Just over a week ago, Friendship Place, along with other DC area non-profit organizations, faith-based communities, residents and businesses came together to launch “The Way Home,” a campaign to end chronic homelessness in the District by 2017. This campaign seeks to energize our community around this goal by raising awareness to the causes and solutions to chronic homelessness and building support to make this a priority for the District.
The Way Home campaign will educate supporters and the public about approaches to ending chronic homelessness in the city. Friendship Place is a leader in developing and implementing solutions to homelessness that have positive, demonstrable results and a lasting impact on the community. Some of our programs include street outreach, hospitality, job placement, case management, transitional shelter, and permanent supportive housing. Ending chronic homelessness in DC is a vital step in our greater efforts to end homelessness in our community.
“Ending chronic homelessness is urgent. The chronically homeless are our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Jill Carmichael, Division Director at Friendship Place. “Homelessness is a crisis in the District, but we know that the solution is housing. We have watched other cities embrace successful strategies, and we know that it is time for Washington to join them.”
The campaign will give supporters different opportunities to engage with public officials, candidates and local residents to make ending chronic homelessness a priority. Our community will be educated on national best practices that will help our homeless neighbors from living on the street. One of the best solutions to this crisis is Permanent Supportive Housing, which is affordable housing coupled with supportive services. Housing First, a cost-effective model of Permanent Supportive Housing, has been identified as one of the most successful interventions for people who have been homeless for years.
“Housing First is an alternate approach. It says that everyone needs housing, is ready for housing, and deserves housing,” said Nan Roman, Executive Director of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. “It says that instead of services first, then housing, a better approach is housing first, then services. It works better and costs less. It is an evidence based practice.”
Friendship Place believes in “The Way Home” campaign philosophy that all people deserve a safe and affordable place to call home allowing them to thrive and live with dignity. The District has the resources, creativity, and ability to end this crisis in our community. We are proud to partner in this campaign that shares our same goal of ending homelessness.
“I’m thrilled to see our community making a commitment to help our homeless neighbors this way. Together we can end chronic homelessness,” said Jean-Michel Giraud, Executive Director of Friendship Place. Hundreds of D.C. residents have joined the campaign by pledging their support to take action to end chronic homelessness in the city by 2017.