Written by Joseph Purkey
Houselessness is a Problem for Everyone
Many communities are being confronted with rising houselessness* these days and transitional housing** is a key piece of the solution. Once someone gets to the point where they are living on the street it becomes a monumental task to get back into housing. Once you are living in your car or a tent, showers and healthy, refrigerated foods are a luxury. If you don’t have easy access to food and a shower it is harder to hold down a job. That’s not to mention the fact that if you don’t have a safe place to store your possessions they might not even be there when you get back if you go to get food or work a shift. This is all to say, houselessness is not going away on its own. Transitional housing, like the St Johns Village, meets the needs of having a safe, secure, and supported place to live while people get reintegrated into society.
* “Houseless” is the preferred term instead of “homeless” because a person can choose to make a home anywhere, but when we use these terms we are typically talking about people without a structure (house) to live in that is officially deemed habitable.
** There are three main types of supportive housing to address houselessness: 1) Temporary Shelter, where the main goals are to provide safety, security, and support; 2) Transitional Housing, where the focus is on support services back into standard housing, financial sustainability, and community living, coordinated through a case manager; and 3) Permanent Supportive Housing, where the focus is on independent living and less intense support from case managers.