Author: Joel John Roberts (Joel John Roberts)

Roberts: Housing first or equity first?

Twenty years ago, the solution to homelessness seemed to be so simple. People who found themselves homeless would come to our agency in need of a bed. We would place them in a transitional housing program for a few months while helping them find a new job. Their only commitment was to adhere to a...

Roberts: Here we grow again: Increased homelessness?

We thought that we survived the worst. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost half of its value within months, and unemployment was at 10 percent. No, I am not referring to today’s crisis. Thirteen years ago, the “Great Recession” knocked our national economic and social stability dramatically off course. We were told this was all...

Roberts: Put housing first, character second

This is the first of a three-part series on Housing First. They are people who are broke, and broken. They have insufficient resources to sustain housing, and tattered lives with barriers that sometimes seem insurmountable. Some are dependent on substances that misdirect, others are overcome by mental demons. All are unable to stand on their...

Roberts: Veteran homelessness affects the whole family

Twenty-three years ago, I started as the leader of a small homeless agency in West Los Angeles. Back then we used to be a 90-days program – within that small span of time, we would help someone who was homeless get a job, save money, move into an apartment and get back on their feet....

Roberts: Cheaper housing: another method or a new paradigm?

All throughout California, everyone is talking about how we need to create cheaper housing for people who are homeless. As homelessness increases throughout the state, and millions and millions of taxpayer dollars have been invested in homeless services and housing, the people who paid those taxes are losing their patience. The media has picked up...

Roberts: Why is it so difficult to help people who are homeless?

Fifteen years ago, I was working with a newly hired PATH employee who had just graduated from our local college. We were tasked to persuade a neighborhood and its political leaders that a homeless shelter we wanted to build would help, not hurt, the community. After countless, and frankly, excruciating community meetings and difficult political...

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

Newsletters

You have Successfully Subscribed!