Author: Joel John Roberts (Joel John Roberts)

Roberts: Homeless services must become more inclusive

I was shocked to read that the United States federal government is proposing to institute a policy allowing homeless shelters to ban transgender people from entering their facilities. This is not just bad policy. It’s discrimination and it’s wrong. More than a decade ago, we learned how to design our facilities and how to utilize...

Roberts: NIMBY is really PMBY

California leaders are finally investing in more affordable and supportive housing, the proven solution to dealing with our housing affordability and homelessness crises. Funding initiatives for homeless programs and housing throughout California — Measure A in Santa Clara County and California state HEAP (Homeless Emergency Aid Program) program — are making securing sufficient capital funds...

Roberts: An ounce of homeless prevention is worth a pound of cure

Years ago, the cutting-edge approach toward solving homelessness was a shelter bed and a transitional program that helped people become self-sufficient. Back then, the agency I run housed hundreds of people with this approach. People would come to us who were unemployed, or struggling with emotional issues, or simply burned bridges at home, and needed...

Roberts: Solving housing with a new kind of company town?

The king of chocolate, Milton Hershey and his famous chocolate company, tried to build one, as did the founders of Pullman railroad sleeping cars and Steinway pianos. All these visionaries and very successful entrepreneurs not only created world-renowned companies, they also tried to create utopian villages for their employees. We call them “company towns.” Some...

Roberts: When your rent increases so does homelessness

When I sat in my high school economics class, years ago, I struggled with conflicting numbers, lofty principles, and difficult equations. How would macro or micro economics impact a teenager who was more worried about sports and weekend activities? But one high school economics principle stuck with me to this day — the law of...

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