[NEWS] Solving Philly’s homeless problem is a human imperative | Editorial
According to HUD, numbers are increasing dramatically in California cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as some Northeast cities like New York and Boston. Philadelphia, so often first in line when bad news is handed out, is actually showing declines in certain categories of homeless, particularly families with children, and has fewer people living on the streets than other big cities.
That suggests that the city’s approach is working (as is the ground continually cultivated by Sister Mary Scullion). The city’s “housing first” approach doesn’t just ship people into a shelter system and demand they graduate into more permanent housing, but recognizes that without the stability of more permanent housing, underlying issues like addiction and mental health can’t be adequately addressed.
One promising idea announced last week: The Pennsylvania Convention Center is providing $500,000 in a challenge grant to encourage other businesses to help provide funds for permanent housing. John McNichol, the convention center CEO, says the problem goes beyond homeless people marring the view of the city from out-of-town visitors, saying that the solution is “not just a business imperative but a human imperative.”