Homeless Solutions – Some Communities Have Made Great Progress
What do these communities know that the rest of us don't know?
Google "what cities have solved homelessness" and you don't get 000 results. In fact you get this - 451,000 results (0.70 seconds)
So there would seem to be some progress on which to report, from which to learn and maybe even to model after.
Here are just a few of the results:
3 cities in the U.S. have ended chronic homelessness: Here's how they did it
Homelessness is not inevitable and can be solved – these cities show us how
The cities making a dent in homelessness — and what Seattle can learn from them
Utah Reduced Chronic Homelessness By 91 Percent; Here's How
Houston, we have a solution: How the city curbed homelessness
We can solve homelessness if we want to
I haven't read them all but they all should be read by those charged with finding solutions for Yakima.
From the Guardian, "In the US, 85 cities and counties have joined a program called Built for Zero, with 11 reaching a standard called “functional zero” for chronic or veteran homelessness, meaning people in those populations now become homeless only rarely and for very short periods. Another 47 have achieved measurable reductions."
The Built for Zero approach is based on collecting and utilizing detailed data on individuals. The process turns a population into individual people based on the conviction that "homelessness is not just a housing, public health or policy issue, but a complex problem that requires everyone working on it to collaborate in counting down, individual by individual, to zero".
Another approach that shows promise is something from 30 years ago, started in Los Angeles and in New York City with a track record in Finland called Housing First, “It was clear to everyone the old system wasn’t working; we needed radical change...We decided to make the housing unconditional...To say, look, you don’t need to solve your problems before you get a home. Instead, a home should be the secure foundation that makes it easier to solve your problems.”
A lot of people are looking at the crown jewel of the Pacific Northwest, Seattle - the Emerald City, and they are witnessing a city being overrun by homelessness,
The problem of homelessness in Seattle is examined in an article at Geekwire. "A 2018 audit found Seattle’s homeless response to be flawed because of a lack of coordination between cities, the county, housing authorities, and service providers. All Home, the agency created to oversee the Seattle region’s homeless response, lacks the authority to unify local funders into an efficient and nimble crisis response system, according to the report."
Are there answers for Yakima in these approaches? Who can say? But with The Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce's assessment that things are not getting any better in downtown, it's time to look at all options to help the homeless and the business community they impact.