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Building strong communities has long been the joint effort of public and private agencies. Five economic risk factors are linked to high rates of homelessness in communities. With the recent housing crisis, families must often fight all five factors: unemployment, foreclosure, high housing cost burden, lack of insurance, and doubling up 1.

For decades, community-based organizations (CBOs) and non-profit agencies have played a critical role in helping people in need 2. People in need reach out to others in their community, their neighbors, schools, and faith centers. In San Diego, hundreds of people reach out every day.  And their communities respond with the temporary help needed to regain stability.

The success of non-profits in working with volunteers and neighbors-helping-neighbors to assure that basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter are attainable for everyone, combined with current constraints in government resources, suggests that CBOs may be even more needed in the future. But, continued effort on everyone’s part is essential if we are to keep families and the community tapestry strong.

1NAEH. State of Homelessness in America. Executive Summary, p.3.

2Lipsky, Michael,(MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology)  and Smith, Steven Rathgeb( Duke University). Political Science Quarterly V. 104: 4. p. 625

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