Jan 26, 2013

FromThe Oklahoman

Survey Finds Increase in Oklahoma City's Chronically Homeless

By Heather Warlick

Oklahoma City is participating in the 100,000 Homes Campaign, a nationwide initiative seeking to permanently house 100,000 of the country's most vulnerable homeless people. Information from the survey will be used in conjunction with that effort.

Survey findings were released Friday at the United Way of Central Oklahoma headquarters. The Homeless Alliance, which is leading the 100,000 Homes initiative in Oklahoma City, is a United Way Partner Agency.

The 100,000 Homes Campaign uses a model in which groups work together to place medically vulnerable people in housing first, before trying to address their other issues. This is the opposite of common practice in which certain criteria, such as sobriety, must be met before housing will be provided.

“It is unreasonable for us as a community to expect a 20-year chronic alcoholic to get sober while he's living under a bridge,” said Dan Straughan, executive director of The Homeless Alliance.

The local campaign has committed to finding permanent housing for 2.5 percent of the city's vulnerable homeless each month, which amounts to seven Oklahoma City people monthly.

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