In Search of a Holistic Solution to Homelessness for Unattached Adults Regardless of Substance Use Disorder: Using Colorado and Springs Rescue Mission as a Case Study

by Jeffrey J. Cook
June 1st, 2024
America is the wealthiest nation in the world. But there are hundreds of thousands of individuals in America who are
homeless. The issue of homelessness has been researched over the decades, and various beliefs have been held on causes and solutions. Many think that the lack of affordable housing is the cause, and there are just as many who feel homelessness is a direct effect of laziness or lack of work. Communities often look at quick concepts to fix the “problem” or want those experiencing homelessness to be out of plain sight. Governments utilize singularly focused models to address the issue. However, the number of those experiencing homelessness continues to increase.
Considering that government money and policies do not seem to make any positive changes, how do we address the homelessness issue in America? Do we continue down the same path and expect a different outcome?
There must be a concerted effort to examine the issue of homelessness from a different viewpoint. It will require a
transformational lens to effect real change. Transforming the lives of the impoverished will take a concerted effort to shift the philosophy on how to serve those experiencing homelessness. The shift begins with understanding the current beliefs on causes and solutions and looking at how a holistic approach can transform the lives of the homeless community. This case study provides positive information through empirical research to show the positive effects of a holistic program approach to serving those experiencing homelessness. Through staff, client, and community input a comprehensive program was developed that has shown positive trends toward client transformation.