Beyond Education Outcomes

The Urban Institute, October 2022 With Luis Melgar, Brittney Spinner, and Emily Pfeiffer

Unsheltered homelessness is on the rise amid a systemic and widespread lack of affordable housing, supportive services, and livable wages. As the housing crisis worsens, homelessness has become increasingly visible and, as a result, increasingly dominant as a public concern. Instead of addressing the issue’s root causes, many cities have leaned into punitive responses that criminalize homelessness, but police don’t solve homelessness, they only move it around. This essay explores what could happen when communities address the underlying causes of homelessness rather than continuing the status quo.