If anything, those who have studied the problem agree that they can’t all agree, although many have come to accept the fact that there is no single answer for a huge and complex problem.
Among the many solutions that have been offered, Ralph daCosta Nunez has promoted the concept of the American Family Inn as a way of addressing the problem of homelessness in this country.
In his book The New Poverty, Nunez explains family inns as residential education-based facilities, which he says have helped break the cycle of homelessness as well as the cycle of dependency.
Among the main features of family inns:
- Education. Education programs are designed to meet the individual education needs of each parent. There is a focus on basic education in the context of family issues to improve literacy rates.
- Family preservation. Programs ensuring family unity and protecting children are emphasized. Domestic violence, child abuse and neglect are met head-on.
- Job readiness and training. Job readiness, job training and job placement are paramount for preparing families for the challenges and responsibilities of independence and full-time work.
- Permanent housing. The independent skills of budgeting, health, nutrition and parenting are taught.