Consolidated Homeless Grant Newsletter - December 2016

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Consolidated Homeless Grant (CHG) Newsletter

December 15, 2016

Please forward to your sub grantees and contact your CHG program manager if you have any questions.

Consolidated Homeless Grant (CHG) Newsletter

During the winter months, many of us bristle when we hear comments from co-workers and friends that people choose to be homeless. If you’ve worked with people living outside, you hear a lot of stories. And what you most often learn is that even people who are homeless have complex lives and ideas about what they need. Check out our Homeless Myths and Facts as a resource for education and advocacy.

Myths and Facts

Image by Richard Masoner, Flickr Commons

Myth: Homeless people don’t want housing; they choose that lifestyle.

FACT: No one wants to be homeless - it’s dangerous, stressful and humiliating.

Being homeless is not easy or comfortable. This myth allows us to ignore the desperate people living in tents or in cars without water, heat or sanitation. Some people who are homeless choose to sleep outside rather than in shelters because they are fearful of having to leave pets and belongings outside. In addition, many shelters and homeless housing programs have stringent eligibility criteria and rules that "screen out" the most vulnerable people. 

The "choice” to remain on the street is a dangerous one. In 2009, 700 people died in the U.S. from exposure. Remaining on the streets also puts homeless people at risk of violence, including murder, assault, rape and theft. Homeless people are often the victims of hate crimes. In the past 15 years, about 1,500 reported attacks occurred nationwide on homeless people, with 375 ending in death. Ninety-one people died while homeless in King County in 2015. (Source: Shut Out: How Barriers Often Prevent Meaningful Access to Emergency Shelter)