How a Canadian City Ended Homelessness With a Simple Idea

goodnet – excerpt

Everyone deserves a home

When Medicine Hat, a city in southern Alberta, Canada, pledged to put an end to homeless in 2009, there were many sceptics who thought it couldn’t be done. A good six years later, the city says it has fulfilled its promise with the help of a surprisingly simple idea: giving every person living on the streets a home with no strings attached.

While traditional housing programs ask that prospective participants get clean and seek psychological treatment before being admitted into the system, the Housing First approach doesn’t make any of these demands. Whoever is in need of a permanent place to stay will get help, no matter what their circumstances are. “We take the stance that people are worthy of a home and it is a fundamental human right to have shelter and a roof over one’s head,” Jamie Rogers, who ran the Housing First program in Medicine Hat told the BBC. “Of course it is recovery-oriented, and we help and support people in making different choices in their life, but we don’t withhold housing because of who they choose to be.”… (more)

What can we learn about humanity from our Canadian neighbors? How can we use existing resources to solve social problems? This story gives us some hope.

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