Homelessness is in the headlines daily. Some call it an issue or problem. Others call it an opportunity. Put a face on it, and homelessness is names and stories.
Watch the inspiring example of how the Gordon family overcame a spiral into homelessness – a devastating industrial accident, a job loss, and the loss of their home. Never missing a day of school, the family stuck together. In this short video, see how they are now living successful, independent lives in a permanent place they call home.
Ending homelessness permanently could bring hope for many more families and individuals. And. It makes sense in our hearts and in our wallets. We can get our homeless off the streets.
Together, how can we end homelessness permanently?
1) Think differently about the issues of homelessness – and the faces of those who are homeless.
For example, did you know that in Orange County, California:
- The vast majority of homeless are U.S. citizens and long-term residents. In fact, most have lived here more than 10 years.
- The primary cause of being homeless is not alcohol and/or drugs, mental health or release from jail or prison. Rather, it is finding and keeping a job with a sustainable wage.
2) Think differently about how much homelessness is costing – and save taxpayers’ money.
A new study conducted by the University of California, Irvine – and funded by Jamboree and Orange County United Way – estimates that cities, counties, hospitals, and non-government agencies spend nearly $300 million every year to address the issue of being homeless in Orange County. This money provides a needed response, but not a solution.
So how do we fix homelessness and save money? By housing those on the street in a way that could:
- Reduce the average annual cost of services for those homeless by more than 50%.
- Saves municipalities and taxpayers an estimated $42 million.
3) Think differently about how we solve homelessness – and create more solutions that already work well.
At Jamboree, we believe stable housing is the foundation on which stable lives are built. That’s why, for more than a decade, our strategy to end homelessness ensures that:
- Chronically homeless, veterans, families, and even individuals with a mental health diagnosis have a permanent place to call home.
- Onsite supportive services provide help with life skills, job training, and 24/7 access to clinical services.
Catch a glimpse of how permanent supportive housing solutions are working in Orange County and beyond. See what permanent supportive housing actually looks like within a neighborhood:
What can I do to help?
Now that you understand there are solutions that work, it’s time to get involved.
Contact your elected officials…
Your voice is powerful, so make it heard. Call your local elected officials and let them know there are solutions to homelessness that are already working.
- In your city, contact the mayor and city council. Visit your city website to find contact info.
- In your county, contact the board of supervisors. Visit your county website to find contact info.
- On a state level, contact your local state legislators. Visit find your rep to find contact info.
Please call your local elected officials with the following message:
“I’m tired of seeing the homeless in my backyard. Not solving this issue is a public nuisance. And, it’s a moral issue. Let’s get the homeless housed. I’ve learned what one nonprofit in Orange County, CA is doing to help end chronic homelessness. And, it’s working. What if we explored a solution like this in our area? Would you please contact Jamboree to start a conversation for our local neighborhoods? You can call (888) 214-8195 or email them at email@example.com."
What will it take to end homelessness?
A lot of creativity, compassion, political will, funding, connections, influence, and passion – from city and county officials as well as leaders and influencers from our schools and businesses, nonprofit and faith-based communities.
Together, let’s leverage your insights, connections, influence, and compassion to make a collective impact. Call your local elected officials today. Make your voice heard!