There has yet to be determined a master solution to epidemic homelessness—one silver bullet. Homelessness is complicated because so many issues are intertwined. In fact, the word homelessness describes one common result (having no home) but with many, many routes to get there. Some people are homeless for just a lack of affordable housing, some are homeless because they are fleeing for their life from domestic violence, some are dealing with mental illness or drug addiction, some are dealing with stress disorders triggered by war, some make bad decisions with no room for error, some people just slip through the cracks of the system, some have little to no social network, and some just have a run of disastrous luck. And to complicate things further, these issues often feed into each other creating a snowball effect making it difficult to see the solution for an individual or the entire system. The good news is there are proven solutions for certain aspects of homelessness. Solutions that prevent people from ever becoming homeless. Other solutions include intense interventions to work with someone who is homeless. Still others are just a well-timed helping hand to allow someone space to find their own housing again. Click the above Solution Links to learn more about a few solutions we support and focus on. But to solve homelessness, to end epidemic levels of homelessness, for the 3.5 million (or more) homeless people each year in America, that solution will involve a lot. We feel an overall sustainable solution will include the following: *A systems thinking approach, *Involvement of homeless people, *Prevention, prevention, prevention, *Collaboration: cross sector (and inter-sector) collaboration (corporations, non profit organizations, government, academia), *A paradigm shift in how we view homelessness, *Healthcare coverage for low income Americans *A deep understanding of the interconnectedness of homelessness with economic, environmental and social issues, *Innovative, courageous leadership, and Love. The links in this section describe aspects to the larger solution that are "must have" components. We welcome your feedback and hope you will become part of a continuous dialogue to figure this out together. As Lynne Twist, co-founder of the Pachamama Alliance, said, "Together, we are genius."
Beyond public education (PSAs, conferences, events, documentary, CD, articles, etc.) Give US Your Poor is committed to classroom education. We have developed two full curricula for middle and high schools, an undergraduate college course on the history of homelessness, as well as individual lesson plans and exercises for high school and middle school classrooms.