Community Concerns of the Homeless are:
- Un-permitted & unsafe camping
- Fire dangers & environmental degradation
- Multiple public health concerns
- No sewage/bathrooms
- Animals needing care
- High cost of Emergency Room & Hospital visits
- Affect on beauty of historical district
- Behaviors that alienate local business owners and tourists.
Challenges and Barriers for the Homeless include:
- Risk of illness or death, by being unsheltered
- Low to zero income, lack of employment, & limited job opportunities which can’t afford any type of housing
- No access to basic hygiene facilities
- No transportation to access support systems
- Substance misuse/overuse and behavioral health struggles
- Multiple unaddressed physical and dental health needs.
HOW CAN WE ADDRESS THE HOMELESS PROBLEM IN NEVADA COUNTY?
The issue of homelessness is a complex one…our view is to pursue a holistic approach which includes housing, healthy food, self-governance, re-skilling and community support.
In 2005, the State of Utah set out to fix a problem that’s often thought of as unfixable: chronic homelessness. The state had almost two thousand chronically homeless people. Most of them had mental-health or substance-abuse issues, or both. At the time, the standard approach was to try to make homeless people “housing ready”: first, you got people into shelters or halfway houses and put them into treatment; only when they made progress could they get a chance at permanent housing. Utah, though, embraced a different strategy, called Housing First: it started by just giving the homeless homes. Source: www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/22/home-free.
Our solution is also a ‘Housing First’ approach:
- Housing is treatment:
- Fewer Emergency Room visits
- Safety and security of person & effects
- Better quality of life
- Reduce substance abuse
- Shelter from inclement weather
- Reduce involvement with police and criminal justice systems
- Significant financial savings to the community
- Reduce fire danger from un-permitted campfires