The importance of stable housing cannot be over-emphasized. Children, as well as adults, who lack this basic need, are demonstrably disadvantaged when it comes to facing the challenges life brings. While recognizing the situation is a large step, beginning to overcome the problem is much more difficult and requires building partnerships.
According to a United States Interagency Council on Homelessness report, significant diminished expectations for education, employment, health and family preservation are directly related to an unstable housing situation. Stable housing may be defined as not only a household’s access to housing of reasonable quality is secure but also the choice over when and under what circumstances the household moves. It is important to note that the unavailability of stable housing impacts not only the affected individuals and families, but, additionally, significant, preventable costs to public programs are the inevitable result.
Expand the supply of safe and affordable housing
Without a sufficient number of housing options, the problem will remain unabated. Federal, state and local investments must be expanded and policies established to maintain an adequate number of housing units to address the local need on an ongoing basis.
Provide additional services
Government housing authority agencies are beginning to establish partnerships with nonprofits in recognition of the need to provide a more holistic set of services to help ensure a successful transition. Employment counseling, parenting classes and wellness education keep the individuals and families on –track.
Identify the at-risk
Even when existing programs and housing options are available, connecting those in need with the proper resource can prove elusive. For example, child welfare agencies can connect with homeless and affordable housing services should recognize their shared, vested interest in keeping children safe, with their families and in a stable home environment.
What you can do
The scope of the problem remains troubling and requires major policy refocusing, but an individual can still make a difference. Visit our Welcome Home page to see how you can help us make lives better, one family at a time.