Housing the Houseless

Jeremy Hobson for WBUR interviewing Martha Kegel (executive director of a non-profit) on how New Orleans reduced their number of houseless people by 90%:

And lastly, she says, the team took a “Housing First” approach, which is “simply the idea that you accept people as they are,” whether they are sober or not.

“You just accept them as they are and you provide the housing first,” Kegel says. “Then, once they’re in their apartment, you immediately wrap all the services around them that they need to stay stable and live the highest quality life that they can live.”

This article is tough to read, even with the positive news, but there are some really important basic fact checks in here for people who aren’t convinced that housing people is the first solution to houselessness. In relating an anecdote about someone who turned down help, Kegel says: “…which isn’t actually the typical thing, most homeless people want to be housed.” 

Washinton D.C. is Shutting Down The City’s Largest Shelter to Make Way for Rich People

This shelter doesn’t sound spectacular, but the space provided opportunities for the 239 families living there to have fun activities that won’t be possible elsewhere. Splinter’s Emma Roller:

…over the past seven years, the families and organizations that operate within the shelter have created a makeshift community of their own. This is what happens when poor families living on public land are pushed out the back door, while powerful corporate interests are invited in for dinner.

It is being bulldozed to make room for their pitch to Amazon and luxury condo developers:

One of the city’s proposed sites for Amazon’s new headquarters is in the Capitol Hill East neighborhood—directly on top of where D.C. General stands today. “Hill East, a quiet, traditional rowhouse community, sits at the eastern edge of the District, walkable to some of the most exciting and historic neighborhoods in the area,” the Obviously DC website reads.

[…]

In April, the families at D.C. General noticed that signs had been put up along the fence bordering the shelter complex. The signs were from three construction and development companies, promoting their work on the site’s demolition and remodeling. One of the posters showed a slick mock-up of what the new site would look like, with crisp brick buildings, wide boulevards, a bike share station, and a fountain. None of the construction companies returned requests for comment, but one of them, McCullough Construction LLC, touts itself on its website as being “synonymous with luxury condos.”