Jobs and Financial Stability Crucial To Efforts To Address Homelessness
Opening Doors, the Federal Plan to End Homelessness developed
by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), includes five major
themes necessary to successfully address homelessness. The third major theme of the
Federal plan is the need to “increase
economic security.” The plan
indicates that this includes efforts to provide employment opportunities for
people at risk of homelessness as well as to increase access to services
intended to reduce people’s vulnerability to homelessness due to economic
reasons. USICH notes that while
national efforts in recent years had brought about a decrease in chronic
homelessness, the economic recession has resulted in a large increase in the
number of individuals and families facing homelessness for the first time for
financial reasons as the result of the loss of employment.
Danbury Housing Partnership Chair Mark J. Nolan commented
that this trend “is consistent with what
we are seeing in the Danbury region.
While we have made great strides in implementing meaningful programs to
address homelessness, the recent economic recession has changed the face of
homelessness in the region. Our
most vulnerable populations remain under great stress, but now persons who
never dreamed of being in that position are also staring the stark realities of
homelessness in the face.”
Employment and housing are dual pillars of the Federal plan
to address homelessness. USICH
states that the best defense against becoming homeless is a job that pays fair
wages. In an era of limited tax
resources and decreases in donations to non-profit service providers, it is
essential that all levels of government as well as private agencies work
together to ensure the most effective utilization of available resources to
help those who need help the most get back on their feet.
Future Partnership news updates will address the final two
major themes of the Federal plan.
For more information about the Danbury Housing Partnership,
please call Chair Mark J. Nolan at 203-797-8255 or visit www.danburyhousingpartnership.org.
For more information about USICH and the Opening
Doors plan please visit www.usich.gov.