Solution to homelessness? Give them a place to live

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Solution to homelessness? Give them a place to live

Homeless already cost money, so some say spend it on shelter
Philippe LeFevre of Durango talks about his life – growing up in an affluent, middle-class family, graduating from college, and editing a newspaper – before experiencing a mental breakdown after remembering childhood traumas he’d repressed and becoming homeless. He said for the last few years, he’s camped in Durango. Though he’d like to have a home, he said camping remains his best option.
Philippe LeFevre says more needs to be done to address mental illnesses that are so often a part of being homeless. Interestingly, the most recent research shows that when it comes to solving homelessness, giving people who are chronically homeless a place to live is the first step. Studies show that once people who are chronically homeless have their own housing, by filling the most pressing need in their lives, they are much more able to effectively address other problems they may have, such as substance abuse or mental illness.
Brian Harwood is questioned by Durango police officers and asked to leave the doorway of the former Francisco’s Restaurante & Cantina, 619 Main Ave. Durango Police Department’s Lt. Ray Shupe said he hopes that going forward, the police will be able to serve as conduits, directing people who are homeless to the resources they need.

Solution to homelessness? Give them a place to live

Philippe LeFevre of Durango talks about his life – growing up in an affluent, middle-class family, graduating from college, and editing a newspaper – before experiencing a mental breakdown after remembering childhood traumas he’d repressed and becoming homeless. He said for the last few years, he’s camped in Durango. Though he’d like to have a home, he said camping remains his best option.
Philippe LeFevre says more needs to be done to address mental illnesses that are so often a part of being homeless. Interestingly, the most recent research shows that when it comes to solving homelessness, giving people who are chronically homeless a place to live is the first step. Studies show that once people who are chronically homeless have their own housing, by filling the most pressing need in their lives, they are much more able to effectively address other problems they may have, such as substance abuse or mental illness.
Brian Harwood is questioned by Durango police officers and asked to leave the doorway of the former Francisco’s Restaurante & Cantina, 619 Main Ave. Durango Police Department’s Lt. Ray Shupe said he hopes that going forward, the police will be able to serve as conduits, directing people who are homeless to the resources they need.
In this series

Sunday: Who are the homeless, and how did they arrive there? Three misconceptions about homelessness.
Monday: The problem with homeless camping, and if not outside, where?
Today: The homeless are vulnerable to weather, wildlife and one another. Children and young adults can find themselves without a roof.
Wednesday: Solutions to homelessness: Give them a place to live.

Where to get help or learn more about securing housing

Volunteers of America Durango Community Shelter and Southwest Safehouse, 1055 Avenida del Sol, 259-1255
Housing Solutions of the Southwest, 295 Girard St., 259-1086
Habitat for Humanity, 120 Girard St., 382-9931
Manna Soup Kitchen, 1100 Avenida del Sol, 385-5095
Regional Housing Alliance, 124 E. Ninth St., 259-1418
Women’s Resource Center, 679 East Second Ave., Suite 6, 247-1242
La Plata County Department of Human Services, 1060 East Second Ave., 382-6150
Veterans’ Service Office, 1970 East Third Ave., Suite 102, 382-6150

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