family homelessness

matthew desmond evicted
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On any given night, there are more than 600,000 people in America living on the streets or in shelters. Nearly a quarter of them are children. Others are living with a relative or friend. Or in cars.

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According to local service agency Shelterhouse, almost 8,000 Cincinnatians, including children, are homeless. A variety of factors can lead to homelessness, including mental illness, drug addiction, traumatic events and personal crisis.

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Homelessness doesn’t just affect adults – it can affect entire families. 

www.theguardian.com

Homelessness is a serious and continuing problem in Greater Cincinnati, on both sides of the Ohio River. In 2013, the State of Kentucky ranked worst in the nation in the extent of child homelessness. And the number of sheltered individuals in Kenton, Boone and Campbell Counties increased by more than 60 percent in 2014.

The number of individuals in Greater Cincinnati experiencing homelessness has dropped in recent years, but there are still far too many men, women and children, entire families, who do not have a safe, secure, stable, place to sleep each night. Recently, more than 60 service organizations came together to create a plan to identify and proactively address the needs of homeless families.

We continue our discussion of the homeless situation in Greater Cincinnati by looking at homelessness prevention programs designed to help families avoid entering shelters, with Jewish Family Service Director of Vital Services Fran Gafvert; executive director of St. Vincent DePaul, Mike Dunn; and, Strategies to End Homelessness Executive Director Kevin Finn.

Several agencies have been working for a couple years on a plan to reduce family homelessness in Cincinnati.  That proposal is now a reality.  

“Solutions to Family Homelessness Plan” focuses on four areas:  prevention, capacity building, housing and policy change.