Funding Supportive Housing in Georgia: Inspiration from other States

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Adrian, Troels P.
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Homelessness remains a major social justice and economic issue in America today. One of the most effective solutions to this injustice is supportive housing, which combines long-term shelter with the provision of social services targeted to the homeless individual or family. Unfortunately, despite its obvious advantages, supportive housing remains controversial for ideological and political reasons. The first part of this analysis will be devoted to illustrating the extent of the homelessness problem in America and particularly the state of Georgia. Additionally, it will establish that supportive housing offers an extremely effective, socially equitable and economically efficient way to rehabilitate homeless individuals. Regrettably, the investment in supportive housing lags behind the demand for shelter and services, and Georgia is no exception to this rule. Furthermore, the extent and geography of homelessness in Georgia calls for vigorous state intervention to address the problem, but the political will for such action appears lacking at this moment. The primary goal of this paper is to recommend a policy framework that would enable the state of Georgia to have a substantive impact in this important arena. To this end, I present four sources of possible inspiration for a Georgia supportive housing financing model. The New York/New York III agreement between the state and city of New York is given the most attention, but other groundbreaking state programs in North Carolina, Connecticut, and California are also investigated. As a part of my analysis, I suggest how the experiences from these states could be transferred into a viable scheme for implementation in Georgia.
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