The rate of homelessness in America is higher now than it has been in seven years, according to HUD data recently released.
In fact, as we've been reporting, there's growing optimism among funders right now who feel like they've finally cracked the code of helping chronically homeless people, many of whom struggle with a combination of challenges that include substance abuse, mental health and a lack of job skills. A key to success with these folks turns out to be a combination of permanent housing and access to the range of social services they need to get back on their feet.
For example, we recently looked at Orlando, Florida, which has been able to reduce homelessness by nearly 50 percent over the past few years through a strategy of providing permanent supportive housing. The CEO of the Central Florida Foundation, which has played a key role in this effort, has said that licking homelessness is "fundable, doable and measurable."