http://www.vera.org/publication_pdf/209_407.pdf "Homelessness Among People Released From Prison Three main factors contribute to and complicate homelessness among people leaving prison. First, ex-offenders face the same social and economic conditions that lead to homelessness among the general population. Exoffenders returning to the community also confront barriers to housing associated with their criminal justice system involvement. Finally, there is a lack of ownership of the problem among government agencies and community organizations."
But support is also important.
Funding priorities in this country are often bass ackwards. We say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but we rarely act as if we knew it.
I like the critical point intervention programs. Many years ago I met a psychiatrist who told me that his hospital had accidentally learned how to alleviate the "revolving door" problem. Until then, mentally ill people would be brought in by the cops, but couldn't stay for long, would be released, and would soon be brought back in again. But then a charity donated some really nice used clothing to the hospital. They found that when they cleaned these people up (not just of street grime, but also of drugs or alcohol) and then dressed them in good clothes before releasing them, they didn't come back as quickly. If they'd had a place to go and a support system, they might not have come back at all.
Great topic, Harmony. Thank you!
Reading this last article, I have to remark. Sounds like a great place!!
But why are not "shelters" (other than the Salvation Army) - commonly found in all too, larger cities - yea, like a gas stations?
I am back on the computer looking for a place to move to on March - this too has got to stop. This time it was another human who fowled a perfectly good situation for me - well maybe not, I believe all things happen for reason. So there is probably a place waiting for me ~ hopefully with less stress.
Lemme, see... beginning my membership here in this group, I was homeless, then I have gone homeless 2X, since ~ then I have been made a host!!! ( to Harmony) yep, there are times I wish we could just live "virtual" - then I would be fine!
Imaging surfing the web to find a home, step right off into it. Serf some more, have your Ethan Allen furniture, set with fine china... then order Peking Duck or or pile your virtual self up on a far away vacation spot of a beach (with PERFECT weather) ... don't forget about the $25,000. you just won by clicking thru that survey.... amazing ~ huh!??
So, I have to stay in reality. I have to start sorting thru the low-income apartments out there, become a slave to resources... bus lines; monthly bills, that will allow me to survive, instead of LIVE.
Yep, life is like a box of chocolates... sometimes I just don't care for the raspberry goo in the middle - I preference chocolate ~ thru & thru.
It is not only money being thrown into preventing homelessness would help. But Actually having programs that do not force a person to remain dependant on the program, and really can HELP a person out of homelessness, form new habits, hold a new life, and get the education they need, to continue to remain out of homelessness.
Better community planning, better back up for natural disasters etc. If they put the Community back into Community homelessness, and over hald of the worlds issues would not be an issue.
- Dana C. L.
Brothers Bryon Ruff, 17, (kneeling) and Joe Ruff, 16, and their father, Bryon Ruff, measure plywood boards yesterday that will help complete the floor in the upstairs bedroom of the family’s condemned house in Warner.- fair use for humanitarian purposes
"We were saying, 'We built this housing for substance abusers and the mentally ill, but to get in you have to demonstrate that you're not addicted to drugs or mentally ill,' ” Tsemberis said Tuesday at a luncheon in West Valley City. "There's something almost discriminatory about [that]."
Pathways, a private nonprofit organization launched in 1992, plucks homeless people off New York City's streets and gets them directly into their own apartments. Residents contribute one-third of their income toward the cost of rent and Pathways picks up the rest.
The residents are surrounded by counselors and other experts who visit them at least once a week and help them get behavioral treatment and jobs. Such services, however, are offered only if the client asks for them.
Even when people make self-destructive choices, "we have to let go so they can learn from their mistakes," said Tsemberis, noting that in 12 years, only a handful of residents have been kicked out of the program.
Today, Pathways serves about 500 of New York City's 38,000 homeless. About 84 percent of his clients stay housed, compared to the 23 percent success rate of other programs in New York.
NYC program: Utah looks at the housing-first idea that is gaining favor in U.S.
Pathways to Housing founder Sam Tsemberis visits Utah on Tuesday to pitch his approach to stamping out chronic homelessness. His "housing first" philosophy has met with success in New York City. (Leah Hogsten/The Salt Lake Tribune ) Want to end homelessness? Provide people with housing.
It seems an overly simplistic fix to a complex social problem, but it is the driving philosophy behind a New York City program called Pathways to Housing that is changing the nation's view on solving homelessness. And, by all accounts, it works.
Founder Sam Tsemberis was in Utah on Tuesday to share his success story with a broad cross-section of people representing state agencies, local governments, charities, businesses, housing authorities, schools and law enforcement - all of which have a stake in the growing homelessness problem.
Pathways is being promoted by the Bush administration as the gold standard for getting the hardest-to-reach chronically homeless, most of them mentally ill, out of shelters and off streets and into productive lives.
Utah's Homeless Coordinating Committee also wants to adopt the "housing first" approach as it works toward its 10-year goal of ending chronic homelessness in the state.
The chronic homeless - those who don't have a home for more than a year or find themselves homeless four times over three years - represent about 10 percent of the nation's homeless population but consume 50 percent of all resources. Most struggle with substance abuse or are mentally ill.
Tsemberis was working with this population as a psychiatric outreach worker in New York City in the late 1980s when he was struck with the idea for Pathways. The system was failing his clients, who were drifting in and out of shelters, treatment centers and jobs and seemed incapable of getting their lives on track, he said.
Then, as now in Utah and elsewhere, the homeless needed to spend time in transitional shelters, getting mentally stable and drug- and alcohol-free, before they were admitted to permanent housing. And when they were admitted, it was
to a group home or other communal-living situation apart from the rest of society.
The study population was 102 men discharged to housing in New York City region in 1991-93. Of these, 96 agreed to participate in the trial. All the men had severe mental illness, usually schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders. They were discharged from an on-site psychiatry programme in a mens' shelter, to return to community housing. They had access to a broad spectrum of supportive housing, from intensively supervised residences to single-room-occupancy hotels with on-site social services. But discharge to family, or friends or other arrangements was common.
Randomisation was between usual services only (USO), and a critical time intervention (CTI). The critical time was defined as the first months after discharge, and the intervention included a range of services (Table) provided by a CTI worker (no special skills, though supervised by a mental health professional). The CTI workers were "street smart", and gave as much as was needed by individual patients.
Services received by mentally ill men discharged to the community Months after discharge CTI group USO group CTI workers:Shelter staff:1-3Make home visitsAssist patients and caregivers on requestAccompany patients to appointmentsSubstitute for caregivers when necessaryMeet with caregiversSubstitute for caregivers when necessaryGive support and advice to patient and caregiversMediate conflictsNegotiate ground rules for relationships4-7Observe trial of ground rulesServices provided by communityHelp modify ground rules as necessaryPhone advice for patient or caregiver8-9Reaffirm ground rulesHold parties/meetings to symbolise transition10-18Usual servicesOutcome The main outcome was the number of homeless nights (not including nights when patients decided not to go home because they had other things to do). This was assessed by monthly face-to-face assessments conducted by assessors blind to the intervention. This was continued monthly for 18 months. Results Two men, both in the USO group, were lost to follow up, one who was fleeing drug dealers and one who committed suicide on becoming HIV positive. There were no differences between the groups, and cocaine and alcohol abuse was high (about 50%).
Overall the 48 men in the USO group had 4370 homeless nights, compared with 1415 in the CTI group. Over 18 months (548 nights), the average number of homeless nights was higher at 91 in the USO group than the 30 nights of the CTI group. Fewer men had extended periods of homelessness with the critical time intervention (Figure).
During the last month of the 18-month follow-up, only 4 men in the CTI group were homeless, compared with 11 in the USO group - relative risk 0.36 (0.12 to 1.06), NNT 6.9 (3.5 to 284). Extended homelessness (more than 54 nights) occurred in 10 men in the CTI group and 19 in the USO group - relative risk 0.53 (0.27 to 1.01), NNT 5.3 (2.7 to 130). Comment This was a small trial in terms of numbers, but a big trial in terms of care taken during a prolonged follow-up. It demonstrates a strategy shown to be effective - preventing one case of homelessness for every five receiving the intervention. It was directed specifically in the prevention of homelessness in mentally ill men, in social conditions likely to be much worse than those prevalent in the UK. Those involved in healthcare and social services - in provision of services and in policy-making - would profit from reading this paper.
- Preventing recurrent homelessness among mentally ill men: a "critical time" intervention after discharge from a shelter. American Journal of Public Health 1997 87: 256-62.
Converting former military bases to viable properties can be a long and tedious process for communities, and often can take more than a decade for them to recover from a closure. According to Harry H. Kelso, an attorney, environmental consultant and chairman and chief executive officer of Base Closure Partners, LLC, in Richmond, Va., some 28 percent of closed Department of Defense land from the 1988 to 1995 base closures still has not been transferred from the department.
Kelso considers San Diego’s Liberty Station multiuse development now under way in Point Loma, along with one he helped negotiate in 1997, the conversion of Fort Pickett in Richmond, Va., as national models. The Defense Department has its own favorites:
• Bergstrom Air Force Base, Austin, Texas, closed in 1993. In November 1994, groundbreaking took place on the redevelopment and construction of the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, the last major new airport to be built in the 20th century and considered one of the most successful military base conversions ever, according to the Defense Department. By 2012, some 16,000 new jobs and more than 725,000 square feet of new development to the area are expected.
• England Air Force Base, Alexandria, La., closed in 1992. The England Industrial Park also is one of the most successful base reuses in the country, according to the Defense Department, attracting businesses that have created or will create more than 2,000 jobs — more than double the civilian employment at the time of closure, with lease and other revenues totaling more than $8 million a year.
• Mather Air Force Base, Sacramento, closed in 1993. Converted to industrial and commercial uses, the former base hosts 45 tenants, including 17 private companies, resulting in more than 1,280 new jobs. Sacramento County also established a county homeless complex on site and acquired 1,440 acres of land for new parks.
• Pease Air Force Base, Portsmouth, N.H., closed in 1991. The establishment of the Pease International Tradeport has created more than 5,000 new jobs and has more than 175 major tenants, occupying more than 1 million square feet of office and industrial space.
• Grissom Air Force Base, Grissom Aeroplex, Ind., closed in 1994. There are about 40 major tenants occupying the former base, including private industries, a state prison and a golf course, with more than 1,000 civilian jobs being created.
• Charleston Naval Base, Charleston, S.C., closed in 1996. More than 50 major tenants are using the former base, including private, local, state and federal organizations. The South Carolina Port Authority has been granted a 30-year lease, which will allow it to establish a major marine cargo handling facility at the site. More than 2,700 new civilian jobs have been created.
• Long Beach Naval Complex, Long Beach, closed in 1996. More than 1,200 acres have been transferred and almost 4,000 new jobs have been created. The station’s housing sites are now used for secondary and postsecondary education facilities, a Department of Labor Job Corps site, a science and technology park, and a transitional housing facility for the homeless.
• Orlando Naval Training Center/Naval Hospital Orlando, Orlando, Fla., closed in 1995. The city’s reuse plan for the four sites call for mixed-use redevelopment, including office parks, housing, education complexes, natural areas and federal uses. During the proposed 10-year development process, Orlando Partners expects to build more than 35,000 square feet of retail space, 1,500 million square feet of office space, 788 houses, 570 condos, and 1,800 apartments, and include three neighborhood centers, two public schools, and more than 200 acres of parks and open space. The property value upon completion of the main site is estimated at more than $1 billion.
• Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, Aurora, Colo., closed in 1999. More than 1,000 new jobs have been created, and reuse has included several creative projects — a state-of-the-art Life Sciences City, resulting in a unique partnership with the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, its affiliated University of Colorado Hospital, the city of Aurora, the Children’s Hospital, and the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority. About half of the redevelopment program, as well as 19,000 jobs, will be at the site by 2010.
• Fort Benjamin Harrison, Lawrence, Ind., closed in 1996. More than 450 acres have been resold to developers, who have brought more than 1,000 jobs to the area; more than 1 million square feet of new space has been constructed or is under construction; and total property sales have exceeded $16 million. The development includes new homes, senior citizen housing, and a YMCA. Seven former barrack buildings are under renovation to be sold as 96 luxury condos; and about 1.2 million square feet of historic structures have been renovated at an estimated investment of $10 million. Also, the city of Lawrence has completed the construction of a new government center, which will become the cornerstone of the city’s new town center.
• Cameron Station, Alexandria, Va., closed in 1988. More than 2,000 housing units were constructed, along with recreational facilities and commercial space. The Army also transferred more than 50 acres of parkland to the city, using a public benefit conveyance to preserve open space for the community