America’s Top Homeless Expert Says Fresno Is on Right Track

From GV Wire:

When it comes to homeless people, we all have our stories and our thoughts on what to do.

Our recommendations on how to make things better typically reflect our personal experiences and mindset. Often our proposals do little to reduce homelessness, and sometimes they make things worse.

That is where Barbara Poppe comes in. She is a longtime advocate for the homeless, a consultant and a former executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.

More importantly, she is skilled at empowering communities to tackle their problems through collaboration and measuring the effectiveness of what they are doing.

Poppe is the point person on helping Street 2 Home Fresno County get up and running. Street2Home is the countywide homeless effort announced June 20 by Fresno Mayor Lee Brand and Fresno County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sal Quintero.

It helps that Poppe knows Fresno well from her visits and work here during the Obama administration.

I asked her a few questions recently. Here are Poppe’s answers.

How Would You Rate Fresno’s Homelessness Efforts?

Poppe: There are some really strong points to the work that has been underway. Fresno compares well to other communities on getting people out of homelessness. There are well over 300 communities across the country that have a continuum of care in place and Fresno’s was (ranked) 40th overall. But Fresno definitely has a high rate of unsheltered homelessness. It’s visible when you visit your community.

Read more here.