Moving on New Homelessness Report
LAMPa applauds the recommendations laid out in the new Joint State Government Commission study addressing homelessness in Pennsylvania, particularly the emphasis on homelessness prevention as well as early intervention to address long-term effects of homelessness on children and youth. In 2014, LAMPa advocates successfully pressed for the creation of the task force to undertake the study. LAMPa and other Housing Alliance partners met May 4 for a briefing on the report and initial discussion for moving forward with the recommendations.
As House Resolution 550 of 2014 states, “a stable, quality, affordable home promotes family stability, physical and mental health and enhances both adults’ and children’s ability to be productive. Conversely, the lack of a stable, quality, affordable home increases the risk of illness, failure at school, inability to find or hold a job, incarceration and nursing home placement, often at public expense.”
“When homelessness is experienced in childhood,” the advisory committee summary states, “it can have a dramatic, ongoing impact on the individual’s life. The adverse effects of childhood homelessness on children’s health, development, and well-being are also associated with both short-term and long-term societal costs and impose a costly toll on society. Prevention and early intervention are critical. Guided by the Resolution, the advisory committee undertook a comprehensive analysis of Pennsylvania’s homelessness problem and developed a set of recommendations that would move the Commonwealth toward permanently reducing and eliminating homelessness.”
The advisory committee and the task force made general recommendations regarding the following: Organization and planning, data collection and data sharing, homelessness prevention, state housing policy, best practices interventions. Specific recommendations were made to address the needs of several homeless subpopulations: Victims of domestic violence, former inmates, individuals with mental health and/or substance use disorders, people experiencing homelessness in rural areas, veterans, children and youth. Read the full report here. Stay tuned for ways you can help make home a reality for all Pennsylvanians! Have experience with homelessness or housing ministry? Contact LAMPa to begin building that support now!