On Human Flourishing – an interview with Linda Kaufman
At Thanksgiving millions of Americans focus on gratitude, home and hearth while thousands of veterans are without shelter. While the societal factors that contribute to homelessness are complex, organizations across the country are successfully reducing homelessness among veterans to functional zero. This week Samueli Institute’s twice monthly podcast features a discussion with the Reverend Linda Kaufman of Community Solutions on how major American cities are essentially ending veteran homelessness forever.
“Houston has declared zero veteran homelessness. Salt Lake City is just about there. Phoenix is very close and New Orleans at the end of last year got to functional zero,” explained Kaufman. “The communities that have reached functional zero are able to maintain homelessness that is rare, brief and non-recurring.”
In her interview with Samueli Institute CEO Dr. Wayne Jonas on his podcast, Kaufman explains how her organization and a network of others around the country have addressed the complicated issues and cut through the Gordian knot of homelessness.
“The cure for homelessness is housing,” Kaufman explained. “I know it’s a stunner, but it’s as simple and as complicated as that.”
Kaufman explains to Dr. Jonas the transformative work afoot to apply that simple logic by shifting housing policy away from first come, first served toward a rigorous system of triage that gets housing to those in greatest need.