6 Dedicated Organizations Working To House The Homeless
Poverty and homelessness are among the most persistent issues facing the world. Thankfully, many organizations exist to combat these problems by providing affordable housing, counseling, mental health services, job training, free meals, and political advocacy. In no particular order, here are some nonprofits striving to solve homelessness in places around the globe.
First up at #1, Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission works to prevent, reduce, and eliminate poverty, hunger, and homelessness in Los Angeles County. This faith-based independent non-profit organization does not discriminate based on gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or lack thereof. Its mission involves a two-pronged approach, starting with crisis intervention and eventually transitioning clients into long-term services that address chronic obstacles.
Hope of the Valley's short-term services include food distribution, emergency and transitional shelter, and basic health services, while long-term solutions are based around programs that promote growth, such as tutoring and internship opportunities. The nonprofit is supported by donations, community events, and a group of local thrift stores.
Up next at #2 is Austin Habitat for Humanity, which builds affordable homes in partnership with qualifying families and the community in central Texas. The charity negotiates affordable mortgages to provide under-served groups with the opportunity to be successful long-term homeowners. Its accompanying counseling program fosters financial management skills such as repairing credit, reducing debt, adhering to a budget, preventing foreclosure, avoiding predatory lending practices, and more.
Austin Habitat also operates a home improvement store to support affordable housing programs, selling new and gently used building materials, furniture, appliances, and fixtures at a low cost, while diverting millions of pounds of reusable materials from landfills. In the meantime, the nonprofit works to change policies and systems in government in order to promote access to decent places for all to call home.
At #3 on the list, Homes for the Brave places an emphasis on securing housing and a livable income for American veterans living in or near Bridgeport, Connecticut. Residents of the program's transitional homes are assigned case managers and vocational specialists who help to establish goals in the areas of shelter, income, and self-determination. In addition, individuals attend living skills classes, employment workshops, and computer courses. If residents cannot work, the staff encourages them to find volunteer or other meaningful opportunities in the Bridgeport community.
Homes for the Brave also operates a permanent living facility, a veterans' service center, and a clinical program. The clinical program offers mental health services and substance abuse recovery to veterans who are ineligible for support from the VA, or who otherwise find it difficult to travel for treatment.
Based in Brockton, Massachusetts, Father Bill's & MainSpring is #4. This organization's motto is "nobody should be homeless." The initiatives aimed at achieving that goal include emergency and permanent housing, skills training, job search aid, meals, and supportive services. The charity owns more than a dozen homes and leases many more, managing approximately 500 permanent living units across the southern Massachusetts region.
Founded in 1982, Father Bill’s & MainSpring relies on support from both individuals and organizations in the community to help prevent and reduce homelessness. In addition to accepting donations and holding regular volunteer events, the nonprofit hosts an annual Food Fest fundraiser, which involves hundreds of local vendors and features food tastings, a silent auction, entertainment, and more.
At #5, Melville Charitable Trust's approach to ending homelessness is three-tiered, with focuses on housing, health, and income. The foundation recognizes that for those dealing with disabling issues, mental health struggles, domestic violence, or addiction, finding and keeping a home can be extremely challenging. Technical training and education, employment preparation and placement services, and complementary social services provide participants with foundational knowledge, skills, and personal resources for employment success.
Headquartered in New Haven, Connecticut, Melville Charitable Trust splits its grant-making dollars between relief efforts in the state of Connecticut and creating better policy at the national level. Given the clear racial disparities of those most likely to experience homelessness, the Trust focuses its work through a racial equity lens, knowing that homelessness will not end until it can be prevented and ended for people of color.
Finally, coming in at #6 on the list is Ireland's Dublin Simon Community, which serves the titular city, as well as Kildare, Wicklow, Meath, Louth, Cavan, and Monaghan. The organization provides services at all stages of homelessness, and enables people to move to a place they can call home. Dublin Simon Community believes that the meaningful activities offered by the program are central to providing structure, purpose, well-being, intellectual stimulation, self-esteem, and independence to individuals who are at risk.
Since 1969, Dublin Simon Community has offered a program called Soup Run, which still operates 365 days of the year with more than 100 volunteers delivering support on Dublin's streets. Working with the Outreach Team, Soup Run volunteers conduct street searches for people sleeping outside, and deliver meals, build relationships, maintain regular contact, and offer support toward rebuilding their lives. The organization receives additional funding from two charity shops, which accept donations and offer employment opportunities to select clients.