There is a sharp increase in the number of homeless people in the world. Becoming homeless is easy, but getting back into normal life is very difficult. While in some cities the homeless are not helped, in the American city of Houston they try to help the homeless the most. It is the fourth most populous city in the US, and thanks to the right approach to the homeless, they managed to reduce the rate of homelessness by 63% in 10 years. This is the best city to help the homeless.
Over ten years, the city gave apartments to more than 25 thousand homeless people. These are simple one-bedroom apartments. The “housing first” rule applies here. Only when people have their own housing can they much more easily find their own work and solve problems such as psychological problems or drug addiction. The idea behind it came from Michael Kimmelman who writes for the New York Times, explaining that “if someone’s already drowning, it doesn’t help to teach them how to swim first.”
This method has its supporters and opponents. Some people become homeless again, but most people take a second chance and start living a proper and fulfilling life. Local reports claim that the vast majority of homeless people have managed to stay in their new homes for more than two years. National research on Hudson.gov shows that between 2007 and 2020, homelessness across the state decreased by 31.6%, largely due to the success of the city of Houston.
According to the mayor of the city, Sylvester Turner, the goal is to reduce homelessness to zero. Together with his team, he strives to work with housing providers to unite and work together to eradicate homelessness in this city.
More than 100 different organizations came together, from churches to food banks, homeowners associations and more. They have formed what is known as the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County. For many homeless people, it is a wonderful feeling not to have to sleep on the cold ground, but to wake up every day in a warm apartment and be able to function like other working people.
Some people criticize this because the homeless are being helped with taxpayer money. It is important to realize that when a homeless person becomes a productive member of society again, he or she also becomes an economic support for the entire country. There are a huge number of homeless people in the USA and the city of Houston could become an inspiration not only for this country, but for the whole world.
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