Homelessness in Detroit

Recently for my job I had to write a blog post about an article detailing the issue of homelessness as it affects Detroit and I thought the article was very informative so I wanted to share it here as well:


The article that I chose for this blog post is an article that was published in the Metro Times, which is a local Detroit news source that critiques the efforts of the city of Detroit in its efforts for the homeless population of the city. I chose this article for two reasons. First, because the NSO is an organization that I have had the opportunity to work with and so homelessness as it affects Detroit is something that I have been learning about this summer. Second, I also picked this article because homelessness is an issue that I have a personal connection to.

The article opens by the opening of the Little Caesars Arena which dominated headlines. It then transitions into describing the scene of a homeless encampment that lays just two miles west of the arena and opened the weekend after the debut of the arena to no media attention. The article describes the shift in attention by Detroit’s organizations from less to money to emergency shelters and more to permanent housing solutions and rapid housing, an effort that the article states has led to an overall decline of homelessness in the past years since city efforts have been concentrated towards this issue. Last year, more than 2,100 people experienced chronic homelessness in Detroit, according to the city’s Homeless Management Information System. But advocates warn that while this approach does seem to be helping single homelessness, it does little to address another kind of homelessness that is on the uptick and possibly more concerning to the city. And that is familial homelessness. This kind of homelessness is on the rise due to more and more foreclosures happening around the city.

My reactions to this article include that I thought that the article was really informative as well as offering a valid critique that is often overlooked in homeless aiding efforts. The reality of familial homelessness is something that I have to look at everyday as I go around the neighborhood that my organization is in. It is almost impossible to do intervention efforts in the neighborhood because it’s not a rare occurrence for the a family to get foreclosed on or a house to go up in flames. Overall I think that this was a strong piece and though it was published last year still holds relevant for the city of Detroit. I also think that it offers a narrative and reality to homelessness that often gets left out of the conversation because it is uglier and not as neat and harder to think about when we think about homeless people. As a society we have no problem blaming homelessness on the drunk addict, but what about the vulnerable family?

Link to the article: https://www.metrotimes.com/detroit/fewer-detroiters-are-experiencing-homelessness-but-activists-charge-more-should-be-done/Content?oid=6925500

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