Finding a way home: An evening of Housing Instability Education and Advocacy
Although Housing instability can not be said to have standard definition, it encompasses a number of challenges, such as having trouble paying rent, overcrowding, moving frequently, staying with relatives, or spending the bulk of household income on housing. Housing instability itself — which includes falling behind on rent, moving frequently, or experiencing a period of homelessness — is associated with enormous health consequences: poorer self-reported health and more frequent hospitalizations for both parents and children. Housing stability in the U.S. is threatened by rising rents, inadequate housing stock, and poor access to legal resources to fight evictions. (The NYC Right to Counsel Coalition estimates that half of evictions wouldn’t have occurred if residents had had an attorney).
The health problems associated with housing are very well documented, and they are also often very expensive. Health care delivery systems, eager to save money by decreasing hospitalizations and decreasing emergency room utilization, are keenly aware of potential solutions. In Oregon, Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont, state Medicaid programs have sought waivers allowing them to spend Medicaid funds on more broadly defined social services, including providing permanent shelter for patients experiencing homelessness.
Following a public conversation with the founders of Eviction Crossfit, located in Easthampton, MA, Attack Bear Press co-founder and housing and poverty activist Jason Montgomery has been invited by the founders of Eviction Crossfit to conduct an evening of education and advocacy on the challenges of Housing Instability at their new gym location at 1 Cottage St., Easthampton. A representative from Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity will be onsite to share information on Habitat for Humanity’s mission, and to sign up volunteers for a Habitat for Humanity build.