Transitioning From Homelessness

Issues and events related to people with experience of homelessness and who are transtioning to permanent affordable housing

Will Finland Carry Through On Its Plan To End Homelessness By 2027?

The article linked to this post is about Finland's remarkable achievement in reducing homelessness. The success lies in its country-wide adoption of Housing First, an evidence-based program to end...

Owners and Unhoused Share Community Fears But Not Solutions

Hey homies! How come your schemes to solve the growing community homeless problems keep falling flat? It may well be because you won’t stop listening to yourselves, even though you...

Carrying The Torch For Ending Homelessness In The United Kingdom

Every country creates its own responses to homelessness. The Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping (the Kerslake Commission) is one of many initiatives in the United Kingdom. The...

Unable To Afford Housing? Easy And Cheap To Brand Them Loonies On The Loose

The year 1984 has come and gone. The novel of the same name lives on as a possible expression of a variety of repugnant futures. Currently, we are looking...

An Account Of Housing Support For People With Mental Illness

Imagine that you are a mental health worker in Trondheim, Norway (population 210,000). With your mental health colleagues, you began a pilot project in 2018. You asked 34 residents...

What Does Poking In Bushes Tell Us About The Number Of Unhoused People In The US?

In answer to the question posed in the headline — 'point in time' counts tell us not a lot about absolute numbers of people experiencing homelessness. That's because unleashing...

If The Housing Shoe Fits, Let Them Wear It — Scottish No-Brainer?

Unfortunately, it's not a no-brainer in Scotland or anywhere else. If there was ever a definition of 'churning,' a blog post by Jimmy Black offers up a useful example. Black...

Homeless: To Pee Or Not To Pee? That’s Not the Question. It’s About The Poop!

These days, all North American cities have more and more homeless people in residence . . . Except they haven't got an actual house to reside in (of course...

Another Good Result For Housing First, This Time In England

Manchester's Mayor Andy Burnham has good news for the people in his city, where the number of homeless families in temporary accommodation is going down. The city is also...

Australian Research Finds A Homeless Service System In Crisis

AHURI (the Australian Housing And Urban Research Institute Limited), the agency responsible for research about housing and homelessness in Australia, has just published a report about safety in emergency...

Researchers Investigate Safety At Shelters For People Who Are Homeless

A team of researchers based in Toronto have just published an article about safety in homeless shelters. The research was triggered by accounts from homeless people who have stayed...

Good News On Homelessness From Detroit, Michigan

Josephus Anderson is lucky to have chosen Detroit for his home. It could be because it has low housing prices and low rents when compared with other large cities...

Doing More To Welcome People With Disabilities

When you hear the word disability in the context of housing, what comes to mind? ramps wide doorways roll in showers a place of your own an extra...

Planning A Welcome For Homeless Clients

In Virginia, a new housing program for young people experiencing homelessness is under development. It is called Marsha and Marian's Neighbors.The program design is based on guidance from a...

New Affordable Homes – Not News, But Should Be

The stories that sell news are the disasters and things gone wrong. As someone said elsewhere, "it's not news when a plane lands safely." In the housing business this means...

Exploring The Temporary Potential Of The Drive In Live-In

The mere existence of live-in vehicles has meant they've been quietly used as houses for 'homeless' people for decades. In America, there are still huge expanses of wilderness in...

A Veterinarian Pioneers Trauma-Informed Care For Homeless Pets

Trauma-informed care takes account of the possibility that a person who is seeking services has experienced trauma. For people who are homeless, the possibility of experiencing trauma is much...

Making Homelessness Safer For Women

Research has taught us something about different experiences of homelessness. One word that comes up over and over again is violenceTry: Violence And Women’s Experiences Of Homelessness. The purpose of...

Homelessness, Housing First And Living In A State Of Lack

The article linked to this post is about what it's like to experience homeless in two cities in Ontario. It's also about what people experience when they leave homelessness...

Homelessness – We Don’t Need Experience To Take Action

What is it like to be homeless? Even if they want to know, people who have housing may have limited opportunities to find out. This post offers two perspectives,...

A Human Right To Adequate Housing: Thunder Bay Wrestles With Homelessness In This Light

Like virtually all North American cities, Thunder Bay, Ontario faces the reality of persistent homelessness. Like a smaller number of cities, indigenous people make up a portion of Thunder...

Homeless With Mental Problems/Drug Abuse Issues: Human Rights Bang Heads With Compassion

With roughly one in three people who are homeless having mental health or drug abuse issues, the growing numbers of people on the streets without shelter is creating antagonism...

Can Social Media Smooth The Path To Housing For People Leaving Homelessness?

Time was, if you were short on a household item, you'd ask a neighbour to help you out. In today's world, the idea might seem laughable. Would your neighbour...

Tiny Mobile Home or Mobile Tiny Home? Vive La Difference!

Affordablehousingaction.org has done a number of posts about the potential of 'tiny mobile homes.' For example, try this pre-COVID one that celebrates tiny-ness while questioning just where it might...

Research Study – Does Housing First Work For Single Homeless Moms?

A randomized control trial about homelessness services in the United States . . . , you may be rolling your eyes. Yet another randomized control trial? Here are two...

Slum Clearances – An Unlikely Source Of Housing Inspiration?

With all of the reports about tent clearances across North America, it is encouraging to learn that there are some places where the rights of people living in encampments...

Sing Out For Joy And For Housing

Much staff discussion and laughter erupted in the halls of a Toronto hospital while this writer awaited day surgery. Shortly thereafter, bouts of singing and more laughter filtered in...

Life In Translation: 20 Years After Mental Illness Chose Voluntary Homelessness

So you're downtown, crossing with the light at a crosswalk. As you approach the middle, you take a wide tour around a shouting person man who is focussing a...

Wraparound Supports, Sure! But Home Decorating? That, Too. Better Believe it!

Affordablehousingaction.org has emphasized the importance of ensuring that there are  mental health and drug treatment supports for people who are moving from chronic homelessnessChronic homelessness means homelessness lasting for...

The State of the Temporary Affordable Housing Union? Pretty Darn Fragile!

From . . . temporary affordable housing that isn't housing anyone at all while it takes a lengthy snooze. Read more in The Seattle Times: The story of Seattle’s homeless...

Why Canada Needs A National Housing Benefit

In the days leading up to the 2023-24 Federal Budget, here's an article in the Ottawa Citizen. It promotes a proposed Canadian Housing Benefit to help people with very...

Chronic Homeless Need Help, But Lived Experience Counters Incarceration

The latest fad(?) in solving homeless problems has been dominated by fed-up citizens endlessly encountering dangerous(?) chronic homeless people on the streets. Responding to the concerns of their citizens,...

Bearing Witness To The End Of An Honourable Life

A warning to readers. This post might be a bit of a downer. Being the middle of winter and all, it's a time when tough stuff can be particularly...

America #1 Homelessness Crisis: California. Would You Guess #2: Vermont?

California has the largest number of homeless people per capita in the U.S. It is largely an urban problem, highly visible, much talked about nationally and beyond. Vermont, the state...

Yukon Considers: Who Deserves Social Housing When There’s Never Enough?

The following problem is a conundrum for all social housing suppliers virtually everywhere in the world. We're going to examine that problem in Canada's Yukon Territory, where the homeless...

Making Housing Payments Easier

For many of us, housing is the biggest single cost in a household budget. And, we do our best to make sure that housing costs are covered — if/when...

Can L.A. Mayor Karen Bass Pull The Plug On Homelessness, Drain The Wound?

Karen Bass is the new mayor of Los Angeles, California. She is putting her career on the line by committing to tackle effectively that city's mega-homelessness problem. Already she's winning...

Could A Montréal ‘EMMIS’ Squad Commit Homeless To Institutional Programs?

New York City and California are struggling to get mental health interventionist programs for the homeless off the ground. It hasn't been easy going for either initiative. On both...

“Rough Sleepers”: A Book That Triggers Thoughts On A U.S. Housing Crisis

Reviewer Judy Stone, an infectious disease specialist, uses a periscope of chronic homelessness to capture a view of a growing housing crisis in America. Stone focuses first upon a...

Two U.S. Department Of Veterans Affairs Programs Help Reduce Homelessness

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) has recently reported that 2021, the first year of the Biden presidency, saw a significant reduction in the number of homeless veterans....

Modern U.S. Society Takes Lack Of ID Card To Be Proof You Don’t Exist

So you're American. Suppose you want to join the military, put your life on the line for your country (and earn the dollars that can lift you out of...

Why 2023 Is An Important Year to Strengthen Homelessness Services

The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) is calling for a homelessness prevention and housing benefit to help bring homelessness in Canada under control. The number of people who are...

Improving Supports For People Leaving Homelessness

Researchers in England have done a massive review of evidence about health and social care for people who are homeless. The justification for the review itself comes from evidence:...

Housing First to End Homelessness, Except When It Should Be Housing Second.

Housing First! It's the name as well as the desirable initial action. The Finland-created method for helping the homeless off the streets has been so successful that it's in...

The Purgatory of Homelessness: Easing The Torment of An Endless Wait

Arguments can be (and are) made about the folly of easing the grinding hell of circumstance that imprisons those without housing: "Governments at every level need to address this homeless...

Adding On To Point-In-Time Count Data To Understand Homelessness Better

At affordablehousingaction.org, we have pointed out some of the limitations of point-in-time (PIT) counts of people who are homelessTry: Fatal Flaw In Point-in-time Homeless Counts?. And earlier this year,...

Reflecting Thoughtfully On Irish Housing And Homelessness Programs

A recent report has been published about housing and homelessness policy in Ireland. The report was commissioned by six voluntary agencies that are on the front line in delivering...

America And Other Countries Are Treating The Tip Of The Homeless Iceberg

Isabel McDevitt kicks off her article for The Hill, with the following headline: The typical homeless person in America might surprise you. As she explains it, only one in five people who...

Redefining a Homeless Health Center: Are You Hungry? Come On In!

With all of the stories about tent clearances that are showing up in the news, here's somewhat more hopeful story from Portland, Oregon. A new centre that will open...

Q: How Grateful Are The Homeless For Spare Change? A: Woof!

As we swing off Toronto's Lakeshore Boulevard away from Lake Ontario, we are caught frequently in a left-hand turn lane, waiting for a green light. Parading beside our car...

Want A Civilized, Low Key, Homeless Tent Clearance? Ask A Peer To Do It.

Seattle Lawyer Lisa Daugaard is no foe of the police. In 2019 she won a MacArthur “genius” award for her assistance in developing a police-involved court diversion program. It...

Without More Funds For Shelter, Sacramento Homeless Plans Head For Rocks

Sacramento, the State Capital of California, first appeared on our news radar in 2021. The city was promising a departure from standards of international tent encampment brutality towards the...

Sweeping Vancouver, B.C.’s Homeless Into Uninhabitable Rooms

When is a home . . . with a sound roof overhead, with windows and lockable doors and storage space and access to kitchen bathroom facilities . . ....

Solving Homelessness With Coordinated Action. Can It Happen?

American President George H.W. Bush's evocative description of charity — a thousand tiny points of light — has a problem. The lights wink on and off at different times....

Section 8 Vouchers: Broadly Unfilled Promise, But A Tiny Ray of Light In CA

Affordablehousingaction.org, has been consistently down on Section 8, a.k.a. Housing Choice, vouchers — once upon a time touted as the solution to America's truly affordable housing woes. The current federal commitment...

Social Impact Bond Tackles Homelessness In Western Australia, Wins Big Time

The results are in for Aspire — the first Australian social impact bond to address chronic homelessness. Aspire provided three years of intensive treatment and support for 575 people...

Harris County Tries Something Different To End Homelessness

Harris County, Texas has had a Housing First program since 2011For more information about Housing First, try: What Is Housing First? Why Is It So Popular? and A Handbook...

Homeless Tent Clearances Under The Microscope

Cities across Canada are clearing encampments. This post is about two different investigations of clearances that have taken place. The first is by students at Wilfred Laurier University, who have...

Supportive Housing In Denver Helps Lift Homeless Towards Housing

'Supportive housing' has its supporters and its detractors. The article linked to this post is by supporters. In this case, the supporters are researchers from the Urban Institute. The...

Pushing Supportive Housing To Do Better

Supportive housing is supposed to be part of the solution to homelessness, not contributing to it. It's supposed to be the magic space where people who have been homeless...

Homeless? Bully(s) For You. Our Shelter System Can Provide!

A recent school shooting in Texas resulted in the deaths of 19 students, 2 teachers, and the wounding of others. Within a day, anecdotes about the life history of...

Making Service Coordination Work Better For People Who Are Homeless

Governments in Canada and the United States are devotees of service coordination as the way to fix homelessness: by working together, we can all be more effective. In both...

Optical Delusion: Solving Homelessness In Texas

Nearly a year ago now, the Texas legislature with the stroke of a pen turned the homeless into criminals. Of course, the law didn't quite say that. Instead, it...

Supportive Housing: What Is It? How To Add More That Is Needed

Canada and the United States need more supportive housing, the kind that is affordable for people with very low incomes and provides support to help with activities of daily...

Wrong Turns On The Road To Shelter In San Francisco

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) publishes a map with information about homelessness. The map indicates 161,548 people were homeless in California on any given night...

California’s Rapid Housing Initiative For Homeless People – How’s It Working Out?

The Terner Center For Housing InnovationThe Terner Center For Housing Innovation is based at the University of California Berkeley. It has a long history of studying housing and homelessness...

Survey Of Homelessness – Women And Men Fare Differently

New evidence from Canada shows that women and girls have different experiences of homelessness and precarious housing than men. It adds to other reports from CanadaTry: Shining A Spotlight...

NYC: Shelter Available. A Move To Housing? Unending Delay

The 'ahead of its time' horrors of George Orwell's book, 1984, has in some respects taken 40 years and more to catch up to the events predicted in its...

BC: Transitional Housing Gone Wrong?

Intimidation, drug dealing, drug use and overdoses, petty crime, breaking and entering — what's that all about? Well, some might say it's just the same old Not In My...

Personal Perspectives On Stable Housing In California

In housing and homelessness circles, California is well known for its high housing costs and its tens of thousands of people who are living 'unsheltered.' California's Project Homekey is an...

Placing Tiny Homes In The Housing And Homelessness Response

Tiny Homes? Hug 'em and Love 'em! The Media seems to, including us. They're forever popping up as cozy little bandaid stories about the housing and homelessness crisis in...

Canada’s National Housing Strategy – Heading Off In The Wrong Direction

Canada's National Housing Council has just released a report with a title that is hardly a headline grabber: Analysis of Affordable Housing Supply Created by Unilateral National Housing Strategy...

A Big-Bucks Seattle Plan To Shelter The Visibly Homeless

Businesses generally see visible homelessness as bad for business, sullying what might otherwise be 'beautiful downtown Seattle,' for example. Is it possible for the public interest in ending homelessness to...

Getting The Best From Supportive Housing

Supportive housing has become an essential component in programs to end homelessness. At the same time, it seems that we still have a lot to learn about what supportive...

Repurposing Detached Homes – Gentle Density At Work

Oakville, Ontario's Norma Gamble is inventive. In existing single detached homes, she sees opportunities for shared living. And, with persuasion and an accommodating housing market, she's been able to...

Street Outreach In A Frozen Hellscape: Words Or Welfare? Whatever’s Needed

In case you think you know what police officers are all about . . . Retired from a life as a community police officer, Paul VanHandel took a chunk of...

Shelters A Long Term Dead End? Charity Abandons Homeless Warehousing, Moves To Homes

It may be hard to view closing an emergency shelter as a step forward for providing services to the homeless in the Kitchener-Waterloo region of Ontario. But the House of...

A Homeless Person Has Found A Home? Excellent! But The Job Has Just Begun

'Housing First' is a significant advance in moving people who are homeless from the streets and returning them to housing. It boils down to the idea that no amount...

Orange County Teams Police Officers, Social Workers In Homelessness Pilot

A person who is experiencing homelessness intersects with another member of the public for any number of reasons. Let's pick one as charitably as possible. Suppose a member of...

Spanish Study Conclusion On Better Health For The Homeless? Buddy Up

Three people who are homeless are sitting on a park bench, content with sharing the little they have — tipsy conversation, laughter and a bottle of cheap wine. One...

Shining A Spotlight On COVID And Girls’ Homelessness

"Despite the profoundly divergent impacts of COVID-19 globally, it appears that diverse policy makers, scholars, and community leaders can agree on one thing — the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated...

Sudbury, Ontario Homeless Services: To Cap or Not To Cap? Ask A 9 Year Old

It should come as a surprise to nobody that Canada has one of the colder climates in the world. It ranks number three after Antartica and Russia. As for for...

How Mom’s Homeless Apple Pie Became California’s “Magic Recipe”

OK, we're running the risk of damning with faint praise California's "everyone in"Everyone In" was the name given to the United Kingdom's national directive to provide shelter for people...

Support For the Homeless: Refurbishing The Old-Fashioned Phone Call

There is nothing quite as satisfyingly new as a use found for something once dismissed as old and trashworthy. Take the old-fashioned phone call, for example. (Phones are still...

UK Work Support Can Cut Homeless Costs, Deliver Free Market Housing Security

A UK charity-based work support program Freedom2Work (F2W) has now been tested for five years. With striking success, it has shown it can lift people who experience homelessness off...

Tiny Home Communities – A Step From Homelessness To Housing

Over the last few years, fascination with tiny homes has grown beyond cutesy love-ins for a lifestyle akin to living in a clothes closet. (And along with our own...

Where Does A Hospital Discharge You To When You’re Homeless?

The international gospel for ending homelessness is a program known as Housing First. It has demonstrated itself to be so successful that many jurisdictions have tied their funding grants...

Sacramento’s Clever Plan To Control Homeless Tent Camps: Own Them

One unexpected benefit that all-too-briefly appeared during the COVID pandemic was the level of concern from national governments down to local ones for the plight of people who experience...

In-Shelter Lawyer Puts Homeless Legal Help Where It’s Most Needed

One80 Place is a shelter for people who experience homelessness in Charleston, South Carolina. Unusually for a shelter, it offers on-site legal services. A full time lawyer and paralegal...

Missoula, Montana Is Making Permanent A Mobile Mental Health Response Pilot

Roughly one in three people who are chronically homelessChronic homelessness means homelessness lasting for a long time (typically six months) or multiple episodes of homelessness over an extended period...

“NUMBY” Politicians Too Quick to Hear NIMBY?

If there's anything that everyone agrees upon, it's the inevitability of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard). When the issue of new housing in a neighbourhood arises, almost nothing...

Kansas City Flops A Flap — Urgent Clearing of A Homeless Tent “City”

Is there an important lesson for all to be learned from precipitously "evicting" a homeless encampment? For Kansas City Council, together with its citizenry, it might be: slightly more...

Homekey Struggles to Overcome Homelessness AND Public Perception

As California's Homekey program is well aware, fighting homelessness is a three-pronged battle. Like an iceberg, the bulk of homelessness lies beneath the surface, invisible to the public. Addressing homelessness...

Hats Off For Medicine Hat, Canada

Medicine Hat is the first community in Canada to officially end chronic homelessness. The city is part of Built For Zero Canada, a national initiative to end homelessness. Asked...

Homelessness: What Is Functional Zero, And Why Does It Matter?

The idea of getting homelessness down to zero might seem like an impossibility, but communities across Canada and the U.S. are working away at it. In fact, Medicine Hat,...

London Ontario: Looking A City Homeless Gift Horse In The Mouth

As hopes rise in countries where the pandemic may be on the wane, the homeless situation has not disappeared. Indeed, the threat of foreclosure on delinquent mortgages and well...

Housing With Support – A Source Of Strength To Individuals And Community

In the late 1800's in western countries, if people had problems they might seek help from family, neighbours or the local church. There were also hospitals, asylums, poor houses...

Cost Benefit To Permanent Supportive Housing? U.S. Research Weighs In

Here are two studies from the U.S. that discuss the merits of permanent supported housing for people who have prolonged experience of homelessnessBoth reports came to our attention via...

The Right Chess Moves Took A Young Boy And His Family Out Of Homelessness

A 10 year old boy in the U.S. isn’t homeless any longer. His remarkable skill at chess has turned his family’s fortunes around and allowed them to leave a...

Philadelphia: Beating The Bushes To Find Landlords Pays Off

After hundreds of calls to landlords, Philadelphia's Office of Homeless Services has been able to put together a housing program to assist people who are homeless to leave the...
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