Last week, it was announced that the homeless population rose 30% in San Francisco since 2017, despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent. Staggering increases like these are totally unacceptable. Unfortunately, this is the current standard throughout the Bay Area: Alameda County in the East Bay witnessed a 43% rise, while Santa Clara in the South Bay – the home of Google, Apple, and many more – saw a 31% increase.
Building more affordable housing throughout the region is critical to combat these trends in the long-term. But in the short-term, we cannot turn a blind eye on our neighbors currently experiencing homelessness. Sadly, this is what most cities are doing, celebrating 5-10 year plans to reduce homelessness and smiling at ribbon-cutting ceremonies, but not allocating more resources for our neighbors who are living and dying on the streets, in their cars and RVs, and at shelters right now.
That's where Miracle Messages comes in. We have now reunited over 230 people experiencing homelessness, with an average time disconnected of 20 years. 15% of our reunions have led to stable housing or living with family again, and around 80% have led to a positive outcome in terms of physical, mental, and/or social health. All this at a fraction of the cost of the $30K to $50K (!) that the average city spends each year on each person experiencing homelessness to maintain them on the streets.
Below are a few of our latest reunions, updates, and events from the last month, en route on our mission to ending relational poverty on the streets and inspiring people everywhere to embrace their homeless neighbors not as problems to be solved, but as people to be loved. If you believe in our humane, effective approach to ending homelessness, please forward this 2nd edition of The Miracle Messenger to your local elected officials, business leaders, homeless service providers, and friends.
Everyone is someone's somebody. Thanks for being someone special to us.
Kevin and Jess