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Philadelphia leads the way in 24-hour homeless shelters

Author: Michaela Winberg

Winberg, Michaela. “Philadelphia Leads the Way in 24-Hour Homeless Shelters.” Billy Penn, Billy Penn, 20 Feb. 2019, billypenn.com/2019/02/20/philadelphia-leads-the-way-in-24-hour-homeless-shelters/?utm_source=Solutions%2BStory%2BTracker.

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Philadelphia has one of the smallest homeless populations among the nation’s big cities, a stat that’s even more striking considering its chart-topping poverty rate.

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2021 Audrey Sparano (Feb 02 2021 11:14AM) : This establishes the efficacy of the programs that will be presented later in this article. Also, it gives an impressive statistic on Philadelphia's homeless population.
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2021 Nicolette Miller (Feb 05 2021 11:11AM) : I like how you stated how this establishes the efficacy of the programs, because it's important to recognize how powerful statements like this, with statistical support, can set the tone for an article.
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Grace Sherman (Feb 05 2021 11:22AM) : I agree...this is a very strong opening sentence. Not only does it capture the readers attention, but it also informs readers and establishes the topic through use of diction, and syntax.
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One of the major factors keeping people off Philly’s streets? Unlike other metropolitan areas, many havens for those experiencing homelessness stay open 24/7.

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2021 Audrey Sparano (Feb 02 2021 11:15AM) : This is the main point of the article. It is presented clearly early on.
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2021 Audrey Sparano (Feb 02 2021 11:16AM) : This is the feasible and promising solution that they are presenting for homelessness.
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Gus Daskalakis (Feb 05 2021 2:44PM) : response more

This sentence implies how serious the issue is. If homeless centers are staying open 24/7, then there is no reason for people to be pushed to get a job.

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Prevention Point — the Kensington nonprofit that somehow seems to do it all — is the most recent to get on board.

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The decades-old addiction recovery center had already offered meals, medical services, case management, housing, and education. It boasts the first syringe exchange program in Pennsylvania, and it hosts for the community regular naloxone training sessions. Two weeks ago, thanks to a boost from the city’s Office of Homeless Services, the center started keeping its shelters open during the day. The two 80-person facilities don’t kick people out at 7 a.m. anymore like they used to.

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“It’s a goal we’ve had for a long time,” said Kate Perch, Prevention Point’s director of housing services. “It gives 80 people a chance to be inside, to not have to find ways to occupy themselves in the community during the day.”

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Locally, all-day accommodations are pretty standard. OHS spokesperson Josh Kruger said all 25 city-contracted shelters stay open 24 hours.

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Mr. Harry Brake (Feb 08 2021 9:39AM) : Perfect idea! more

This article shows how simply adjusting current scenarios can make a huge difference, something as simple as hours. What I think could be a stressor is the affordability of resources (food, supplies, etc) in a pandemic, but seems this is a better alternative and worthy of having someone invest in the needs.

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But compared to the rest of the country, Philly’s operating hours are uncommon.

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2021 Audrey Sparano (Feb 02 2021 11:21AM) : They have established credibility by showing how well all-day shelters have worked in Philadelphia, and are now imploring other states to follow suit.
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Gus Daskalakis (Feb 05 2021 2:43PM) : response more

I completely agree with you claim here. The first step to a permanent solution is a successful trial run, which is what occurred in Philadelphia.

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Nationwide, the model has always been to open doors in the evening, then close when the sun comes up, requiring staff to throw people out every morning. That’s why shelter capacity is so often measured in “beds.”

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“It’s definitely the norm,” said Penn professor Dennis Culhane, who’s researched homelessness for two decades. That has not made advocates happy, he noted, because daytime is often when trouble arises — and when there are people around to work on solutions. “There’s no place to work on resolving the issues…that they’re trying to address.”

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2021 Lindsey Housinger (Feb 05 2021 11:17AM) : By letting people stay in the day, they are giving them a safe place to work on solutions, without fears of what could happen outside during the day.
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Miles Brooke (Feb 05 2021 11:24AM) : Homeless centers more

I like how the writer establishes the norm for the standard treatment of homeless people. I haven’t been too aware of the day to day struggle for the homeless and where they are able to stay in the day and night.

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Kruger, of OHS, couldn’t pinpoint exactly when Philly deviated from that norm, but guessed that the 24/7 accommodations likely predate the Kenney administration.

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“It’s a very 1970s style thought, that from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. you have to get the hell out,” he told Billy Penn. “That’s just not how it is here.”

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Mr. Harry Brake (Feb 08 2021 9:40AM) : Outdated but not more

Interesting that even though this is fashioned on an older model, how successful this is!

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‘Three hots and a cot’

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In the 1970s, the United States’ street population surged, thanks to:

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Finding themselves in a crisis, outreach workers popularized the homeless shelter model that we know today, one meant to offer “temporary havens” to people with no place else to go.

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“Historically, they’re ‘three hots and a cot,'” Culhane said, a phrase meaning each shelter provided a place to sleep and three meals — and that’s it. They weren’t designed or staffed to deal with crowds all day long.

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Fast forward 40 years, the emergency shelter model is still among the most popular temporary solutions to homelessness. And for many of those providers, nighttime services are all they can manage.

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2021 Audrey Sparano (Feb 02 2021 11:24AM) : Here they are addressing a possible objection, that most shelters don't have the means to keep people inside all day.

“There’s an argument that these shelters are already overburdened simply trying to operate what they do,” Culhane said. “They have to handle security, the linens have to be washed. There’s so much work involved in just the ‘hotel’ operations.”

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But Philly has overcome the burden. And the city’s daytime shelter hours likely contribute to its successful homelessness outreach strategy.

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Philly has just about 1,000 residents living unsheltered, while cities like New York top 3,000, and Los Angeles reaches nearly 23,000.

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2021 Audrey Sparano (Feb 02 2021 11:25AM) : Cities across the US struggle with homelessness and this is a possible solution. It has worked with Philadelphia, who's to say it won't work with other cities?
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Yara Ahmed (Feb 05 2021 2:43PM) : I think its interesting how large the difference is between these 3 cities and how they have all most likely dealt with their homeless problems in different ways. Goes to show how effective Philadelphia's method is
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Gus Daskalakis (Feb 05 2021 2:46PM) : response more

have you out checked Rawhide youth services? They offer great and accurate statistics about the homeless issue in America.

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“I don’t think you can say that because we have daytime hours that’s why we have the lowest rate,” Kruger said. “But I think that it can’t hurt.”

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There are a few other exceptions to the rule: New York City maintains 24/7 shelters, too, and Boston has a network of daytime centers to complement its nighttime beds. Washington, D.C. is currently in the middle of a $1.7 million effort to build a massive daytime drop-in center. Other cities open up emergency shelters during the day in inclement weather.

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2021 Olivia Vandersteen (Feb 05 2021 11:13AM) : I like the idea that the people in this article have. They are suggesting that the more homeless people that are off the streets, the better. They aren't afraid to tackle the problem head on and it shows. They use positive language to show the readers more

that this problem can be stopped.

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Other Kensington outreach workers were excited to learn that Prevention Point will offer daytime housing. Dave Tomlinson, a local drug and alcohol counselor, subscribes to the thought that the more services for unsheltered people, the better.

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Mr. Harry Brake (Feb 08 2021 9:38AM) : Pixza more

This reminds me of a business in Mexico City that helps homelessness – https://mexiconewsdaily.com/mexicolife/mexico-city-pizzeria-is-making-social-change/.

Would be cool to see this new approach work with businesses to give individuals a chance to rise above the issue of homelessness.

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“This change will allow for people to have an incremental amount more security and comfort, which is unquestionably important, no matter how small,” he said.

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2021 Lindsey Housinger (Feb 05 2021 11:25AM) : The focus of the article is giving people a better situation, no matter how much harder and how many more hoops had to be jumped through. It's not about money, its about helping every individual.
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And if fewer people are living on the street during the day, then perhaps it will alleviate ongoing quality-of-life problems for Kensington residents.

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“Hopefully, if people use it,” Tomlinson added, “it will create a better environment for the neighborhood.”

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DMU Timestamp: November 12, 2020 20:50

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