In the process of helping people to overcome homelessness, our team first provides emergency shelter and services to help a person stabilize from their personal crisis. On any given night, there are people that are coming through the doors of our emergency shelter for the very first time, moms and dads with children by their side, men and women who have come to a point where they have nowhere better to turn.
For most, a person’s stay shelter is a short one. About 90% of the 7,000 people who turned to The Road Home for shelter last year needed us for about six weeks or less.
For the remaining 10%, their experience is different; for people in this group, the shelter has become their primary address. The Road Home participates within a broad collaboration of public and private partners to create permanent housing with supportive services as a solution to this group’s homelessness.
While the degree of support varies in helping each of these two groups of people, the solution to their homelessness remains the same: Housing.
At The Road Home, we would support just about any variety of housing as long as we create a supply that contains three fundamental components: Permanency; deep affordability; and in a smaller number of cases, supportive health and social services which serve people in their housing.
A shortage of housing drives people to homelessness. We can reduce this shortage through a variety of creative means. In so doing we are reducing the likelihood that people will need to turn to shelter.
The goal of creating housing to meet the growing need is clear and simple. Succeeding will require broader collaboration among service providers, all levels of government and partnerships which include the private sectors. All of us must work together with commitment and great diligence to correct this problem. It is certainly challenging; it is also quite doable.
As we succeed in creating deeply affordable housing, we effectively reduce the need for people to turn to shelter. Within a relatively few number years, we can get to the point where we will eliminate the need for huge shelters to exist in our community.
- Matthew Minkevitch, Executive Director