3-step Homelessness Plan
Homelessness continues to be an issue for not only Fort Worth, but many of the large cities around the country. But the fact of the matter is that city hall has not done enough to address the issue. We are proposing a 3-step plan that aims to reduce the prevalence of homelessness in both the short and long-term.
1. Assessment: Those who find themselves unemployed and without housing may be in that position for a variety of different reasons. Drug abuse/addiction, mental illness, loss of a job or family member, and other complications may contribute to the situation. In any case, understanding those underlying causes is the first step in providing meaningful assistance to our homeless population.
A team of health care and social work professionals should conduct an initial screening of the individual to assess the best course of action. After the assessment, they will be connected with the resources applicable to their situation.
2. Short-term Assistance:To ensure that the plan is as successful as possible, we cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach with each individual. After trained professionals have determined to the best of their ability the needs of the individual, they will be placed into a program depending on their specific circumstances.
For example, those struggling with mental health disorders will be given the opportunity to see certified psychologists/psychiatrists in order to be prescribed a treatment plan. Relatedly, those dealing with substance abuse will also be provided with help. In both cases, we have a chance to help individuals from being a danger to themselves and the community.
In other cases, such as the loss of a job, individuals may only need to complete a resumé and interview workshop to get back on their feet. Essentially, step 2 serves to try and “stabilize” an individual so that they can be in the position to best help themselves out of an unfortunate situation.
3. Long-term Solutions: Upon the successful completion of steps 1 and 2, individuals would then qualify for the 3rdand final step of the plan. This step focuses on assistance that would keep individuals from finding themselves in similar situations after receiving help. Many times, people still struggle to find gainful employment and housing even after significantly improving their situation.
If we really want to reduce the prevalence of homelessness in our city, we must focus on long-term solutions as well as short-term help. Some of the ways the city can work with other government entities and the private sector to assist the individuals who successfully complete the initial steps and qualify include:
· Second-chance Housing
· Job Placement/Work Programs
· Public Transportation Vouchers
With this 3-step plan to fight homelessness in the City of Fort Worth, we can start to properly address the issue in a way that leads to long-term results. When we successfully help people off of the streets, we make a difference not only in their lives, but in the entire community as a whole.