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Housing Plan to End Homelessness

photograph from Family story

(9/26/06)

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One county has a problem. The problem is that many people don’t have places to live. This is called being homeless. There are many reasons why people become homeless. Sometimes people lose their job and can’t afford to pay rent. Some are teenagers who ran away from home. Homeless people often sleep in their cars or in public places. Sometimes they sleep in parks or under bridges. They beg for money on the streets. The county does not like having homeless people living on the streets. It is not safe for the public or the homeless people.

Being homeless can be harmful to a person’s health. It is not healthy to live on the street. Some cities provide shelters for these people. But the shelters are usually very crowded. Sometimes the shelters are not safe. Homeless people are often sick. In shelters, they can spread their illness to others.

Shelters can provide beds, but they can’t meet all the needs of the homeless people. The homeless often have many other problems. Some homeless people have mental illness. Some are addicted to drugs. Some are alcoholics. Some have lost their families.

One city has decided to help end the problem. City leaders have developed a plan. The plan has two parts. Leaders think the plan will take ten years to work.

The first part of the plan will focus on housing. The city will provide stable housing. Clean, safe apartments will be rented to homeless people. Then the homeless won’t have to live in crowded shelters. No one will be denied an apartment. These apartments are located in an apartment complex in the county. The manager of the complex is a success story. He was once homeless.

The second part of the plan will help homeless people in other ways. Some services will help them find a job. Classes will teach them special skills, and how to keep their job. The plan will also provide mental health services. This will help the clients become healthy enough to live a normal life.

There have been many plans to help the homeless. Most plans require that people are healthy. They cannot be addicted to drugs. That is not possible for many. This plan is different. It gives them an apartment while they are getting sober. Then they have a better chance at ending their drug habit.

The mayor hopes that state funding will be given to the county to help with this plan. Local leaders hope federal aid will also help them put their plan into action. Many homeless people will be given a chance at a new life.

(This was adapted from an original story provided by News10 KXTV Sacramento.)

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