Many American cities are facing an increasingly dire rise of homelessness. The situation seems intractable but, it many cases, it’s not for a lack of spending. In San Francisco, between government policies and non-profit efforts, we’re currently throwing well over a billion dollars at a problem that only seems to be getting worse. Every city faces different challenges, but you’d think residents of places where homelessness is getting worse would want to take a look at those where it’s getting better. With that in mind, let’s head to Houston for the inside story on a novel idea to reduce homelessness: homes. “During the last decade, Houston, the nation’s fourth most populous city, has moved more than 25,000 homeless people directly into apartments and houses. The overwhelming majority of them have remained housed after two years … Houston has gotten this far by teaming with county agencies and persuading scores of local service providers, corporations and charitable nonprofits — organizations that often bicker and compete with one another — to row in unison. Together, they’ve gone all in on ‘housing first,’ a practice, supported by decades of research, that moves the most vulnerable people straight from the streets into apartments, not into shelters, and without first requiring them to wean themselves off drugs or complete a 12-step program or find God or a job.” NYT (Gift Article): How Houston Moved 25,000 People From the Streets Into Homes of Their Own. This is the literal definition of room for improvement.