Copyright © 2021 Donna Imam
Approximately 580,466 Americans experienced homelessness in 2020. Over 3,000 are here in Austin, Texas. In addition to a lack of affordable housing, they are unable to get reliable social services or healthcare.
Income instability, lack of mental health services, and domestic violence are the leading reasons for homelessness. Black and Native Americans are disproportionately impacted by homelessness. Veterans account for nearly 11% of the homeless population.
The response to homelessness is inconsistent across the country. A patchwork of agencies and nonprofits offer services in some cities. Others lack the resources to provide safe conditions for the most vulnerable.
- Establish a uniform, federally funded response to homelessness nationwide.
- Establish a single-payer healthcare system that covers mental health.
- Provide addiction recovery and management services.
- Secure federally funded housing until permanent housing is established.
- Provide job training, placement, and child care services.
Federally funding a uniform response to homelessness nationwide distributes responsibility fairly and uses resources efficiently. Investing in human infrastructure helps our economy exponentially.