DC Mayor-elect Vincent Gray recently stated that he didn't want to create a housing program so good that would attract homeless people from other parts of the country. He alluded to a program in Paris that proved so effective that it drew homeless people from all over France and overwhelmed the program. His concerns are legitimate.
Nonetheless, a successful program for ending homelessness should not be discontinued or rejected due to working too well. To solve this problem, it is necessary for our federal government to 1) make it illegal for any state or local government to push its homeless off on another and 2) to standardize best practices so that the homeless need not inundate any particular jurisdiction in order to acquire housing and/or services that should be afforded to them everywhere.
Photo credit: Cristiano Betta
I'm sure that we all want to end homelessness in the wealthiest nation in the world. Many good people have been working diligently for years to combat homelessness. Some people in this and other nations have come up with some very innovative ways of combatting homelessness. Sadly, programs that have been proven to work have been discontinued or rejected due to being inundated by homeless people from other jurisdictions. Furthermore, one jurisdiction sometimes pushes its homeless off on another, as if that will reduce the number of homeless people. It is necessary to address this issue at the highest level of government insomuch as one state or city cannot make mandates on its equal.
1) Make it illegal for one city or state government to push its homeless off on another
2) Standardize best practices at the federal level and mandate that they be replicated in all major cities in the nation, so that the homeless need not inundate any jurisdiction in order to acquire housing and/or services that should be afforded to them everywhere.
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