Nearly ten years ago, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley launched a ten year Plan to End Homelessness. Over nine years later, how is the plan working out? Some people say we’re making progress and some say not so much.
Staff from The Night Ministry were in attendance last week as Chicago began updating its plan with a series of community planning sessions. There are six planned discussions by a panel of local and national experts to look at six identified issues: employment, permanent housing access and supply, systems integration, coordinated access and prevention, interim and rapid rehousing, and youth.
Instead of managing homelessness through a system of emergency shelters, the City of Chicago’s Plan to End Homelessness advocated moving homeless people into transitional and permanent housing in order to gain stability. Since the plan began in 2003, the ratio of shelter beds to permanent supportive housing has been reversed—from 38 percent permanent housing and 62 percent shelters, to 60 percent permanent housing and 40 percent shelters- while the overall number of beds in the system has steadily increased