Letter to the editor: We can end homelessness

To the editor:

In response to Roger Powell’s recent letter, it’s evident there is skepticism about whether our community can effectively address homelessness. Justice Matters has long been advocating for the Built for Zero model, and we are thrilled to see it incorporated in “A Place for Everyone.” Built for Zero is a movement made up of more than 100 cities and counties that have committed to measurably ending homelessness. So far, 14 of those communities have ended homelessness by reaching a standard called functional zero. More than half of those cities and counties have achieved reductions in the number of people experiencing chronic and veteran homelessness.

This solution costs less for taxpayers, because managing homelessness with frequent ER visits and jail stays is much more expensive than simply providing the stabilizing force of housing and supportive services when needed. This plan is not just throwing money at the problem; it’s implementing sustainable solutions that address the root causes of homelessness, such as lack of affordable housing. Increasing affordable housing will benefit many, both housed and unhoused.

We encourage the community to learn more about the plan at storymaps.arcgis.com.

As people of faith, we work for a community where every voice is heard and where every life is valued. There is still a lot of work to do. But with continued dedication, we can — and will — end chronic homelessness in our community.

Wanda Haney and Ann Spangler,

Justice Matters members


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