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Joel John Roberts
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Joel John Roberts is the CEO of PATH Partners (an alliance of homeless and housing agencies) and is the author of numerous opinion pieces on homelessness, as well as the book, “How To Increase Homelessness.” He is also the publisher of the national online journal for poverty and homelessness,, and is a writer on homelessness for .

Entries by Joel John Roberts

Where Is The Homeless Capital of America?

(2) Comments | Posted March 2, 2014 | 3:10 PM

For years, officials have dubbed the city of Los Angeles the "homeless capital" of America. They used the total number of homeless for the entire County of Los Angeles, that includes 87 other cities plus the city of LA, as their scorecard.

People in other cities,...

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A Million Reasons Why Los Angeles Could End Homelessness

(5) Comments | Posted February 9, 2014 | 1:36 PM

We are the land where it never rains. Well, our temperate weather is pleasantly sunny most of the time, not some drought-stricken desolate desert.

We are a land that worships cars. Those ultimate driving machines that give us the ability to cruise our convertibles along our beautiful...

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Giving House Keys to Homeless Is Not The Only Key

(1) Comments | Posted February 1, 2014 | 12:48 PM

We used to think providing a freshly-cooked meal for the hungry and a warm bed for the homeless was the solution to addressing this country's homelessness. That "Good Samaritan" approach to helping those who were down and out was a divine mandate.

But when homelessness increased...

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Top 10 Highlights of 2013 in Ending Homelessness in Los Angeles

(1) Comments | Posted December 29, 2013 | 3:32 PM

Is La-La Land becoming more of a City of Angels?

For decades, Los Angeles has been referred as the "homeless capital of America", given its large homeless population. When the latest Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) report showed that the nation's homeless...

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Do We Help the Homeless Whether They Are Naughty or Nice?

(1) Comments | Posted December 15, 2013 | 1:00 PM

A few months ago, you lost your job at a local business because it was downsizing. Like half of Americans, you only had enough savings to cover your expenses for the past three months. You spend a couple of weeks sleeping on the couch at a friend's apartment, until...

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Are Homeless Practitioners (Agencies) the New Future?

(7) Comments | Posted October 27, 2013 | 2:07 PM

For years now, homeless service agencies have been bashed as "old technology," still stuck in 1980s models of helping people who are homeless. We imagine bunk beds in barren warehouses, food lines streaming around the block, and soup kitchens with hungry adults clutching their metal food trays like they...

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A Diet For a Hungry America

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2013 | 3:20 PM

Sometimes when I skip lunch, by the time dinner rolls around I am starving. Correct that. I am not literally dying of hunger, I am just hungry. It is a slip of the tongue for those of us in the First World.

I also confess that I...

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A Homeless Amanda Bynes? You Are Not Alone

(2) Comments | Posted August 4, 2013 | 1:51 PM

Dear Amanda Bynes,

Your parents have officially stated that you are paranoid and homeless. Not exactly a great press release for a 27-year-old actress who has spent half her life in television and on the silver screen.

Is this just another public...

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Don't Call Me Crazy Just Because I am Homeless

(2) Comments | Posted July 9, 2013 | 12:30 PM

So what if the stress of living on the streets is so intense that I'm sometimes incoherent?

So what if the terrible memories of the battlefield make me lash out at the people around me?

So what if I am so confused and disoriented...

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Homelessness Increases in the City of Angels: Is There Hope?

(4) Comments | Posted June 28, 2013 | 3:13 PM

Officials in Los Angeles recently announced the results of the 2013 homeless count for the region, revealing that the number of Angelenos living on the streets has increased dramatically.

Every two years, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) mandates that jurisdictions who receive federal homeless dollars...

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10 Tweets on Ending Homelessness for L.A.'s New Mayor

(16) Comments | Posted May 28, 2013 | 10:23 AM

The youngest mayor in the past 100 years has been elected to lead the second largest city in the country. Some call him the "Boy Mayor of Los Angeles." He is 42 years old, lives in a hip part of town and has served the city as a Councilman...

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Why Sequestration Would Increase Homelessness

(4) Comments | Posted April 8, 2013 | 1:36 PM

For Jason, the hospital emergency room was practically his home. Literally. He lived on the streets for nearly five long years, making frequent visits to the hospital -- dozens and dozens of times -- because of a pestering chronic disease and no healthcare insurance. The nursing staff knew him by...

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Homeless Agencies Should Be Called Home Centers

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2013 | 2:50 PM

I know that suggesting the term "home center" sounds like a Madison Avenue marketing idea hatched by some out-of-touch communications intern. A "home center" reminds me of a big-box retail home store, like Home Depot or Ikea. These retail centers, however, have no association with homelessness other than places where...

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That Cough Could Be Deadly, Especially If You're Homeless

(2) Comments | Posted February 25, 2013 | 4:57 PM

It feels like a plot in a Michael Crichton novel, where a specific deadly strain of tuberculosis concentrated in a small neighborhood of a large metropolis wreaks havoc on thousands of people, especially those poor souls who are homeless.

I wish the scenario was simply fiction created by the mind...

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2012's Top 10 Steps To Ending Homelessness

(7) Comments | Posted December 9, 2012 | 11:39 AM

It is that time of the year, when pundits start writing their top ten lists as if every American really wants to read the top most influential, best-looking, most powerful people list. Does it really have an impact on our personal lives?

With homelessness still rampant across...

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Is the Federal Government Misdirecting Homelessness Funds?

(1) Comments | Posted November 20, 2012 | 10:28 AM

Sometimes creating solutions to difficult problems just need a bit of common sense.

If your credit card debt significantly increases each month, design a personal monthly budget where you spend only the amount of money you earn. If you are trying to lose weight, create a diet where you...

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When Celebrities Collide With Homeless

(2) Comments | Posted November 7, 2012 | 1:27 PM

When extremely wealthy celebrities encounter impoverished people who are homeless, sometimes the collision sparks world-wide consequences where a social media frenzy explodes. This is the Hollywood celebrity-version (think of a diplomatic skirmish.

Take Justin Timberlake's wedding with Jessica Biel, for example. The nuptials of...

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Can Homelessness Sway a Presidential Election?

(2) Comments | Posted October 15, 2012 | 9:05 AM

Every four years, some new American demographic group gets their 15 minutes of fame during the Presidential election cycle. Also known as the swing voters, they are the target group for election ads and Presidential rallies. Remember the Reagan Democrats? Soccer Moms? NPR Republicans? These groups supposedly...

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Homeless Celebrities: 'Happy Days' to Homeless Days

(6) Comments | Posted October 3, 2012 | 7:02 PM

Oh no, not another riches to rags story about a million dollar celebrity tossing Benjamins like a Vegas gambler, only to end up sleeping behind a trash bin.

Last year, it was child star Danny Bonaduce, the red-headed kid from the 1970s Partridge Family TV show, who...

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Is Betting on Ending Homelessness a Good Investment?

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2012 | 4:38 PM

Policymakers are changing the business of addressing social problems in America.

America's poverty-reduction efforts used to be an initiative called a "War on Poverty" back in the 1960s, where large government programs, like Jobs Corp and Head Start, were entitlement tools used to battle hunger, unemployment, and homelessness....

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