When those of us in the world of homeless services and advocacy talk about ending homelessness, many people scoff as if we are naive.
PATH Achieve Glendale sets out to end homelessness every day, with each person we meet. We do this by giving individual attention to each person’s unique needs. We encourage our clients to take specific steps to increase their income or address a health problem that impedes their ability to find work. We help our clients navigate difficult bureaucracies set up to help them, but are often hard to penetrate.
It takes a lot of work to get these diverse systems to serve people who don’t have a home. The simple lack of an address and the frequent moving from place to place makes it even more challenging to complete services.
Ten years ago the National Alliance to End Homelessness launched a national campaign to create ten year plans to end homelessness. These efforts have set the vision, identified the needs, and prioritized funding critical steps in strategically addressing what has seemed to be an intractable problem. In Glendale, our number of homeless people is relatively small, and so our plan to end homelessness may seem simple compared to other more impacted communities. Unfortunately the resources committed to help them are proportionately smaller. And so even here the crisis of homelessness continues.
In this blog we will share our stories of ending homelessness in our community and we will connect our work to the larger context of the public policy that can create or take away opportunities for us to do more. We will feature news about our wonderful volunteers, the commitment of our staff and the very hard work done by our clients to get back into housing.
And stay tuned, it is not all grim. In fact, if you visit us at PATH Achieve Glendale, you will hear a fair amount of celebrating. Because any time a client gets a key, we have a reason to cheer.