According to The National Alliance to End Homelessness, in January of 2015 there were roughly 564,708 people who were homeless on any given night. Of that number 206,286 were people in families. The Federal Government has a stated mission to end homelessness in the United States. In the same year the Federal government spent nearly 2 billion dollars on the issues of homelessness. Despite having thrown all of that money at this problem they have barely made a dent, and hardly come one step closer to a solution. Take in to consideration, these figures are for just one years worth of monies spent. Year after year the Federal government has spent roughly the same amount on the issue of homelessness, for decades, yet we are no closer to seeing an end to homelessness. Should you take a hypothetical situation of each of the families being represented in the number stated above equaled to 3 per family, and the average cost to build a home in the United States is $200,000, the federal government could have spent 1.4 billion dollars in that one year and instantly taken all of those family's off the street and placed them in their own brand new homes, nearly cutting in half the number of people affected by homelessness. In this hypothetical scenario, this supposes that you would be building single family homes for each of theses families. If instead, you were to take the money and build multi family units to accommodate these families you could cut that 1.4 billion dollar figure by nearly a third. In cities all around the country, as unfortunate as it is, there are derelict, abandoned single and multi family homes, tenement building and former industrial mill buildings that could be rehabbed and turned into affordable or even free housing for the homeless. This is tragically convenient, in that the greater concentration of people most likely to be affected by homelessness and in the most need of a program like this, are generally in these same sorts of areas. While it can be argued that these projects are often cost prohibitive, the bulk of the costs would come through the labor required to embark on the rehabs. If a program were implemented, similar to Habitat for Humanity, the labor costs could be significantly be reduced by requiring those who would occupy these new housing units to volunteer sweat equity hours into the projects of building their own living quarters, as well as those of their neighbors. One of the many upsides of requiring those taking advantage of this program would be the measure of pride that they would likely get from being connected to building their own home, it would be more likely they would be invested in maintaining the properties to keep them in livable condition. In addition, these people would be learning valuable skills that could aid them in finding gainful employment. Not all of the "sweat equity" hours would necessarily have to be in providing manual labor. There is a huge range of services that would be necessary throughout these projects. Some of those involved could be utilized in child care services to allow for others to work without worry of what they will do with their children while they are working. There would also be a need for food services to organize feeding all of the people associated with the project. The clerical need to accomplish the logistics of ordering and accepting deliveries of materials and other supplies necessary to bring a project to completion. All of the newly learned skills could be adapted to real world employment. For those who would balk at "giving" these people their homes for free, associated with these projects there could be established extremely lenient, interest free term loans payed back over a determined period of time. These payments would likely be less than rent would in any given area of the country, with the added benefit of having ownership of their own unit at the end of the term of the loan, which would be similar to owning a condo. To afford for future maintenance of larger properties there could also be an a small monthly association fee to pay for large scale repairs like roofs, repaving of parking areas and upkeep of commons areas. The money collect through repayment of the loans could provide for funding for future projects of the same type. For many people who classify as homeless, their biggest obstacle for gaining employment is that fact that they are homeless. In the end people who take advantage of this program would receive the additional benefit of having that obstacle removed. If this program were adopted, in the course of 3 to 4 years our nations problem of homelessness could be nearly eradicated. The people involved in the program would benefit in many ways and the drain on resources for providing for those who find themselves in this predicament could be better served elsewhere. The costs for areas of the project requiring professional supervision could be offset by offering tax incentives for professionals who volunteer their time to provide their services as well as the valuable training opportunities they could offer. It would also offer these professional a valuable resource of man power. If you were to ask any number of trades people who are in business for themselves, one of their biggest obstacles for taking on bigger projects is the lack of qualified people to draw on for employment. Through their time training people in their craft they will be able to identify people who they think might be worth further training and consider hiring on a permanent basis. Similarly the costs could be further reduced, by likewise offering tax incentives to manufacturers and building supply distributors, for offering free or reduced cost building materials. While this program might be aimed at reducing the number of homeless people in the United States, it could very easily, like Habitat for Humanity, be adapted and left open to people of lower incomes who would also like to improve their situations by embarking on the adventure of home ownership. An additional added benefit to providing homes and taking homeless folks off of the street would b e for blighted areas of cities to be cleaned up. The bonus of an increase in public safety and community awareness would be immeasurable. Cleaning up neighborhoods and rehabbing derelict properties would also help in raising property values in cities across America increasing potential tax revenues for the municipalities where these programs are adopted.