Bill Lyons and Larry Martin wrote an excellent op-ed that was published in the Sentinel on Saturday.
Permanent supportive housing remains the most effective strategy in combating homelessness, and communities around the country have found ways to locate housing developments in scattered neighborhoods. These developments have a record of success for both the residents and the neighborhoods.
The TYP can point to success in our own community, and Lyons and Martin underscore some of it:
Jon and his team have done a very good job of working with agencies to align their services to avoid redundancy and more effectively move folks toward getting the help they need. They are working effectively with faith-based organizations to make sure that assistance for the homeless leads folks to a path toward personal responsibility rather than enabling a culture of dependency.
Stephanie Matheny, of Citizens for the Ten-Year Plan, adds in the comments below the op-ed, that
In addition to the successes mentioned in the editorial, there are approximately 300 people who were chronically homeless who now have an apartment and a case manager because of the TYP. There are an additional nearly 300 people who were at-risk of becoming homeless, but who were able to remain in housing through the TYP’s homelessness prevention efforts. These quiet successes are easy to overlook.
Credit for these “quiet successes” rightly belongs to the people who do the work on the ground. Partners like Volunteer Ministry Center, Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee, The Salvation Army, Knox Area Rescue Ministries, Catholic Charities, to name a few, provide the housing and case management support that helps people move off the streets and into housing, keep their housing, and begin to rebuild their lives in the community.
We’re grateful for the support, and and for the support given by so many of Knoxville’s people to the organizations that make it possible for people who’ve been trapped in homelessness to make such significant changes.