Homelessness is a big problem for so many people, in part because in many places, housing is really expensive and/or impossible to find. There are many other reasons as to why people experience homelessness and there are many cities that have been trying different solutions to get people off the streets.
Tent cities exist in many places – Seattle, Portland OR, San Francisco, and more have these mini cities of tents where people experiencing homelessness have come to live. In Portland, OR, Dignity Village has existed on city land for years as a transitional place for people looking for more permanent homes and a similar camp called Right 2 Dream Too has been fighting for the right to exist.
And many places have criminalized homelessness through several ordinances. Homeless people can’t sit on sidewalks in many US cities like San Francisco; many other cities jail those experiencing homelessness. Those same tent cities mentioned before have been repeatedly banned or broken up but doing that doesn’t solve anything. Nor does criminalizing people experiencing homeless.
But there are a couple cities that are actually trying the radical notion of providing people with housing when they are experiencing homelessness. Utah’s chronic homeless rate dropped 91% after the state started their own housing first initiative. Medicine Hat in Alberta, Canada from the above video is another example of a city using the housing first solution to homelessness.