Family Homeless Nonprofit Forced to Choose Between Government Funding and Drug-Free Policy

Kelsey Harkness /

VISTA, CALIF.—Growing up, Teena Faison never imagined she’d find herself a single mom and homeless.

“We didn’t wake up one day and go, ‘Hey, I just want to be homeless with my kids,’” she told The Daily Signal “No. There’s many, many contributing factors to that—lack of education, lack of resources, addiction.”

At 34 years old, Faison decided to change her ways and go to Solutions for Change, a nonprofit for homeless families in Vista, California, 45 minutes outside San Diego.

Instead of simply providing a place to sleep, Solutions for Change takes a holistic approach to solving homelessness. It requires residents to go through counseling, take courses in financial literacy, parenting, leadership, and anger management, and eventually, get a job.

Over the past 17 years, Solutions for Change has gotten 1,200 families off government assistance and back on their feet. But because it requires residents to adhere to certain accountability standards such as staying sober, Solutions for Change is ineligible to receive federal government program funding. As a result, they have foregone $600,000.

Watch the video to learn more about Solutions for Change and why it chose to keep the drug-free policy instead of accepting taxpayer dollars.

 The headline of this piece was changed to clarify Solutions for Change’s funding.