We all know that Houston is the fourth most populated city in the United States. We’re now sharing a piece of happy news from Houston. Surprisingly, this city has minimized its homelessness rate by 63% over the last decade.

Ana Rausch, vice president of Houston’s Coalition for the Homeless, was on a mission to move homeless people out and find them homes. She gave rise to a huge initiative to help the homeless people in the city with her team on the northwest side of Houston.

 

“We are not here to solve poverty. We aren’t here to fix the affordable housing problem” is how Ms. Rausch said, “Think of the homeless system in America as an emergency room for a triaged slice of poverty. What Houston has achieved is to get itself far enough along in addressing the challenge that we can hope to begin to think about the pipeline to homelessness.”

 

By teaming with county agencies and influencing scores of local service providers, corporations, and charitable Non-Profit Organizations to work simultaneously and together, the huge team moved the homeless people straight from the streets of Houston into apartments.

These homeless people used to live in tents and cardboard lean-tos. Ms. Rausch’s team and a few camp residents pointed out the nearby fast food outlets, the Shell station with a convenience store, and the Planet Fitness, where a $10 monthly membership meant access to showers and outlets for charging phones.

The team conducted drug addiction recovery and religious conversion programs that succeed in moving people from the streets. But when you’re drowning, it will never help if your rescuer force you to learn to swim before returning you to the land. You can learn to swim once you’re on land. Similarly, you can address your problems once you’re in the shelter.

 

Houston Has Housed 25,000 Homeless People With Apartments of Their Own
Houston Has Housed 25,000 Homeless People With Apartments of Their Own

 

The “housing first” approach focuses on moving homeless people from the streets into one-bedroom apartments as fast as possible. After that, the team addressed issues like jobs, drug addiction, mental health issues, and more.

“The goal that I have set is to get us down, in a sense, to zero homelessness in the city by the end of next year,” Mayor Sylvester Turner, who has been the mayor since 2016, told KHou11. “The challenge right now is getting the units.”

“Before I leave office, I want Houston to be the first big city to end chronic homelessness,” Sylvester Turner told New York Times.

Turner’s team planned to unite homeless service and low-income housing providers into acting in concert with one another. Landlords, homeowners associations, food banks, churches, the Houston Housing Authority, the Department for Health and Human Services, and more, of which joined to form the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County.

 

The previous year, Ms. Rausch’s team had moved those homeless people(no more homeless) to their new residences. Among the people who relocated was a shy, 39-year-old woman named Terri Harris. According to Michael Kimmelman, Newyork Times, “Ms. Harris had leaped at the prospect of an apartment when outreach workers approached her in the camp. She was tired of living on the streets, but, above all, she was desperate to reunite with her three-year-old daughter, Blesit, whom she had had to leave with her sister.”

A decade ago, Houston had one of the highest per-capita homeless counts in the country. But now, Houston has moved more than 25,000 homeless people directly into apartments and houses. They’re now living peacefully.

 

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