Using poetry to explore the Housing First model

Housing First is a relatively new model in the pantheon of supportive affordable housing. Under this title, housing is provided to chronically homeless people living in temporary homeless shelters or on the street who have severe dependence on drugs, alcohol or both. Mental and physical disabilities are often present as well. Supporters of housing first believe that lack of shelter is the biggest barrier to sobriety. On the street, drugs and alcohol are prevalent and people have no tools to stop using, nor do they have motivation. By providing the homeless with their own room, furniture, a space to themselves administrators of Housing First are also providing hope and stability. This model has been used successfully throughout the country. Los Angeles, Seattle, New York City and Philadelphia have all implemented Housing First programs.

A two-year review of a Housing First pilot in Qunicy, Massachusetts explores the success and barriers to this form of housing. While trying to decipher the enormous potential of programs such as this, I began jotting down lines of interest. It soon became apparent that the lines wanted to be a poem. And so I sat down and rearranged the text until it made sense. Below is a version of my results.

(Also, if you are still curious about Housing First, this report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development is quite thorough.)
human plight human plight

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