The federal government’s definition of chronic homelessness includes homeless individuals with a disabling condition (substance use disorder, serious mental illness, developmental disability, or chronic physical illness or disability) who have been homeless either 1) continuously for one whole year, or 2) four or more times in the past three years.
The above definition of the Chronic Homeless population, by Its own standard lies at the very root of the homeless problem in This country and The continued failure to in any way bring resolve too the problem. The definition first caries with it certain connotations being that anyone experiencing long periods of homelessness are in some manner faced with disabling conditions when the homeless population at large are faced with obstacles that force them to face long periods of either shelter dependency or periods of seeking alternative living arrangements weather they be rough sleeping couch jumping vehicle dwelling or other possibilities. By research done by the Us department of housing and urban development, and the united states Interagency counsel on homelessness, 10 to 20 percent of the homeless population are effected by these disabling conditions.
Of the Homeless populations recent count totals there are still on any given night in America 900 thousand to 2.2 million people homeless in America. Taking these rough figures into account and going to the highest of there totals approximately 440 thousand Homeless individuals in this country are Chronically so. It is believed that the best way to house these individuals is by the model of permanent supportive housing. it being most cost effective, in the case of those needing help in there debilitating conditions. This I also Believe is the best possible solution.
But this is the approach that is used to address the entirety of the homeless population, It forgoes the needs of the other 80% of the homeless population and independent of this model for housing there is no viable alternative available for more cost effective ways to bring stability to peoples lives which might be of a lesser degree. It is an all or nothing approach. And Has for over 2 decades been the Standard of every homeless help organization, and Federally funded community development, or corporate block grant recipient in the help industry.
It is something that Has To this point in History failed It is by far the most costly and most ineffective program ever to have been sponsored by both public and private money, It has to date since it inception in the last 2 decades been funded with government grants alone in excess of over 800billion dollars at the expense of the American tax payer, and is overshadowed by private sector donations, which are estimated annually to surpass Government funding by a margin of 53%.
If at the very best outcome to the solution placed before us with a One Hundred Percent Success rate the model we now work with will at best house only 20% of the homeless individuals in this country, and those are mostly people receiving social security or eligible to receive disability dispersments. many of which have been approved for or started the section 8 housing requirements. We are failing at a level that future generations will look at and will think us mad. But with people who are in this industry the grant writers, the boards of directors the legal teams and the industry heads have much to lose if we seek viable alternatives to a broken system and this is something it seems that no one is willing to address, I would ask everyone interested in helping the homeless please do help stand together and call for accountability of the system which we have and lets rethink the funding of a 20 percent solution, and address the problem in a manner it deserves, where the homeless are no longer blanketed by the guidelines in place and deal with them on a individual basis. Lets try and do something different and innovative lets address the needs of the individual rather than the group, Lets give them what they need and not dictate the need of organizations, lets look at what is going on in this industry and in the looking remember, Failure is Job security for these helpers of Us.