The City Mission Perspective on “Housing First”
"Housing First” is a nationwide initiative funded with federal tax dollars to eliminate homelessness in the United States that affects people who could possibly be clients of Crossroads Men’s Crisis Center and Laura’s Home Women’s Crisis Center.
(Note: The City Mission receives no federal, state or local public funding but our clients’ access to resources provided by collaborating agencies may be affected.)
We support the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP).
- The City Mission disagrees with the premise that homelessness is a legitimate lifestyle choice that should be accepted and protected.
- Every reasonable effort should be made to keep families in their homes and off the streets.
- A segment of the homeless population can, with assistance and available supportive services, transition successfully into independent housing.
We understand and acknowledge that a segment of the homeless population faces significant barriers that must be overcome before they can succeed in independent housing.
- These barriers are not insurmountable or permanent. (emotional impacts, addiction issues, criminal pasts, and insufficient job/life skills)
- However, these barriers are best addressed and overcome in a structured, long-term recovery process such as are available at Crossroads Men’s Crisis Center or Laura’s Home Women’s Crisis Center.
Partnering agencies offering life transformation programming are necessary to supplement the HPRP initiatives.
- The housing first initiatives are the best solution for certain segments of the homeless population but will not address the needs of the entire population.
- The positive impact of long-term transformation programming should not be overlooked with the current focus on Housing First initiatives.
- Transformation programming offers a great return on investment, altering the future for individuals, families and generations to come.
We endorse and agree with the following assessment made by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) in the 2009 State of Homelessness Cleveland, Ohio Report.
“…In the rush to abide by the new guidelines in Washington DC, we do not want to throw out all the previous programming. Cleveland needs a diverse path out of homelessness and not concentrate our resources on just one solution. We need a rich selection of vouchers, public housing, permanent supportive housing, transitional shelters, emergency shelters, supportive services, and affordable housing.”