Housing First is more than simply moving people from the streets to the protection of four walls and a roof. It’s an evidence-based method that has been gaining traction since the 1990s in North America, with the key ingredient of harm-reduction, informed services – in other words, wraparound services that address the root of an individual’s struggles. It recognizes that those struggles cannot be adequately or successfully addressed until the security and stability of a home is fully felt.
It has been proven to be the most successful way to end homelessness.
The MHAOK’s Housing Program addresses the issues of homelessness and lack of affordable housing by utilizing the Housing First model to help vulnerable individuals achieve housing and support them on their journeys in recovery and out of poverty. Our team members, many of whom have experienced homelessness themselves, recognize that no one demographic is exempt from the possibility of living on the streets. They are adults. They are teens. They are children. They are families, individuals, veterans. They are people of all races, all ethnicities, and all gender identities.
The one undeniable common denominator? They are people.
They are people deserving of solutions, and the Association is dedicated to solving the problem.
The latest data from the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness shows that in 2020, 3,952 individuals were experiencing homelessness in Oklahoma on any given day. Of those nearly 4,000 folks, 255 were family households, 325 were veterans, 290 were unaccompanied young adults (ages 18-24), and 1,128 were experiencing chronic homelessness.
That is 3,952 too many Oklahomans who do not have stable and permanent housing, and nearly three years into the pandemic, it is more important than ever to pursue innovative and effective strategies, such as Housing First, to end homelessness in our community.
Click here to learn more about the Housing First model.