“Homelessness is a cycle. They from tent to shelter to apartment to eviction to tent. The people you see on the street have been housed and they have been evicted, and the cycle continues,” Jody Washington said during public comment at the March 13 Lansing City Council meeting.
According to The National Low Income Housing Coalition, the estimated available rental units are projected to decline to be nearly 205,000 in Michigan. Thus, resulting in housing for low-income families and individuals is in short supply.
Salaries are not keeping pace with the rising interest rates and inflation that affect the housing market, making it nearly impossible to attain stable housing for low-income individuals. Consequently, leading to homelessness in the Lansing city area to rise.
“The right of every Lansing citizen is a safe and affordable place to live,” Mitch Rites said at the Lansing City Council meeting on March 13.
“There are so many people with so many great ideas that aim to help these people move their way into independent living and not just handcuff them into these prisons of poverty that we continue to build, but to actually help them become sustaining citizens,” Washington said.
This past winter, Mayor Andy Schor announced that the City of Lansing’s Human Services grant applications opened. The grants are a resource intended to provide services for basic needs such as health & mental health, life skills, and employability development.
According to the Lansing City Rescue, homelessness in the city raised 70 percent within the last year. Thus, causing shelters to hit capacity, forcing an increasing amount of people to live on the streets.
Homeless shelters hit record capacity and were forced to turn dozens of people away daily in winter 2022 which was dangerous and threatened the lives of many people.
The Lansing City Council has additionally attempted a solution by appointing Jeffery Brown as chairman of the Committee of Homelessness.
“We aim to bring the city together and provide response and service to those who are in and out of homelessness and provide relief,” said Brown.