The Brightside: Housing First
“We’ve found people in usually the more populated parking lots so they’re not so noticeable. A lot of times its because somebody has been evicted and there’s not a quick place to go.”
Homelessness can strike across racial barriers, socio-economic status and gender lines.
On Delmarva, about 2,000 people were living on the street in 2017.
But for the last two years, the city of Salisbury has been working to bring that number down through the Housing First program.
“We had more than 100 people who were chronically homeless but we have housed over the course of about two and half years about 30 of those.”
The Housing First Program works to get people into permanent housing and pays the bulk of the rent.
“We have 11 households right now. We’re going to be soon putting a twelfth person into housing. And its just the most when you see them that first day you put them in housing an they’ve been living outside for so long there’s nothing that describes that.”
The city typically is has funding to help about 30 people each year.
Christine Chestnutt she says the program saves the city money, but it’s also saving lives, something she’s hoping to continue because her clients are so appreciative.
“They just are so grateful for something so what we take for granted. That we are able to provide them that is incredible. And we couldn’t do that without the landlords who work with us.”