Gilbert Mercier / Creative Commons

It’s really a wonder no one tried this before.

From the BBC:

The Canadian city of Medicine Hat recently became the first city to end homelessness thanks to a surprisingly simple idea: giving every person living on the streets a home with no strings attached.

Unlike many other homelessness initiatives, the so-called “Housing First” approach doesn’t require homeless people to make steps towards solving other issues like alcoholism, mental health problems or drug addiction before they get accommodation. …”We began to do something that no-one had really done before, which was to take people on the street and offer them a place to live, no conditions other than sign the lease and pay your rent,” [says Dr Sam Tsemberis, a psychiatrist who founded Pathways to Housing in New York City in 1992 and developed the Housing First model].

“The other breakthrough was to offer normal housing. We rented housing from community landlords on the open market, and people lived in apartments with families, older people, younger people, students, people of all types, including some people who had just the day before been homeless, but were homeless no longer …

“We all want people off the streets and living a productive, meaningful life. This is just a much quicker, more effective and cost-saving way of getting to exactly that goal,”

Read more.

— Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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