NLIHC and the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) released new materials to respond to several misleading statements made by Robert Marbut, President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.
Dr. Marbut has ignored decades of learning, research, and bipartisan agreement by rejecting “Housing First,” a proven model for addressing homelessness that prioritizes access to permanent, stable housing with supportive services, if needed. Housing First recognizes that stable housing is a prerequisite for effective psychiatric and substance-abuse treatment and for improving quality of life. Once stably housed, individuals are better able to take advantage of wrap-around services to help support housing stability, employment, and recovery. Without stable housing, attaining these personal goals becomes much more difficult.
Dr. Marbut ignores the structural issues that lead to homelessness, choosing instead to blame it on homeless people and homeless programs. Dr. Marbut advocates for punitive, mandatory behavioral requirements that are at odds with well-established best practices. He says he does not support the criminalization of homelessness, but his approach uses the threat of jail – by outlawing life-sustaining activities such as “street feeding” programs run by churches, sleeping in public, and panhandling – to force people into large shelters without a path back to housing. Dr. Marbut claims his methods are successful, but he provides little - and misleading -evidence to back up his statements.
In response, NLIHC and NAEH released two factsheets on the research and evidence on the successes of Housing First and on Dr. Marbut’s misleading statements. Additionally, NLIHC released a fact sheet on the causes and solutions to homelessness. Please share widely using the hashtag #HomesEndHomelessness