Everyone, meet the housing-first model, a delightfully simple solution to homelessness.

It's exactly like it sounds. To find a solution to homelessness, the delightful folks of Salt Lake City ... put housing first.

First!


That means giving homeless people homes. It's a delightfully obvious choice, right?

"Instead of asking people to change their lives before we gave them housing, we chose to give them housing along with the supportive services and then allow them to change their lives if the wanted to." — Gordon Walker, Director of Housing and Community Development in Salt Lake City

BUT. But. But. If it's so obvious, why isn't everyone doing it????


GIF via HilariousGifs.com.

I really don't know.

Because, consider this math.

The housing-first model WORKS. BIG TIME.

Keeping homeless people on the street costs the government $20,000 per person.

It costs the government $7,800 per person to give them a house and some support, such as case management services.

That's $12,200 saved per person with the housing-first model.

And the end result?

72% decrease in homelessness.

Image via Brave New Films.

And those numbers are backed up by research. For specific numbers, this report from The National Alliance to End Homelessness does a great job — it's where the report for the Utah program got their numbers.

It just makes so much delightful sense.

If you're as into this smart idea as much as I am, I have an idea.

If you feel like sharing this, ALSO tag your hometown mayors, senators, and representatives when you do. It's easy to find who they are at OpenCongress, then just tag away and BOOM — it's like tapping them on the shoulder to remind them to care!

But be careful — if enough of us start caring and sharing this smart idea with our elected officials ... things might change! ;)

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

When schools closed early in the spring, the entire country was thrown for a loop. Parents had to figure out what to do with their kids. Teachers had to figure out how to teach students at home. Kids had to figure out how to navigate a totally new routine that was being created and altered in real time.

For many families, it was a big honking mess—one that many really don't want to repeat in the fall.

But at the same time, the U.S. hasn't gotten a handle on the coronavirus pandemic. As states have begun reopening—several of them too early, according to public health officials—COVID-19 cases have risen to the point where we now have more cases per day than we did during the height of the outbreak in the spring. And yet President Trump is making a huge push to get schools to reopen fully in the fall, even threatening to possibly remove funding if they don't.

It's worth pointing out that Denmark and Norway had 10 and 11 new cases yesterday. Sweden and Germany had around 300 each. The U.S. had 55,000. (And no, that's not because we're testing thousands of times more people than those countries are.)

The president of the country's largest teacher's union had something to say about Trump's push to reopen schools. Lily Eskelsen Garcia says that schools do need to reopen, but they need to be able to reopen safely—with measures that will help keep both students and teachers from spreading the virus and making the pandemic worse. (Trump has also criticized the CDCs "very tough & expensive guidelines" for reopening schools.)

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