US charity purchases houses to provide homeless people with a future

Source: 9 News

A not-for-profit organisation in the US is working to rapidly take homeless people off the streets and place them in homes.

The charity’s “housing first” process has already seen 121 people placed into housing, and it’s saving taxpayers’ dollars.

Well House aims to buy vacant homes, renovate them so they meet council regulations, and turn them into share homes for the homeless.

 The company first began in 1978 with only one property, and now has 13 houses with a view to keep expanding, FOX17 reports.
Executive Director Tami VandenBerg said housing is the most important part of helping the homeless, because it is much simpler for them to access further assistance when they have a permanent address.
“(When you’re homeless) you don’t have an address, you don’t have a shower. You have to leave at 7:00 a.m. with all your stuff on your back and come back. Your meds are getting stolen, and all you can think about really is your own safety,” Ms VandenBerg told the news station.

The charity only charges $275 (AUD$360) a month for a room in one of its share houses.

Ms VandenBerg said Well House has provided a home to 121 people in three years, and revealed that 92 percent of these people have remained off the streets.

The charity is also providing people with jobs by paying them to work on its new properties to get them ready for incoming tenants.

However, despite all its work, Ms Vandenberg said Well House has to turn away three people for every one person they take in.

The company is always in need of donations, but not only of a financial kind.

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