Re: Opinions on National Alliance to End Homelessness

Jayme Delson

Hi Tommy and all,

Most people end up homeless due to lack of sufficient economic opportunities. For most this is a statement of the prevailing economy, not an issue rooted in their own failing. We can see this by the disappearance of the mass size middle class of the mid 20th century, having been now transformed into a mass size poor class of the 21st century.

I see nothing out there changing this long term trend. Given this, expecting to put the most vulnerable back into the prevailing economy through Transitional housing, Rapid rehousing, and Housing First, has proven to be largely ineffective over the last 40 years or so in establishing long term housed people.

I think its high time we deploy additional opportunities for all who wish. Given prevailing reality, we must work within the existing laws, until such time as we can change them.

Seek solutions that are low enough cost that they are within reach and can be scaled up.

That are uplifting, placing the individuals involved at the center of what is going on.

Making ends meet in the face of declining incomes, can be done if we produce for ourselves and with each other, an increasing portion of what we need.

People have done this throughout history, it was done in the US on a widespread basis as recently as 130 years ago. Currently the Amish do this, some land based intentional communities to this, people with bundles of money do this. The homeless have been forced to do this in the most untenable ways.

Imagine what some people, homeless and otherwise could do, if they were not on the run, all too often. And had modest access to materials to build tiny homes and cottages, opportunities to grow a garden, a place to work on things and perhaps run a small business of their choosing.

This can be done on a very low per person budget, if there were a team of people wanting to make it so. Clearly getting such an enterprise going will take some money, to get up and running. However done in a most cost conserving way, it can cost as little as 1/10 the cost of the other low cost options, and in time can be self sustaining.

When the wealthy need rest and drug rehab they go to beautiful places with cottages and nature.   When poor people need help they are filled with drugs and placed in a room with 4 white walls, this is not rehabilitation. 

Fortunately the garden and enjoying working on projects, with no pressure is.   

So that is a rendition of what I see as a viable option, what do you think?




On 6/3/2021 2:32 PM, Tommy Kiser wrote:
Hmm, ok, thanks very much for this Jayme. I’m much newer to focused activism on this issue than probably most on this list, so I very much appreciate the added historical perspective.

Would you consider the village approach (individual shelters, shared services, etc.) to fall under the umbrella of “Housing First”? That is the sort of solution that seems most promising to me at this point if adopted widely. That’s the sort of thing I was hoping to advocate for with this message.

Of course I also realize no one approach will solve the entire problem, I’m also wholly in favor of more services/outreach to camps and meeting people where they are, while we work towards longer term solutions.

All that said, I realize this issue is insanely complex, and there’s no great way to boil it down to one or two sentences. But if you had a few seconds to give a very short message to a large audience, what would you say that you think might make an impact? (Maybe this is the question I should have asked this group to begin with.)

And thanks Donna for the background on the Alliance. Great to hear, and I look forward to watching the webinar you shared.


On Jun 3, 2021, at 1:52 PM, Jayme Delson <jayme@...> wrote:

Hi Tommy,

Housing first is Transitional housing without the barer to entry of substance abuse, this is a good upgrade in my opinion.

Sadly Transitional housing (housing first) in general has an poor track record on mid and longer term outcomes, in the cases that are tracked which are few.   (Under 20% remain housed longer than 6months or so)  its no ones fault, as you say living wage jobs are needed.  However if you think as i do, that that is not the prevailing long term trend, than how could this work?  I have watched this for 40 years now, its just getting worse.  

I am happy for the few it helps.  I am sad for the majority who are asked to trod the bridge to no where, over and over again.  To say nothing of the mental health impacts of the few who do gain housing, with no upward mobility, and 4 walls a TV,  no yard, no uplifting culture, or way out.  For most this is a perfect recipe  for depression or worse.



On 6/3/2021 11:20 AM, Donna Cohen wrote:
I recently saw a webinar from the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Yes, they are a good group.
Homeless Policy in the Recovery Plans (recorded webinar) May 12, 2021 
From National Alliance to End Homelessness
The webpage has a video of the webinar, a transcript and a set of excellent slides from the second speaker, who was from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.
Donna L Cohen, MLIS, MEd
Portland, Oregon
Civics for Adults – and Others – Workshops: To Enhance Civic Knowledge and Inspire Political Engagement
“My philosophy is very simple. When you see something that is not fair, not right, not just – stand up, say something, speak up!” Rep. John Lewis
From: <> On Behalf Of Tommy Kiser
Sent: Thursday, June 3, 2021 11:02 AM
Subject: [pdxshelterforum] Opinions on National Alliance to End Homelessness
Hi all - really appreciate everyone on this list and all you’re doing to make real change for our unhoused and housing-unstable neighbors.
I just wanted to solicit some opinions from the group. I’m making a short film right now that’s meant to make a statement on houselessness, and I was looking for a website to link to in the credits for good explanations of housing-first solutions, and the importance/efficacy of them. The potential audience is national (not local/state level). The call to action is to support housing-first solutions and living wage jobs, and to demand the same of elected leaders.
I found the National Alliance to End Homelessness (, and from the website it looks like they have some really good data and messaging around the topic. Anyone here have any experience with them? I looked them up on Charity Navigator and they have a good score there for fiscal transparency and accountability. Mainly want to do some due diligence and make sure they are a worthy org to drive traffic to before I highlight their site. (Not that I expect millions of viewers here, this is just a personal project, but nonetheless.)
Any thoughts or opinions are welcome and appreciated. Also if you have any other organizations or web resources to suggest, please send them my way. Thanks in advance!

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