Point In time countDebating Solutions to Homeless Crisis

Lawmakers, government officials, and organizations don’t always agree on solutions to homelessness, which brings to light an important question: Is housing a human right? If so, how do states build low- and moderate-income housing given the high cost of construction and frequent community opposition? And how do states relocate people experiencing homelessness into existing shelter and housing? A panel of experts explored these topics as part of UC Santa Barbara’s 2024 Arthur N. Rupe Great Debate earlier this week.

The Arthur N. Rupe Great Debate Series brings together prominent figures with differing viewpoints to examine hot topics of national and international significance. Andy Bales, the recent president and CEO of Union Rescue Mission (Los Angeles, California) joined David Garcia, the policy director for the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley, Rasheedah Phillips, director of housing at PolicyLink, and Eric Tars, senior policy director at the National Homelessness Law Center. Radio talk show host Larry Mantle (AirTalk with Larry Mantle) moderated the debate and in an interview before the event said, “My hope for the … Rupe Debate is that our audience comes away with a better understanding of the complex causes of homelessness and some optimism about ways of increasing shelter beds, permanent housing and supportive services.”

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