Homelessness is a national crisis that affects not only those experiencing it, but almost every aspect of society as a whole, from the economy to the environment. Homelessness has many causes and few current cures. It can devastate individuals, destroy families and decimate communities. And its effects are generational. Children born and growing up homeless suffer from chronic and acute health problems, developmental delays, emotional and mental illness, poor nutrition and food insecurity, and poor school performance. While some families are just temporarily down on their luck, many face significant challenges and need considerable help to achieve stability in their lives. The stresses of homelessness can push parents and kids into a cycle of decline. How can we break that cycle?
Educator Jonathan Kozol, an expert in this field, stated the problem succinctly: “The cause of homelessness is lack of housing.” And studies show that it costs far less to provide housing to the unsheltered than to provide the additional services needed to deal with the problems created by homelessness, from healthcare to law enforcement.
Experience, locally and nationwide, shows that high-need homeless families can get back on their feet if they find permanent housing and receive services designed specifically to help families build on their strengths and address their specific needs.
Bridges to Housing is a program that helps with the critical first step of finding housing for the homeless. Since 2013, we have helped hundreds of Yuba-Sutter families realize a common dream: a home of their own.