In regards to the chronic homeless, the term “homeless” is a misnomer, as it infers that their sole problem is that they don’t have a home. But in fact, it’s much more than that.
Homelessness is the result of not understanding their needs and wants, and letting the problems fester until they’ve become unmanageable. Today, most cities just arrest or push their “homeless problem” down the road.
But to solve the problems the homeless cause society, we must solve their problems first.
And the only way to create a complete solution that meets the needs of America’s entire chronic street homeless population in a cost-effective manner, is to build a city, from the ground up, catering towards the needs of chronic homeless individuals.
What is it?
Citizens Again is a project to create a single, supportive living environment for America’s entire chronic street homeless adult population.
It will be a secure, all-inclusive city, with all the amenities and services necessary for a 150,000 high-needs population. The City will cook meals, perform laundry services, provide entertainment and activities, and much more.
Who is this for?
The City will be able to house America’s entire adult chronic street homeless population.
This subset of the homeless – the chronic street homeless – are the most resource-intensive and costly segment of the homeless population because many of them suffer from mental illness, struggle with physical disabilities, battle drug/alcohol addictions, or can’t find jobs/housing because of criminal convictions. This segment is approximately 20% of the homeless population, yet they consume over 80% of the annual federal budget for homelessness.
Why does this project exist?
Conditions for the chronic homeless population are worsening; yet decades of efforts haven’t made a dent in this crisis. It’s time to think differently to solve one of society’s most critical issues.
Where will it be located?
The location will be announced at a later date, but the site will require approximately 500+ acres (about 300 acres for the livable area, and the rest for the perimeter for facilities, etc.). Ideally, it will be located in a moderate climate, on mostly flat land, with access to transportation, and in a vicinity of a workforce for staffing. And it will be located far outside the urban core so as not to upset existing residential neighborhoods.
When will this happen?
This is not a quick fix. The project started in May 2017, publicly announced in December 2019, the preliminary estimated open date is 2031, and it is anticipated to take about 2 years to reach target capacity. All future dates are dependent on funding and government interactions. This is drastically shorter than the Government’s predicted 200-year effort.
How will this work?
Interested potential citizens will go to processing centers across the country. Eligibility will be determined there, along with citizen processing and initial healthcare checkups and hygiene services. They will then travel via trains, planes, buses, etc., to the City.
Upon arriving, they will go through an onboarding process with additional healthcare checkups and services, orientation programs, and more.
It’s vital to ensure integration success. So after onboarding tasks are completed, citizens will be introduced into the City with guided tours and will be assigned a fellow citizen Buddy to guide them around and answer questions. Every citizen will have a designated staff counselor and will have daily check-ins during the integration period to help with the integration process.
Citizens are in control of their everyday activities: some might choose to work city or on-site industry jobs, and some may choose to simply participate in any of the activities the City has to offer.
Qualified citizens choose to live in the City, and they are free to leave at any time. However, once they leave, there will be a waiting period for reentry to discourage frequent departures.