We can't paint the solutions for homelessness with one magic brush stroke. Homelessness is the result of a broken system that sets up our community's most vulnerable individuals and families for continued failure. The issues that surround homelessness are complex - as are the solutions.
Of course, the most immediate answer is to find everyone without a home a place to live. This would answer the most immediate and obvious need; however, the reasons people fall victim to homelessness are not addressed in the "give them a place to live solution."
Until we can develop a system that effectively addresses the underlying causes of homelessness, we are simply putting a band-aid on a much larger issue and sweeping the remnants of a broken system under the rug.
Housing individuals and families without a place to live is a step in the right direction, but it falls far short of the full answer to eradicating homelessness. An effective long-term plan to end homelessness will incorporate strong preventative measures that support self-sufficiency as well as programs that respond rapidly to people in crisis. Visit www.thrivedc.org to learn more about our efforts to end homelessness in DC.