Tom McCasland started 2013 with a new outlook on Houston homelessness. Yesterday, the executive board of the Harris County Housing Authority approved a decision that allows McCasland, its executive director, to do what all Houston housing non-profits should do: assist the homeless in Houston.
Homeless families were moved to high priority status on the authority's waiting list for rental vouchers. The executive team anticipates a total issue of 600 vouchers to families on the waiting list in 2013.
Mayor Annise Parker recently appointed Houston’s first special assistant for homeless initiatives. This is a positive sign that the city of Houston continues to shift its focus to sheltering and stabilizing the homeless.
"Everyone who's working on this issue is very excited about the coordination that's happening, as well as the resources that are being brought to bear on this very fixable problem," McCasland said. "It's a matter of going out there, providing them the supportive services they need and putting them into housing, and we can do that far cheaper than the current system, where we use law enforcement and emergency health care services to take care of this population on the street."
Each year, more than 3 million people in the United States experience homelessness. Every little step counts in the fight to preserve the American dream.