On February 1st, the City of Everett held a community forum to follow up the November event featuring Lloyd Pendleton. The forum, which can be viewed here, featured experienced housing practitioners from around the state who operate successful low-barrier housing developments. These developments house homeless individuals with significant barriers to traditional housing options – typically multiple mental health diagnoses, perhaps criminal history, and more. These practitioners identify the individuals with the greatest needs, and place them in stable housing. Individuals are provided with the services they need to move forward in their lives, but compliance is not mandatory. They will not be asked to stop drinking completely, for example, but will be asked to stop drinking just enough to comply with minimal obligations. From that point, the pieces typically start to come together, with better success and less negative community impact than if they were still homeless. The discussion from the event was especially useful for those less familiar with low-barrier housing, as the practitioners discussed a lot of common community concerns with these housing projects and dispelled a number of common misconceptions about the chronic homeless population. Expect much more on these topics over the coming weeks on our blog!