A Roof Over Their Heads:

Shelter’s Engage in Innovation to End Homelessness



In midst of the election cycle, we are used to hearing that voting is our most fundamental civic duty. At the same time, it’s important not to lose sight of other equally important civic duties. While some of them – paying taxes or doing jury duty – are mandated, others are considered to be deep obligations that transcend the letter of the law. Volunteerism is one such non-mandatory civic duty that takes a variety of forms – from advocating for a political cause to delivering aid at a local homeless shelter.

At Civic Duty, we promote programs that serve and improve our communities while bringing spotlight on the existing philanthropic services that contribute to the common good and better the lives of people around the world. Today we’d like to highlight the tremendous role played by shelters in combating the widespread problem of homelessness. A recent report issued by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness commends some shelters that not only grant overnight stays to individuals in need of a roof over their heads, but also provide 24/7 services that allow people to store their belongs, access healthcare services, and survey available employment opportunities.

The report also praises shelters for embracing innovation and change. Some organizations, for example, go the extra mile by not only offering a temporary haven for homeless and destitute members of our society, but also placing clients in contact with permanent housing resources. Specifically, they target “long-term stayers” so as to better assist them in permanent housing options. In so doing, dedicated individuals who volunteer at homeless centers no longer merely deliver short-term assistance to the poor, but effectively provide long-term solutions to end homelessness. We can hardly think of a more praiseworthy example of a civic duty in this day and age!

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