Housing First? Why it doesn’t work!
The primary problem facing the homeless isn’t housing. ‘Housing first’ is a myth. The real issue is rehabilitation, and the lack of an ecosystem. The problem is Government Social Services and subsidized housing prioritize money over people. Nonprofits do good work, but without coordination our efforts don’t even stop the bleeding, much less heal the wounds. Without dedicated focus on the systemic issues the homeless face on a daily basis, those who are ‘housed first’ end up evicted and back on the streets.
On the pyramid of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs are several steps. Most of the homeless people we minister to are living on the physiological realm of the pyramid; breathing, water, food, sleep, homeostasis, and excretion.
Basically they are barely existing. They are living in Survival mode. At present we are meeting their needs on that physiological realm. I believe we can do better than that. If we can get them in a 9 month program where we work with them daily meeting their spiritual and physical needs (discipleship). Teaching them and moving them up at least up to the Esteem level and then walk with them through the next year of their lives bringing them further to the top of the pyramid where they are living in self-actualization, we can eliminate the homeless problem. It is going to take a lot of work. It is going to take a lot of money. It is going to take a great deal of unity among churches, non-profits, and governmental organizations. It is going to take the church leaving the building. It is time for the church to leave the building!