Persistent Homelessness Problem Despite Known Solutions

1 06 2009

“It’s not rocket science. The solution to homelessness is housing. The solution to malnutrition is good food.”
– Judy Graves, Housing Advocate, City of Vancouver

As many experts on homelessness have said, the solutions to homelessness are known, yet the problem continues to persist.  3 Ways to Home is a ten year regional homelessness plan which was developed by the Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness in 2000. The ways towards housing the homeless are built on the following 3 Pillars, as shown in the diagram below: Housing, Support, and Adequate Income. 3 ways to home

You can find out more about the 3 Ways to Home Strategy here.

The reality which continues to astonish me the most is the fact that each homeless person costs the government more per year in services and shelters compared to the costs of providing housing to the person. According to a report by Pivot Legal, Cracks in the Foundation, it requires $40,000 per year to provide services to a homeless person while providing social housing to the homeless would cost only $22,000 to $28,000 per year. The B.C. Office of Housing and Construction Standards conducted a detailed study of homelessness, and the part which shows exact cost analysis can be found by clicking here.  Not only is homelessness a social justice issue, but tackling it also makes good economic sense!

So the question now is, why hasn’t this problem been properly addressed?  I want to start looking at initiatives and ideas which can contribute to developing the 3 ways to home.