Each day, roughly 700,000 Americans are homeless, with about 120,000 of them classified as being chronically homeless. These are the people that have lived on the streets for years and often have mental disabilities, addiction problems, and life-threatening diseases.
A New York-based organization called Common Ground and about 20 other organizations that focus on homelessness, Veterans’ affairs, mental illnesses, housing and health care have joined together in the ‘100,000 Homes’ Campaigns. The goal is to place 100,000 chronically homeless people with the greatest risk of dying into permanent supportive housing by July of 2013. Launched in July of 2010, 64 communities have already joined the campaign and have so far housed 6,816 people and are on track to hit 98,000 by July of 2013.
The current push started in the early 1990’s with a group called Pathways to Housing which pioneered an approach called ‘Housing First.’ Historically, to qualify for housing, the homeless had to first be free of drugs and alcohol; a requirement that made ineligible most of the chronically homeless. Pathways showed that people needed stable housing before they could begin to stabilize their lives.
For more information, visit http://100khomes.org/