As our community continues to discuss housing-first strategies I think it important to post for educational purposes this compelling article from the New Yorker published last year. Macolm Gladwell does an outstanding job of outlining some of the arguments in favor of housing first strategies and in particular the safe-haven model that is so desperately needed locally. If all goes according to plan, Erie County’s first Safe-Haven should be in place sometime next year helping our community address chronic homelessness.
This article has been referenced many times by homeless advocates across the country. Many of you may have already read it. If you have already read it – read it again – it is compelling and striking.
Bob Erlenbusch, Board President for the National Coalition for the Homeless, responded to Gladwell’s article with a letter to the editor that thanked the article “for calling for an end to homelessness rather than continuing to merely manage homelessness” and went on to make a number of other important points such as the need to include families in the federal definition of “chronic homelessness” . This response is worth reading as well.