- * Shelter Voucher Program
- * Homeless Case Management
- * Linkages to Shelters and Programs
- * Emergency Food
- * Basic Needs Walk-in Services
- * Self Sufficiency Program
Do you see an increase in Dixon’s Homeless Population? Is mental illness or drug/addiction an issue or cause of homelessness here? What are their most urgent needs?
There has been a steady increase in homelessness in Dixon. More and more people cannot afford to remain in their permanent housing. In looking over the cases we have and the past homeless clients, it seems the increases in homelessness are due to the rises in cost of living. For many families who live paycheck to paycheck the extra costs of gas, food, utilities, rent and other expenses over time cause people to get so far behind in their bills that they end up without capability to pay their rent or mortgage. Something as simple as car repair or medical situation can put people into dire financial condition.
Mental illness and drug/alcohol addictions have always been a factor in much of our nation’s homeless population and remains a huge barrier for many of the chronically homeless to overcome before they are ready to get back to self-sufficiency.
The most urgent need is an increase in income that allows people to keep up with the increases in living expenses. Job search, career changes, classes to achieve a higher degree and trade schools are all possible ways to increase people’s income. But, some type of temporary supplemental income would be a good start to prevent homelessness. There are several programs that can help families with their rent or a place to stay while saving enough money to get back into permanent housing, but one draw-back is that these programs only allow recipients to use it once in a lifetime.
The other urgent need is for landlords who are understanding of those who have had evictions or bad credit, which is true for many of Dixon’s homeless. Unless an already homeless person/family can find affordable housing, along with a forgiving landlord, willing to rent to them, this becomes their biggest barrier to getting back to a normal life.