Steve Berg says people experience homelessness for many different reasons. The vice president of Programs and Policy for the National Alliance to End Homelessness says the goal should be to get people into housing quickly.
Berg says once people have housing, then other problems like employment and health can be addressed. As protests over homelessness continue in Kalamazoo, WMUK’s Gordon Evans spoke with Berg about the non-profit group’s research and its examination of best practices.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness collects data on homelessness across the county. Berg says it’s always a challenge to get good numbers on people who are homeless. But he says it’s important to establish data on homelessness.
Berg says shelter is important in combating homeless because streets are an unsafe place to live. But he says homeless shelters are not a place to get back in control of life. Berg says many things such as treatment for substance abuse are easier if someone is housed.
In order for cities to come up with solutions to homelessness, Berg says coordination is needed with federal and state government agencies. He says it’s also important to work with the private sector on housing and jobs.