The experience of homelessness itself, the lack of stable housing, is considered to be a traumatic event in itself – especially for children. Rather than focusing on resolving medical issues or providing necessary supplies, the housing first approach seeks to first get those experiencing homelessness into stable housing, with a warm bed and a roof, regardless of their condition. The idea is that the stability of having a place to sleep provides a solid foundation upon which to work out the other issues they may be facing like unemployment or health problems. Studies have been conducted, finding that it actually costs governments less and is more effective long-term to simply give homes to them rather than pay for continued emergency services to treat the health conditions arising from living on the streets – not only are medical costs reduced, but those who are simply given homes end up staying and being good neighbors. This philosophical shift rightly repositions those experiencing homelessness as members of a community, enabling them to thrive in a more stable environment.
DESIGN PROGRAM POLICY
Utah Reduces Chronic Homelessness by 91 Percent Salt Lake City, UT