Solutions to Ending Homelessness
These are ideas that have developed over the 28 year history of the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless with the input of homeless people. There is a link to a longer discussion of these issues in our Cleveland Homeless Blog.
1. More affordable housing especially subsidies to those living in poverty
a. Learn the lessons from the Department of Veteran's Affairs about how to reduce homelessness with a diverse strategy of housing and other support services.
b. Permanent Supportive Housing is a good resource for a small segment of the population. It is not a silver bullet to end homelessness and it cannot be the only answer to homelessness.
c. We need a local plan to preserve and expand affordable housing locally especially with a Housing Trust Fund.
d. Don't jettison shelters (transitional or emergency shelters) until the community has built enough affordable housing for the entire population of those living below poverty. They are necessary to keep people from having to sleep outside or in dangerous places.
2. Income that meets the cost of living
a. The extent of panhandling downtown and at exit ramps is an indicator of the extent of poverty in an area. It is a different population than homeless people. Solution: hire panhandling outreach staff to provide alternatives.
3. Access to quality education and training that can lead to a stable job.
4. Universal access to health care without profit driven forces like insurance.
5. Better access to information for available services.
6. Secure and comprehensive safety net available to all.