Real solutions to homelessness must be permanent, not short-term crisis responses. They must address the shortage of affordable housing, the inadequate incomes to meet the most basic needs, and the need for treatment for people suffering from disabilities.
Long-term solutions must:
- Ensure Affordable Housing
Provide subsidies to make existing housing affordable; create additional affordable housing through rehabilitation and new construction.
Ensure that working men and women earn enough to meet basic needs, including housing; ensure that those able to work have access to jobs and job training; ensure that those not able to work are provided assistance adequate to meet basic needs, including housing.
Ensure access to social services, including health care, child care, mental health care, and substance abuse treatment.
Prohibit laws that discriminate against homeless people, including laws that specifically target them or activities they must engage in because they are homeless.
Real solutions should also prevent people from becoming homeless. New policies that address the underlying structural causes of homelessness must coincide with specific prevention policies to stem the rising tide of homelessness.
Increasingly, homelessness affects not only the very poor, but also working and middle-class Americans. Middle-class families are increasingly unable to buy, or even rent, their own homes. Middle-class workers are facing rising unemployment coupled with declining assistance from "safety net" programs.
Real solutions integrate homeless people into society and promote self-sufficiency. For example, policies that produce affordable housing through employing homeless people strengthen the economy while helping to end homelessness.
Polls consistently reveal that the majority of the American public supports ending homelessness. According to the polls, the majority of the public understands the underlying causes of homelessness and would pay additional taxes to fund increased aid.
Housing is a basic human right. Upholding it in the U.S. means ending homelessness.