For individuals facing homelessness, the summer months bring increased health risks. When temperatures are in the upper 90’s, not only does the risk of heat stroke or hyperthermia come into play, but dehydration is also a concern, as many homeless individuals do not have access to fresh water.
According to the annual U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Point-in-Time Count, which is conducted on a single night each January, the national homeless population stood at 553,742 in 2017. With the cost of housing continuing to rise, it stands to reason the homeless population could grow in the future.
Shelters to Shutters, a nonprofit that connects property management companies with situationally homeless individuals and a CORT partner, encourages more organizations from the private sector to get involved.
“The private sector must engage more,” says Kristen Fagley, director of Marketing & Development at Shelters to Shutters. “Businesses can innovate, are nimble to act and are more efficient. Bringing these capabilities to address homelessness just makes sense.”
The majority of the homeless population is situationally homeless, meaning they are experiencing homelessness due to a life-altering event such as job loss, or a medical or health emergency. These are people who often have consistent work history, have marketable skills, want to work and return to a life of self-sufficiency, but rarely receive the necessary governmental support services, which tend to focus on the chronically homeless.
“By committing to hiring these people and helping them find homes, private businesses can have a huge impact on this segment of the homeless population,” says Fagley.
Founded in 2014 to provide a pathway for those facing homelessness to regain their economic independence, Shelters to Shutters connects participants with property managers to provide employees for the property management companies and housing for participants within the property management company at a dramatically discounted rate.
CORT is proud to support Shelters to Shutters’ mission to alleviate homelessness, and has provided housewares kits to 13 program participants to-date. We encourage other businesses to get involved, especially during these hot summer months.
To learn more about how you can make a material impact on the issue of homelessness in local communities across the country, visit http://shelterstoshutters.org/.