Marshall Ingwerson, a journalist, former editor-in-chief of the Christian Science Monitor and founder of the “What Works Initiative” a project to spread public awareness on issues of public concern, will speak at the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness community Zoom meeting from 7 to 8:15 p.m. on Monday, March 28. To register visit: pptfh.org.
Ingwerson’s January 30 Op-Ed in the L.A. Times, “The Homelessness Quandary,” describes some reasons that addressing homelessness on a large scale in Los Angeles is difficult.
He compares Houston and Los Angeles, and describes how Houston, which has fewer affordable housing units, is ranked near the bottom in wage growth and has one of the highest eviction rates in the nation, has managed to cut homelessness by more than half.
The difference between Los Angeles and Houston?
In his Op-Ed piece Ingerwerson writes:
Scale of effort. Houston provides many times more affordable permanent housing units — much of it including supportive health and social services — than its headcount of the homeless population on any given night, according to Houston’s Coalition for the Homeless. Permanent housing has been its whole focus. Temporary shelter is left entirely to churches and other nonprofits.
To approach Houston’s effort — and offer enough permanent housing to cut its nightly homeless population by half — L.A. would have to multiply its efforts by more than fivefold to provide at least 150,000 total units, according to my analysis of recent housing data.
Excellent organization. Greater Houston’s single lead homeless agency orchestrates its services supremely well. Its efforts include integrating front-line health and housing services workers, training them to understand each other’s jargon and pioneering a shared database for tracking all official interactions with people experiencing homelessness, their needs and their use of services.
Pragmatism. Houston appears not to have let compassion for the homeless warp into a respect for homelessness itself. The focus has been on making homelessness “rare, brief and nonrecurring,” and not necessarily a more comfortable option. Houston has decommissioned eight homeless encampments in the last year, offering residents a path into permanent housing. Between 85 and 90 percent of homeless people take up that offer. Those who don’t still have to move on from the encampments.
To view the OP-Ed visit:click here.