Archive for the ‘housing first’ Category

Here’s an article that counters some of the attacks on Henrietta Hughes, a homeless woman who spoke at a town hall meeting that President Obama attended about a week ago.  The author “Cara” highlights the way that many people critical of social welfare focus solely on individual responsibility (even when virtually nothing is known about the person’s history) and neglect to examine the larger, systematic inequalities in our economy that impoverishes many people, like Hughes.  In addition, Hughes’ statement highlights the primary need of homeless individuals: housing first.

Posted by Cara, Feministe at 8:58 AM on February 16, 2009.

For those who have not heard of Henrietta Hughes, she is a homeless woman who stood up at a town hall meeting and told Barack Obama that she is unemployed and has been forced her to live in her car.  She further pleaded with the president to do something to ensure that people like her had housing:

“I have an urgent need, unemployment and homelessness, a very small vehicle for my family and I to live in,” she said. “The housing authority has two years’ waiting lists, and we need something more than the vehicle and the parks to go to. We need our own kitchen and our own bathroom. Please help.”

Now, Michelle Malkin has decided to publicly mock her with taunts like “If she had more time, she probably would have remembered to ask Obama to fill up her gas tank, too.”  She then went on to say:

Hughes didn’t explain the cause of her financial turmoil. Obama didn’t ask. And if we conservatives dare to question the circumstances — and the underlying assumption that it is government’s (that is, taxpayers’) role to bail her out — we’ll be lambasted as cruel haters of the downtrodden.

[. . .]

Well, pardon my unbending belief in fairness and personal responsibility, but why should my tax dollars go to feed the housing entitlement beast?

Indeed, why should housing be considered a right?  After all, what does my housing say about my personal class status and how much better I am than other people, if there aren’t those other people out there who don’t have a place to live at all?

The worst part is that Malkin isn’t alone.  From Limbaugh falsely saying that Hughes “ask[ed] for a car” to others claiming that Hughes is “milking the system,” there’s no shortage of people who want to bring down the woman who had the potential to a far more sympathetic Joe the Plumber — an everyday American who is actually negatively affected by the economic policies of our government.

And they can get away with it!  I just, honestly, do not understand.  Are people like Malkin really so privileged and entitled themselves that they just do not comprehend the very concept of housing not owned by the person living in it — and that therefore “I need a place to live” does not equal “buy me a new house, please” — or do they just really think that no, if you’re not as fortunate as the rest of us, you really do deserve to live on the street, and as a neighbor I have absolutely no responsibility for what happens to you?

On second thought, I don’t know that I want the answer to that.

Via Womanist Musings



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In honor of Veterans’ Day, here is an article on CNN.com about how Pathways to Housing, a Housing First program that is ending veteran homelessness in New York City. More behind the jump.


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Philip Mangano, Executive Director of the US Interagency Council on Homelessness, came to Buffalo on Tuesday to give a keynote speech at the Ending Homelessness symposium sponsored by the WNY Coalition for the Homeless and the Homeless Alliance. The Buffalo News reports behind the jump. (more…)

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The Homeless Alliance and the WNY Coalition for the Homeless, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is proud to present a day-long symposium entitled Ending Homelessness.

The symposium will take place on Tuesday, Sept 16th. from 8:30am-4:30pm.

Our Keynote Speaker is Philip F. Mangano, Executive Director, United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.

Breakout session topics will include
– homeless supportive services
– homeless housing funding
– accessing mainstream benefits
– implementing Housing First models
– preventing foreclosure
– grassroots economic development

This symposium is for executive directors, program directors, case managers, community advocates, policy makers, homeless housing and service providers, human service providers, homeless outreach workers, and community and faith-based organizations.

The symposium will take place at the Hyatt-Regency in Buffalo. Cost will be $45/person. Invitation and Registration Form will follow. Any inquiries should be directed to Irene Pijuan at 847-0655 x264.

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Philadelphia Mayor Nutter and the Philadelphia Housing Authority have teamed up to provide 700 housing units and beds to address the needs of the city’s homeless population.

At a cost of $8.3 million, 500 PHA housing units will be given over to homeless populations, including 50 safe haven beds.

The exciting part of this effort is that it is being driven by the Mayor and the Public Housing Authority, both of which have committed significant funds to achieve the goal transitioning street homeless and homeless in shelters into permanent housing options. Mayoral buy-in, coupled with a commitment from the PHA, is a great joint effort to see.

This type of effort is clearly a model that we should try to incorporate here in Buffalo and Erie County.

Read the full article here.

Read the pdf version here.

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Skid Row Encampments
Los Angeles’ Skid Row is well-known for its significant street homeless population concentrated in that area. A new plan is trying to change that. LA county supervisors have approved a $5.6 million plan to move 50 of those most in need on Skid Row into their own apartments employing a Housing First model. The top three on their list have already indicated that they want a home, making the argument that “the homeless choose to be homeless” a little harder to stick.

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Massachusetts legislators are considering a $10 million dollar allocation of funds toward a project that will eliminate homelessness throughout the state. The projected plan, which utilizes a Housing First model, demonstrates a shift among state legislators from funding shelter model projects toward funding permanent housing models.

State officials have recognized the cost-effectiveness of permanent housing options.

Not only is Housing First a cost effective model, it is a just model. Click below to read the article. (more…)

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