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Failed Efforts

After decades of repeating efforts with the same failing characteristics, it’s time to stop expecting different results.

Characteristics of all Failed Efforts

Previous efforts to house and help America’s chronic homeless population has come up short because every effort over the past 30 years has shared one or all of these characteristics:

Small Scale

Cities build homeless housing for 30 people when they need housing for thousands. This is the norm because of budget constraints, land availability, restrictions set by city zoning, pushback from local residents (NIMBY), and city council decisions.


One meal a day, some dirty clothes, and a few nights in a shelter are far from what is needed to help anyone break the cycle of homelessness.

Short Term

Local politicians want the appearance of quick results, but the efforts never last:

  • Tear down tent encampments, but with no place to go, the homeless just rebuild.
  • Arrest panhandlers, but they need money, so they return later.
  • Bus the homeless out of town, but that just pushes the problem to another town, and many times the homeless return.

Economically Unsustainable

A great example is New York City’s spending of $364 million per year on hotels for the homeless; some rooms cost as much as $549 a night. Mayor de Blasio vows to spend that much in upcoming years.


Many street homeless would rather sleep on the streets than in shelters for various reasons:

  • Risk safety or theft in communal sleeping areas
  • Couples not allowed to sleep together
  • Forced attendance of religious services
  • Too dangerous sleeping in communal areas
  • Risk of property theft
  • Pets not allowed

And the general public usually doesn’t want homeless shelters or housing near their neighborhoods. This is commonly referred to as “Not In My Back Yard” (NIMBY) push back.

Repeated Efforts = Repeated Results

The following organizations and leaders have created plans with clear goals to end or reduce homelessness. No efforts worked.

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