Michele Steeb is the author of “Answers Behind The RED DOOR: Battling the Homeless Epidemic,” a story of her 13 years of experience of serving homeless women and children who actively addressed the root causes of their homelessness.
She is a former Vice President of the California Chamber of Commerce, a former board member of the California Prison Industry Authority (appointed by Governor Brown), a former Senior Fellow of the Texas Public Policy Foundation and is a Visiting Fellow of the Independent Women’s Forum.
She has received numerous awards and honors for her work in helping the homeless realize their full potential. Her written work has been published in the Washington Post, USA Today, Newsweek, New York Post, Fox News and other notable publications.
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Today is our first in an upcoming series of interviews with the ladies of the Independent Women’s Forum. On July 1, 2023 Cheryl was inducted as a Visiting Fellow at the IWF, and we want to use this Series to introduce you all to the important and varied work that the IWF does.
Our guest today is Michele Steeb. Michele is the author of “Answers Behind The RED DOOR: Battling the Homeless Epidemic”
In 2006, Michele joined a struggling shelter for homeless women and children and transformed it into one of the nation’s beacons of success by actively addressing and overcoming the root causes of their homelessness.
Her written work has been published in the Washington Post, USA Today, Newsweek, and the New York Post. And now Michele is an Independent Women’s Forum Visiting Fellow.
1) Talk to us about how tackling the Homelessness issue became a passion for you?
2) You wrote a book on homelessness, called Answers Behind the Red Door: Battling the Homeless Epidemic. What is the meaning behind the title, and what led you to write it?
3) Your book talks a lot about the underlying issues of homelessness. What does this mean? What are they?
-The nexus between our issues is freedom and what happens to people when we restrict it. Homelessness policy under a sweeping change instituted by the Obama Administration straightjackets the homeless in dependency. The org Michele built and her life’s work since is about creating policy that liberates the homeless to become all they are designed to be.
4) In the last decade, homelessness has become a major issue for our country. Do you agree, and if so, why?
5) Why has California been particularly hard hit?
6) Portland and Seattle, in addition to San Francisco and Los Angeles, also seem to be overwhelmed by these issues. Why?
7) I have seen mixed reports on homelessness among families. HUD often reports that it is going down, but I see other articles referencing a stark rise in family homelessness. Why?
8) What do you hope to accomplish during your Visiting Fellowship with IWF?