So, does anyone else wonder how many more years the Melville Charitable Trust will be looking for a solution to Homelessness? Every night I hear on NPR that it is funding "All Things Considered" and working on finding solutions to homelessness? So, how is it going for them on this quest for the Holy Grail? Have they found a solution yet? Homelessness has increased every year for the past 20 in Cleveland, so the solutions have not made it to the Midwest. I went to their website and here is what I found:
What We've Learned
After working with more than a hundred grantee partners for over a dozen years we are now convinced of the following:
- Homelessness is a solvable problem.
- Decent, safe, accessible and affordable housing is indispensable to solving the problem of homelessness.
- Providing housing with support services to those who have enduring disabilities is the smart, humane, cost-effective solution to long-term homelessness.
- Our society has more than adequate economic capacity to invest in the housing and provide the services that can eliminate homelessness anywhere in America.
- Government agencies and officials, as well as our elected representatives on the local, state, national levels must be in the forefront of efforts to end homelessness, investing significant resources in housing and service programs that lead to individual and family independence.
- All that is needed to eliminate homelessness in America is the political will to do so.
I cannot think of many areas in the life of homeless people that are better. There are fewer benefits available to homeless people. There are fewer lawyers. It is harder for a homeless person to vote in America. So, the state of homelessness is worse, and yet Melville keeps pumping money into NPR and looking for solutions? What is NPR doing to reduce homelessness by the way? I have to wonder that all the money spent on staff, advertising, shelters, permanent supportive housing projects, National Alliance, and NPR would have helped more people by just providing a family a housing voucher for one year. They could have paid for an entire year of housing for 1,000 people in Cuyahoga County over the 10 years if they had just given away $6.5 million dollars to us. That would have doubled our Shelter Plus Care program and increased our Voucher program by over 7% with $6.5 million.
I hope that all national groups will re-evaluate the decisions (funders, government, and service providers) that have been made over the last 10 years. I hope that activists will look for solutions that do not take a decade or more to come to fruition. We need to have a massive investment in housing. We cannot lose anymore housing. We have to have put people to work and provide those on disability with more money to survive. Or at least we could provide a housing voucher along with their disability check. It is time for a change, and maybe a new statement on All Things Considered for Melville.
Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.