Invest in Temporary, Permanent and Preventive Measures to House Homeless, Report Says

A group of people pass by a tent pitched against the side of a freeway ramp.

Eric Lawson/San Francisco Public Press

A group of people pass by a tent pitched near a freeway ramp in 2014.

Tomiquia Moss. Courtesy photo.

Local and state officials have been announcing their intentions to invest billions into addressing homelessness, and two reports laying out strategies to bring the majority of unsheltered people in the region indoors have made headlines in recent months. To put the news in perspective, “Civic” spoke with Tomiquia Moss, founder and CEO of AllHome, a regional organization working to disrupt cycles of poverty and homelessness and to create more economic mobility for extremely low-income people. Moss describes the need for more investment across different interventions to reduce the pressure to prioritize those who have the most complex and chronic needs over those who could exit homelessness with shorter-term help, or over prevention strategies. AllHome’s regional plan for reducing homelessness by 75% over the next three years calls for simultaneous investment in interim housing, permanent placements and prevention strategies.

“We’ve had to make these choices in our public policy and resources conversations around one or the other type of investments: If I’m investing in permanent housing, then I can’t invest in prevention, because those people are already housed. And the biggest need is for those who are unhoused. But when I was running Hamilton Families, which is an organization that works to end family homelessness in the Bay Area, for every family I would house, three more families would become homeless.”

— Tomiquia Moss

A segment from our radio show and podcast, “Civic.” Listen daily at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on 102.5 FM in San Francisco, and subscribe on Apple, Google, Spotify or Stitcher