to break cycles of addiction and help people live their most fulfilling live. As a community, we want to help them learn to manage their resources and provide housing for themselves, we want to give them power back over their lives, we want them to be integral members of our community. Behavioral Health challenges contribute to may of the other key issues we are facing in our community, such as violence and vandalism. Addressing this root cause first, will address many other challenges we face as a community.