“The Way Home” Changing the Path for Houston’s Homeless

Mandy Chapman Semple (City of Houston, Mayors Office), Marilyn Brown (Coalition for the Homeless), and Bob Pulster (United States Interagency Council on Homelessness)

Mandy Chapman Semple (City of Houston, Mayors Office), Marilyn Brown (Coalition for the Homeless), and Bob Pulster (United States Interagency Council on Homelessness)

The Way Home campaign launched today with support from homeless advocates to provide a solution to homelessness in Houston by 2020, according to a plan proposed by the Houston/Harris County Continuum of Care (CoC).

Today there are about 5,300 people living on the streets of Houston, Harris County and Fort Bend County or in shelters on any given night, according to the 2014 Point-In-Time Homeless Count. That’s enough people to fill more than 85% of the Miller Outdoor Theater. The three-phase blueprint sets to end chronic and veteran homelessness by 2015, youth and family homelessness by 2020, and to build a system which never allows anyone to be without permanent housing for more than 30 days.

The Way Home brings to life a collaborative effort led by the Houston/Harris County CoC, with the support from the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County, Mayor Annise D. Parker, and the City of Houston, to tackle this community problem. The key ingredient to the efforts’ confidence in success: permanent housing with supportive services. Presently, the necessary housing is 95% funded with more resources in the pipeline.

“The Way Home provides a clear, focused, collaborative strategy for our community; and it is working to provide a solution to homelessness,” said Marilyn L. Brown, President/CEO of the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County.

The Partners leading The Way Home are already producing significant decreases in the overall Houston homeless population. The Coalition for the Homeless recently announced a 37% decrease in overall homelessness with a 57% decrease in chronic homelessness and a 40% decrease in veteran homelessness since 2011. This was accomplished by finding permanent housing for 1,550 chronically homeless individuals and 2,245 veterans with the appropriate level of critical services to remain stably housed.

Learn more about The Way Home and how to get involved at www.thewayhomehouston.org.

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