Should Grand Junction adopt the Housing First program policies on homelessness? 

The program is called Housing First, here is what Wikipedia says about it. It's lengthy but interesting. Basically, the program allows homeless men and women to apply for housing and receive it without being clean and sober. Here are some of the principles:

  • Move people into housing directly from streets and shelters without preconditions of treatment acceptance or compliance
  • The provider is obligated to bring robust support services to the housing. These services are predicated on assertive engagement, not coercion
  • Continued tenancy is not dependent on participation in services
  • Units targeted to most disabled and vulnerable homeless members of the community
  • Embraces harm-reduction approach addictions rather than mandating abstinence. At the same time, the provider must be prepared to support resident commitment to recovery
  • Residents must have leases and tenant protections under the law
  • Can be implemented as either a project-based or scattered site model.

In a lot of places, it seems to be working. Including the state of Utah. On top of that, it saves taxpayers $8,000-$10,000 a year for each homeless person in the program.

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