An insightful white paper on the homeless problem in San Francisco and how we can more effectively address it
By Mary L.G. Theroux, Adam B. Summers, Lawrence J. McQuillan, Jonathan Hofer, Hovannes Abramyan and Scott Beyer. Edited by Adam B Summers
Homelessness is such a complicated and frustrating problem because it has so many different causes. And even when resources and successful programs are available, some portion of those experiencing homelessness will not choose to take advantage of them. Too often, people will say that it is just a substance abuse problem, just a mental illness problem, or just a housing problem. Too often, some homelessness reform advocates and politicians place their faith in finding a silver bullet and myopically try to enforce a one-size-fits-all policy. It is a mistake to think that placing people in housing will end homelessness, as many of them will end up back on the streets, especially if the underlying causes of their homelessness are not addressed. It is precisely because people are different, face different challenges, and begin—and continue—to experience homelessness for different reasons, that a multifaceted and individualized approach to the problem is necessary.