A Common Cause – End Homelessness
Most of us think of homelessness as a person on the corner with a sign. But, there are homeless people you seldom see and reasons for homelessness that you may not even realize.
Homelessness continues to be a chronic issue across the country and affects every region, every state, every city – urban and rural. Winston-Salem is not immune. Any night about 400 people are homeless right here. The costs are high – in grueling lives, missed opportunities, dimmed hopes. And, yes, in dollars – for shelters, soup kitchens, emergency room care and, sometimes, for prisons.
In 2006, Winston-Salem developed the Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness. The aggressive goal of this plan was not just to address the symptoms, but to END homelessness. Over the years, projects have been developed and great progress has been made in reducing homelessness in Winston-Salem. Recent data shows that homelessness has decreased by 40%.
Still not all populations are being served – and many of these underserved have the potential to overcome homelessness or avoid it altogether with the right support.
Recently, Winston-Salem’s Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness, the North Carolina Housing Foundation, Goodwilll Industries, iCan House, CareNet Counseling and a variety of other service organizations, foundations and educational institutions collaborated and identified three populations in special need of help and with a tremendous potential to avoid homelessness.