Housing Vs. Homelessness
We are often asked why we focus our efforts on housing rather than homelessness. At Homes First, we believe the answer to homelessness IS housing. When we focus on only one side of the equation, a vital part of the solution is missed. This means those who make the decision about where our community focus needs to be also have a one sided view of the problem.
This does NOT mean we as a community don’t see a need to support the services and subsidies that help the homeless to find homes however, if there is a lack of focus on the actual housing structures, there will be no homes into which to move them.
Prevention and Retention Vs. Rehousing
Prevention & Retention
National studies have found that 32% of families entering shelters had a housing subsidy or lived in subsidized housing at some point over the previous five years. Homes First helps prevent homelessness by providing a much needed resource to families in danger of losing their permanent housing.
The stress for a family that loses their home is significant. The impact on both heads of household and children who become homeless is hard to overcome. Preventing homelessness for those who are already housed is a benefit to the community as well as to the individual household. Homes First stabilizes households that were previously in danger of being evicted and becoming homeless by connecting them to support services which provide appropriate training, education, and supportive services to subsidized housing recipients. Read More>
Homelessness has increased since 2013 in Washington state due to multiple factors, but overwhelmingly because growing rents are pushing people living at the margins into homelessness.
Increases in homeless housing system investments and effectiveness since 2012 appear to be overwhelmed by the rent driven increases in the number of people becoming homeless. Additional investments and system improvements are critical and a focus of state and local governments. However, soaring rents make net progress more difficult by both increasing the number of people needing homeless housing, and increasing the cost of each housing intervention. Addressing the causes of rent increases is a critical part of reducing the count of people experiencing homelessness. Read More >