100 less homeless people in Shelby County thanks to new approach

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Sydney Bailey is celebrating life after homelessness.

“I love it y’all! I love it love it y’all!”

Bailey is one of the 100 homeless people who now have a home thanks to the Community Alliance for the Homeless and their partners.

They used to make homeless people go to counseling and sign up for treatment before providing housing, but very few made it, so they made a change.

Katie Kitchin said, “What we find is that they participate in services in a much higher rate once they have their housing addressed.”

Kitchen says over the course of nearly two years, the Community Alliance for the Homeless talked to 800 homeless people in Shelby County. They identified the 100 most at risk of dying on the street, and prioritized them.

“There’s a safety concern and a health concern that affects the entire community.”

County Mayor Mark Luttrell says 100 people may not seem like a lot, but it’s making a difference.

“Any time we can have a victory with removing someone from the homeless condition you’re contributing to overall the communities environment.”

The battle isn’t over once they find them a house. The focus then becomes getting a job and treating the problems that led to homelessness, giving people like Bailey a second shot at victory.

Bailey said, “I’m striving now, more. I’m happier now, I’m cleaner now, I’m just, I’m so happy.”

Click here for more information on Community Alliance for the Homeless.