By Mark Oppenheim
A recent article by Lynne Shallcross entitled “Homelessness: Thinking Longer-Term” describes how the City of San Francisco and the nonprofit HOPE SF recently placed 15 homeless men and women into city-supported hotel rooms. In the process, these 15 individuals were provided with a range of supportive services, including mental health, health maintenance, drug treatment, employment and housing assistance.
On the other hand, a recent Boston Globe opinion piece by Joan Vennochi entitled “Hotels No Answer for Homelessness”, argues that use of hotels as supportive housing “…is poor public policy in a state (Massachusetts) that prides itself on cutting-edge thinking.”
With an estimated 610,042 individuals living on the street in the United States, the question is whether placing men and women in hotels and other temporary housing can serve as the first stage in a longer-term process to address homelessness… or is this just a poor way to spend scarce funds?
Mark Oppenheim is an unrepentant nonprofit wonk who runs nonprofit search and media organizations.
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