Written by Scott Sowle Oct. 12, 2005

Homeless people throughout the nation are still frustrated about how Katrina evacuees were able to get services. Yet they still wait for services to help them put their lives back together.

After Katrina some cities provided a one-stop-shop for services to the evacuees. Many service providers hope that this type of service can be made available to the traditionally homeless. Philip Mangano, Executive Director of the US Interagency Council on Homelessness, once stated "We can reach into a disaster (Hurricane Katrina) and bring out something that is redemptive in the lives of those who have been chronically homeless." In cities across the nation evacuees were moved into permanent housing in less than two weeks.

Will service providers use the models of one stop services implemented after Katrina? On Dec. 8, public and private agencies will make all services available to the homeless accessible at one location in nearly 20 cities throughout the nation.

Many organizations were hoping that the flood of donations and volunteers would carry over from Katrina but are finding that the opposite is happening. With the holidays fast approaching most organizations are reporting lower response in donations than the norm for this time of year.

There will be over 3 million people homeless in the United States this year and 40% of these will be families. Many cities are struggling to provide affordable housing to enable families a place to call home. The recent call for budget cuts because of Katrina may be detrimental to programs that help to build affordable housing.

Again Mangano insists that the government will be adding $174 million to the budget to end chronic homelessness. He stated "We are beginning to constellate the political will. It's not happened at the speed with which Katrina happened. But, we're learning."

(c) SL Streets 2005