Bradbard Housing/Homelessness Q3
In addition to a focus on reducing today’s on-the-street homeless, we also need to pay attention to the thousands of families living in overcrowded housing across Southern California. Families living in converted garages, garden sheds, or packed into a single bedroom present public health issues and other challenges for children. For families struggling to maintain safe, clean housing, family stressors are elevated. Unstable housing and frequent moves have been shown to increase mental health problems, developmental delays, anxiety, and depression. So, as we consider the overall housing crisis in our region, we should also be working upstream by ensuring families have adequate housing that equips children for future health and self-sufficiency, reducing the pipeline of those who ever become homeless.
Although government and the nonprofit sector play a critical role in addressing homeless and housing affordability, each of us as residents of Southern California need to be open to building quality supportive housing in our neighborhoods. Funding for affordable housing and supportive services is part of the equation, but overcoming community opposition for the development of new housing communities – including multifamily properties – is an essential ingredient to expanding our housing stock. As local community members, we need to stand up and publicly support the creation of new quality housing that will meet the needs of the homeless who currently call our local sidewalks their home.