Across the country, homelessness continues to be a problem, which is why two local organizations have come together to help find a solution here in West Michigan.

Well House has partnered with Downtown G.R. Inc. to bring the founder of the "Housing First" movement to Grand Rapids.

Sam Tsemberis, PhD, founder of the "Housing First" movement will speak about ending homelessness in Grand Rapids with evidence-based practices on Wednesday, November 16 at 6:00 p.m. at Fountain Street Church. The event is free and open to the public.

As part of a two-day visit to Grand Rapids, Tsemberis will meet with local, state and community leaders to advise them on the successful implementation of the Housing First model through public policy and practice.

The Housing First model is credited with effectively ending homelessness in Salt Lake City, Utah and dramatically reducing the homeless population in other U.S. cities including Denver, Boston, Seattle and New Orleans among many others. In addition to high success rates, cities who adopt the model also find considerable cost savings by reducing medical and criminal justice expenses associated with homelessness. Preliminary research conducted by Well House has found similar favorable results.

Tsemberis' appearance in Grand Rapids was made possible with the generous support of numerous Grand Rapids companies and organizations including Well House, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., Bistro Bella Vita, Lambert, Edwards & Associates, Fountain Street Church and San Chez Bistro.