What We're Reading: German Artists Are Selling Their Work to Fund Housing for the Homeless

From author Michaela Haas for Reasons to Be Cheerful, "A unique Housing First effort in Düsseldorf combines art, newspapers and advocacy to pair the unhoused with apartments."

"The nonprofit fiftyfifty, which receives no support from the state, derives funding not only from its newspaper — which regularly publishes renowned authors — but also from its aforementioned gallery...Today, Fiftyfifty owns 50 apartments that house 60 people permanently, plus about a dozen more apartments that wealthy locals have loaned at no cost to unhoused people."

"With its artsy touch, fiftyfifty brings a unique twist to the Housing First approach, which posits that people should be housed before they’re expected to tackle their other challenges. The model is still comparatively new in Germany, but has been successful in reducing chronic homelessness in countries such as Finland and Canada."

"Housing First was pioneered in the U.S. and Canada. By giving people permanent housing with a lock and a key — no bunk beds, no cubicles, no theft — social workers help them address other issues, such as debt, addiction or joblessness."

Read the full article here.