Community-Based Solutions to Homelessness
Combating homelessness is a constantly evolving process and often does not include a clear path forward. There are many causes of, and factors contributing to homelessness that vary based on city and state. Due to these complexities, there cannot be one blanket solution that will work over time and in every location. But this doesn’t mean that there aren’t notable commonalities that successful efforts to combat homelessness include. At JOIN, we believe that a community-based, data-driven model is often the best way to approach this nation-wide issue.
A strategic community-based model should use current data about the needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness to determine how resources and services are allocated. This data should be updated regularly, and the strategies used should evolve over time as the data changes. A strategic community-based model should include ways to address all forms of homeless, including chronic, episodic, transitional, and hidden, with a focus on housing retention.
At JOIN, we work closely with our community to provide housing to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Our Outreach Team addresses this urgent need by identifying and overcoming barriers to housing, partnering with local agencies and advocating with local landlords to open their doors to permanent housing. We always strive to emphasize the strengths of the people we serve, and support their efforts to move into permanent housing.
Acquiring housing is one thing, but keeping it can be a huge hurdle as well, especially for the chronically homeless. To overcome this challenge, JOIN’s Housing Retention team offers newly placed households the individualized support they need to succeed in their housing long-term. This type of support varies based on the individual’s unique needs. JOIN provides job-finding assistance, benefits advocacy, transportation assistance, medical and mental health referral, food box delivery, and many other services that support people’s efforts to truly end their homelessness.
We believe that taking an individualized, community-based approach to combating homelessness will create the most lasting impact throughout Portland, and the rest of the nation. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to homelessness, by using data-driven techniques that are rooted in community engagement, we can continue to improve housing situations for individuals and families in need. If you’d like to support JOIN and our continued efforts to combat homelessness, click here to donate today.