While shelters and transitional housing are critical in the overall continuum of care for individuals experiencing homelessness, the secret to ending homelessness is to “home” individuals and families.
What our community needs is a significant increase in affordable-housing units to “home” our community members. There are many creative ways to develop affordable-housing units; nonetheless, it takes the village to accomplish this task.
The Bridge shelter is meant to be a landing space that offers stabilization efforts designed to help individuals who land there get into affordable permanent housing. Without affordable permanent housing available, The Bridge and The Neighborhood Center have nowhere to help these individuals move.
In addition, the development of non-affordable units in our community will continue to drive the fair-market-rent rates higher, so an increase in households experiencing homelessness is imminent, until we creatively develop affordable housing.
The Bridge shelter is accomplishing its purpose and mission, but this is only one piece of the “homing” continuum.
— Neighbor to Neighbor is a new collaboration between The West Volusia Beacon and The Neighborhood Center of West Volusia. Have questions about homelessness, poverty or other all-too-common problems in our community? Send your questions to email@example.com, and the staff of The Neighborhood Center will answer your questions here.