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Shelters, severe weather networks and people giving people help are all necessary and needed approaches to homelessness.
But these are NOT permanent solutions to homelessness.
What is a permanent long term plan to end and prevent homelessness is first fully funding of 10 Year Plans to End Homelessness like we have in Washington County based on a "housing first" strategy.
This strategy puts the homeless in permanent and safe rental housing while they can access wrap around services to deal with improving their education skills, deal with addictions or domestic abuse issues or health issues.
The second strategy is to create a more robust economy which does a better job in preparing people with the skill set required in a hi tech, information age based economy.
This requires re-schooling many workers who are currently unemployed or under-employed. Community colleges will be the front-line resource for this part of the strategy.
But in the current economy given the likelihood of reduced funding at the state and federal level - fully funding Washington County's 10 Year Plan and similar state wide plans will be very tough.
But a society that spends $1 trillion dollars per year in two wars in the Middle East can afford to respond to this crisis on the home front, now not later...
It's a matter of our values and priorities.
posted 2 years, 4 months ago
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