The Homeless Solutions Leadership Team is pleased to present the 10-Year Plan for Ending Chronic Homelessness and Reducing Overall Homelessness. The Plan's Findings and Recommendations were shaped by the involvement of a broad cross-section of the community who took part in interviews, surveys, work groups, focus groups and facilitated discussions with the Leadership Team. Approximately 200 persons participated during the past two years, including current and formerly homeless persons, service providers, and representatives of community, business, health and human services, criminal justice and neighborhood organizations.
We have learned these facts about the people who are homeless in our community:
• More than 6,000 people experienced homelessness in Montgomery County during 2004. African-American residents experience disproportionately higher rates of homelessness than do Caucasian residents. A significant portion of the homeless population consists of children and teens under 18 years of age. Two-thirds of homeless persons are in families with children or are runaway youth between the ages of 11 and 17. The remainder are single men and women.
• The chronically homeless, defined as single adults with a disability who live on the street or in shelters for extended periods of time, make up only 3% of all homeless persons in our community. However, their heavy use of shelters, emergency rooms, the Jail and other community services is very costly.
Homelessness is a moral and ethical challenge for our community. Our community will be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable residents. The community cannot allow our citizens to live on the street or in shelters. The toll that homelessness exacts on all of the people who experience it, especially children and teens, coupled with the negative impacts on neighborhood revitalization and economic development, is too great. The cost – in human and economic terms – is staggering.
The Homeless Solutions Leadership Team has developed its recommendations based on the following findings:
• Homelessness and poverty are inextricably connected.
• The role of housing in ending homelessness cannot be overstated.
• The solution to homelessness is bigger than the network of homeless providers.
• Homelessness affects our entire community and is not just a City of Dayton issue.
Changing the community conversation about homelessness will require educating and engaging the community about:
1) the realities that homeless adults, children and teens face on a daily basis; and
2) the importance of jointly constructing a roadmap that eliminates barriers and ensures better outcomes for all persons who are homeless in our community.
One of the key elements is increasing access to affordable quality housing for our lowest income residents. The development of this 10-Year Plan for Ending Chronic Homelessness and Reducing Overall Homelessness in Dayton & Montgomery County was the first step in this process. The Plan is data-driven, based on best practice models and challenges all of us to redirect our efforts from managing homelessness to working to end chronic homelessness and reduce overall homelessness. We urge you to review the Plan and join with us as we move into the implementation phase of this critical community initiative.
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