Time for your POP QUIZ:
Please answer each question below with your first reaction – “Why?” or “Why not?”
Should the space program put a man on Mars?
Should we invest in cancer research until we have a cure?
Should children in America have access to the best education in the world?
Should we strive to end homelessness in Boulder County?
As you may have guessed we, at Bridge House, fall in the “Why not?” camp. Without a strong belief the possibilities of achieving the seemingly impossible, this work would just not be tolerable. Some may say it seems too idealistic or even naïve to think we can end homelessness in Boulder but I believe we can -one person at a time.
We may never be able to stem the tide of people becoming homeless due to a variety of circumstances but we can create a community where we preserve affordable housing options, provide access to medical and mental healthcare at a reasonable cost, offer an array of options based on price point and design. A community where if people become at risk due to job loss or family break up we can intervene to keep them housed. A community where if people do fall into homelessness, we can quickly help them become housed again.
I dare us, leaders and stakeholders in Boulder, to say “Why not?”. We already have set the programs and process in place to build upon. We have policy makers who care, we have a market that is innovative. Now let’s identify a collaborative continuum of services and housing to meet people where they are and support their progress to obtain and maintain housing. Through the efforts of the 10 Year Plan Advisory Committee and the HOME Consortium and others, we are close to having the right types of housing and number of units identified to meet the broad needs of our community. We have very smart people working on this issue, so, I say “why not” consider that ending homelessness in Boulder is possible? Let’s take the risk to be so bold.
We, at Bridge House, are focusing on the part of the continuum in which we work. Our Resource Center and Ready to Work programs are thriving. Just this quarter 6 people moved out of Ready to Work House into permanent housing! We are also thankful for a growing opportunity to partner with Boulder County’s Housing Stabilization program where we have placed 11 people in housing so far in 2016.