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Trying to End Chronic Homelessness

Ending chronic homelessness is the goal of an experiment in the Quad Cities. By the summer, Humility Homes and Services will launch the Supportive Housing Pilot Project.

Spokesman Ryan Bobst says the project will provide a range of services to ten people, for the next three years.

"So these are generally individuals who have experienced chronic homelessness, they've got a history of arrests, typically for trespassing, and then they also have a behavioral health disorder so they're frequently in and out of our emergency shelter, in and out of the hospital, and in and out of jail."

Funding for the pilot project comes from two 100,000 dollar grants - from the Quad Cities Community Foundation and the Ryan Foundation of Omaha. That's a lot less than these ten people would cost in what's called "non-housing services."

"These ten individuals over the same time period would cost taxpayers near 1.8 million dollars - by using emergency shelter and jails, and being hospitalized for treatment, whereas we're able to house them for a fraction of that cost."

Bobst says the ten participants will receive rental assistance, intensive case management, learn basic living skills, and get help with food and transportation. After some final planning, he says the pilot project will start by the summer.

Humility Homes and Services is now in its 31st year of offering transitional housing to homeless people in the Quad Cities.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.