A Strategic Approach To Ending Homelessness

It takes all of us to end homelessness.

 

In response to Darren A. Nichols column of 12/11, ‘As temperatures plunge, make ending homelessness in Detroit a priority’, we would like to offer a few thoughts.

As a partner in the state of Michigan’s Campaign to End Homelessness, Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness (MCAH) works with partners statewide to end homelessness. The issue of homelessness is complex, and a comprehensive strategy is called for that includes outreach and engagement, an affordable housing supply, partnerships with landlords and an array of services that will help people address issues that brought them to experience
homelessness.

Key elements such as engagement by elected officials, collaboration between government and the nonprofit sector along with political will, planning and strategic investment of resources are needed to address the issue.

There are many efforts underway in the City of Detroit to reduce homelessness such as the development of a 7-point, $203 million plan to develop affordable housing options for Detroiters to be funded in 2022, including ARPA funds. The City developed a database with affordable housing properties, along with a homelessness diversion program to keep people off the street. A dedicated position is funded by the City for a Homelessness Solutions Director who works closely with the Homeless Action Network of Detroit- the Continuum of Care, which is a collaborative body in the Detroit, Highland Park and Hamtramck that oversees the homelessness response system.

At the state level, the first ever statewide housing plan and the Campaign to End Homelessness’ three-year action plan to end homelessness (that is about to be released) will provide opportunities for collaboration and alignment of efforts with the City of Detroit.

To sustain and elevate the important work that has been taking place in Detroit, a strategy for ending homelessness along with the sustained commitment to implement it will be key.

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