Things Are Looking Up?August 12th, 2008
by Matt Eggers
According to a recent NY Times article, the Department of Housing and Urban Development claims a significant drop in the number of chronically homeless in the U.S., down from 175,914 in 2005 to 123,833 in 2007. Officials attribute this dramatic 30% decline to a “housing first” approach that focuses on securing stable housing for homeless people struggling with drug addiction and mental illness, who are characteristially the hardest to help in the homeless community.
Many advocates for the homeless, however, have criticized the findings because they ignore poor working families living on the margins–in motels, shelters, or with friends and family. “We should be focused on ending homelessness for everybody, not just a small segment of the homeless population,” said Michael Stoops, the acting director of the National Coalition for the Homeless.
Nonetheless, the stats are encouraging (albeit best taken with a grain of salt). Certainly we’re nowhere near closing St. Anthony’s doors for lack of need, but it’s good to hear that we might be one step closer to that lofty goal.