D.C. non-profits join to stop chronic homelessness
Last week, several of the city’s best homelessness prevention groups held a meeting to launch The Way Home campaign, which believes homelessness in D.C. could be solved as early as 2017. The organizations presented a plan to meet their lofty goals and called on lawmakers to help them.
The Way Home campaign includes help from the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, Fair Budget Coalition, Friendship Place, Miriam’s Kitchen, the National Alliance to End Homelessness, Pathways to Housing D.C., Thrive D.C., and the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless.
According to DCist, Kurt Runge, Advocacy Director at Miriam’s Kitchen, said that over 7,000 homeless people live in the District and most who remain homeless for long usually do not live past their 60’s.
“We’ve lived with homelessness so long we’ve grown to accept it,” Runge said, according to DCist. “People do not have to be homeless for years. We can change.”
The Way Home campaign’s plan is centered around providing stable housing for homeless, which gives them a way to organize their lives and treat problems like alcoholism or mental illness.
The Way Home calls for 322 new, permanent housing units, which require $37.7 million from the Housing Production Trust Fund to build, and 275 leased units, which require $6.5 million to the Department of Human Services Permanent Supportive Housing Program.
The groups want to end homelessness among veterans in D.C. especially and say that only $4.68 million is needed from the city for that goal.
At least one Councilmember supports the plan. Mary Cheh will introduce a resolution to the Council to end chronic homelessness by 2020. “The District’s Interagency Council on Homelessness must coordinate the investment of sufficient resources to plan and create the 2,679 permanent supportive housing units needed to end chronic homelessness by no later than 2020,” her resolution reads, according to DCist.
Photo: Hanibaael via Flickr