Monthly Archives: September 2012

This was originally published on March 23, 2012 on our HIS Advocacy Blog. It’s an attempt to pull together points for consideration as you look at a Housing First Model for Savannah! We will pull together other resources here for you soon so that you can apply the model to Savannah’s situation. Given the lack of interest in the CoC & their partner organizations to support a Housing First model we will explore their rationale as we understand it & based on some points made briefly in an interchange recently. There is a need for others to undertake this model & that’s our calling! We will make the case for the Faith Community to play a more significant role in loving the unlovely, the lost & those who others have lost hope in their ability to get beyond their condition. After all, that’s what the faith community does on a daily basis, help others see where power can come from for one’s own healing! After all, we are responsible for our own healing, empowered by a higher power as thought by some circles & enabled by the love we are shown by people of faith who really get that they can play that ever increasingly imperative role we are called to perform.

Homelessness in Savannah, Stories for Learning

There’s a homelessness conference going on in New Orleans on homelessness while this post is being written & one of the topics is “Housing First“!

A local newspaper reporter wrote an article about how it works in New Orleans! Here’s a quote from her article:

A growing body of research shows that most homeless people, even grizzled street dwellers plagued with addictions and severe mental illness, are better able to stay housed if they move into an apartment first and are then offered an array of services.

There are several other points & quotes from the article that are important for us to point out:

Regarding savings:

In the United States, its use with longtime, chronically homeless people was first advocated by Bush administration officials, who touted the model’s fiscal savings, beyond its humanitarian appeal. A landmark study in the mid-1990s showed that the most ill —…

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Another Community adopts Housing First: Fredericksburg, VA & how they made it happen, lives changed!

Another community realizes that more shelters & traditional transitional housing models don’t work!

How did they come to that conclusion you ask? Compassionate thinking! Driven by people of Faith who had been doing the shelter approach too & realized that it wasn’t meeting the need most likely, the results weren’t being seen that the community really needs!

Also successes all across the country & within the rest of their State too!

So, what’s our answer, Savannah?

We’ll start down our path after the Assessment Team brings their Final Report to the table this Tuesday & a Workshop is held to start us down some path!

Who will decide the path? Well the existing Board of the Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless will be there, but so will we, with our freshly launched Housing First Savannah model ready for discussion!

All existing Service Providers part of the Continuum of Care represented but the opportunity to expand & reach out, getting the involvement & engagement of even more people at the table to be part of the solution.

That’s what it’s going to take to enable dramatic change, more stakeholders with a vested interest in bringing new solutions & approaches to bear!

New funding sources must be found, not the diminishing government approaches to funding, although they are interested in Housing First & engaging the communities more in being part of the solution.

Our model that’s the grand daddy of them all is Los Angeles, where their Chamber, United Way & Service Provider Community came together in 2010 to announced their way forward, Home For Good!

How can the “Church” get involved in Ending Homelessness? Start here!

This tweet (embedded below) came across today from someone I follow on Twitter! Their usual tweets are forward thinking & deal with systemic change, innovation, getting organizations to partner & such other new ways to address homelessness that are being modeled in other communities.

But this tweet stood out for me personally! I retweet a lot of this persons tweets because of his experience & connections to the issues of homelessness from many perspectives. He helps people deliver those new solutions!

But the most inspiring thing in this tweet is something that I try to relate to people who I seek to engage with about how we get people to become personal with & bring a connection of faith to the reasons we get involved in ending homelessness, one person at a time.

Because it is what He demands of us! It just takes some longer than others to come to this realization & some of us go through a longer journey with a convoluted path but eventually we must all come to this realization.

We do it by making it personal, getting to know a homeless person (or a person living in poverty), their life, story, dreams, hopes & desires for their lives. Restore those hopes they have likely lost & see where the conversation & their lives go!

Better yet, go read this story, then come back & answer the question: “What would happen to your congregations involvement in ending homelessness, one persona at a time, if your Pastor, Lay Leaders, Deacons or others in “control” of your missions & outreach programs experienced what this church did?

To learn more about solutions we are developing here in Savannah for our Housing First Savannah programs please check out our website, find us on Facebook, Twitter or our blog.

Links to all our social media presences are on the website!

Street Logic book helps raise awareness & funds (we hope!) for Housing First Savannah

This was posted on our Housing First Savannah Facebook page recently & we just had to share here too!
Please review this for yourself, this was shared on our Housing First Savannah page & we re-share here:

HUGS – Heads-Up Guidance ServicesPeople Helping People of SavannahGeekTheHomeles

Presenting Street Logic, a novel that raises awareness and advocates for the most vulnerable, the extreme cases of homeless people in America.
My name is Steve Sundberg. I worked with the extreme homeless population of Boston for twelve years, both as a social worker in shelters and on the street.
Street Logic is my point of view of the truth, told through the best medium I know – fiction. I road-tested Street Logic with general readers, professors in the social sciences, and published authors, after self-publishing it in 2010. Universities are beginning to use Street Logic as an educational tool and social agencies and shelters are utilizing Street Logic as a fundraising tool.
If your agency would like to have copies of Street Logic for the next fundraising event contact me:
Additional information is available at

“The (straight) answer to any fool who says you can’t use ‘fiction’ to tell the truth. Proof that before you can pass it on, you have to pass through it. A beautiful tightrope walk over a true hell on earth … a tightrope you can’t walk with your eyes closed.” Andrew Vachss, author of the Burke Series
“The most closely observed, emotionally charged account of American homelessness I know…will leave any thoughtful reader wondering both why we let this happen and how we could stop it from happening.” Christopher Jencks, PhD. Harvard University, author of The Homeless

Asking a few questions, building solutions: City, police remove trash pile near homeless camp – WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Other stories from the local media are surfacing now! Reading & watching, developing a strategy to promote our project as well as engage the homeless who live in these tent cities to make their lives better until the solutions are available! Stay tuned!

Here are the articles so far in local media on this:

Homelessness in Savannah, Stories for Learning

Savannah-Chatham Metro Police say homeless people who are living under the Truman Parkway have been piling up trash for at least five years — and it started to become a health hazard.

While there is no question that this was needed we need to ask a few questions!

For instance, why did it take so long to address trash issues where the homeless live?

We can & must do better! Better making the conditions they live in more humane & sanitary, more to move them out of there with a solution to their housing & providing the proper services!

We are addressing this now with a Housing First Savannah project, under development! Check out & connect on the solution!

This event as well as the recent letter to the Downtown Neighborhood Association membership simply point to the need for dialog with the people who can & are developing solutions…

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