Integrating Rapid Re-Housing Programs and Policy With Employment Is Essential to Ending Family Homelessness
By Caitlin C. Schnur, Policy Associate, Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity
As our new paper about integrating rapid re-housing and employment makes clear, far too many families in the United States are experiencing or at risk of homelessness for economic reasons. On a single night in January 2016, about 194,716 people in families with children were homeless. Over 1.2 million students nationwide were identified as experiencing homelessness at some point during the 2014-2015 school year, a figure that includes students who were living doubled up, in a motel, or in temporary housing for reasons including their family’s economic hardship.
By Melissa Young, Director, Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity
This blog post is adapted from Melissa Young’s closing remarks from our 2016 national conference, A Nation That Works: What’s It Going to Take?
At Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity, we believe every person deserves the opportunity to succeed in work and support themselves and their families—and from our 127-year history of working alongside our participants, we know that putting people at the center of solutions is key to ensuring that programs, systems, and policies work together to end chronic unemployment and poverty. That’s why, over the past year, we’ve spent a lot of time listening to the stories of people within our programs and communities across the country who, by nearly every standard, are doing everything right but still struggle to make ends meet and to reach their full potential because this nation isn’t working for them.
By Janette Kawachi, Director of Innovations and Research, Corporation for Supportive Housing
Individuals living in supportive housing often have long histories of homelessness and face a multitude of complex challenges like a serious mental illness, substance use disorder and other chronic health conditions. For these individuals, housing provides a critical platform for the delivery of various health and social services. It establishes a stable environment from which to reclaim their lives and begin their road to recovery from homelessness, illness and trauma. At CSH, we believe that a well-paying and quality job is not just the strongest defense against homelessness but also an essential factor in supporting the recovery process.
By David T. Applegate, Research and Policy Assistant, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity
Congress’ summer recess is just around the corner. That means that throughout August, United States Senators and Representatives will be traveling throughout their home states and districts talking with their constituents. Face-to-face meetings with Members of Congress are crucial to advancing policies that support the needs of people in their districts experiencing chronic unemployment and poverty. Meeting with an elected official at his or her local office or inviting them to visit your program site is a great way to develop an ongoing relationship with your Member of Congress. Here, we give some tips for conducting meetings and site visits with elected officials and show how program providers can take advantage of these opportunities to advocate on behalf of their participants.