State and Local Government
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness believes partnerships with local communities and states are vital partners in ending homelessness. Through collaboration at all levels of government, the nation can harness public resources and build on the innovations that have been demonstrated in communities nationwide to employ cost effective, comprehensive solutions to homelessness.
Since the release of Opening Doors in June 2010, there has been unprecedented collaboration from federal agencies with one another, and with state and local governments and nonprofits in our efforts to implement the Plan. We need to accelerate our progress to reach the goals in Opening Doors, which is why USICH is encouraging all states and local communities to join us in Opening Doors Across America, a USICH call to action. By taking the steps outlined, your state and community can join this national effort and achieve results, and will be recognized as a champion for leadership in ending homelessness. USICH has developed toolkits and guidance for communities to implement this initiative.
Federal Regional Interagency Councils
The Interagency Council has encouraged the development of Federal Regional Interagency Councils through which key regional representatives of Federal agencies are convened to mirror the work of the federal partners in Washington to increase collaboration and make resources more available and accessible to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
State Interagency Councils on Homelessness
Every State and territory has been encouraged by the Interagency Council to establish by Governor's Executive Order or legislative authority a State Interagency Council on Homelessness with representation at the Cabinet level from the mainstream income support, health care, behavioral health, human services, Veterans, housing, corrections, transportation, education, and labor departments and agencies.
Jurisdictional Community Strategic Plans to End Homelessness
Effective communities are implementing strategic plans to prevent and end homelessness tailored to their local needs. USICH strongly encourages the development and implementation of these plans; and they are a requirement of the HEARTH Act of 2009. Community-wide strategic planning is a pivotal step in ending homelessness and has been shown to demonstrably result in decreases in homelessness when the plans are well-crafted and implemented. For those do not already have a Ten Year Plan, USICH calls on communities to develop a Community Strategic Plan to prevent and end homelessness guided by best practices and aligned with Federal goals. The Council encourages communities to align their plans with Opening Doors, the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness by adopting the four major goals and tailor the plan to your community by adopting the objectives and strategies the plan offers to help you meet your goals.
Field Operations and Support
USICH’s regional coordinators serve as principal representatives and points of contact for USICH in the field. These coordinators play instrumental roles in encouraging State and local coordination through such vehicles as Community Strategic Plans, Regional and State Interagency Councils, and providing technical assistance in these and other areas as required by USICH’s statute. As part of implementing and rolling out Opening Doors, USICH’s regional coordinators are building upon their previous work in communities across the country. The regional coordinators are now engaging local and state officials, as well as other community stakeholders on Opening Doors’ strategies and how their communities can pursue and achieve the four key goals of the Plan.
Below you will find information and resources focused on ways that state and local governments can leverage their resources and expertise to end homelessness:
Life Can be Bitter; Everyone Could Use a Little Sugar… One Man’s Journey from Homelessness to Filmmaker
Ending Family Homelessness: A Message to Continuum of Care & Ten-Year Plan Leaders from Barbara Poppe
Ending Chronic Homelessness: A Message to Continuum of Care & Ten-Year Plan Leaders from Barbara Poppe
What is the Affordable Care Act? On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care...
An overview of Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, background for...
Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness proposes a set of strategies...
Remarks by Eric Grumdahl at a gathering of community stakeholders focused on ending Veteran and...
Presentation - Pre-Conference Session at NAEH 2012 Annual Conference: Maximizing the Opportunity of Interagency Councils on Homelessness
7/16/12 USICH Regional Coordinators presented this session on State Interagency Councils on Homelessness as a preconference...
Solving for Services: New Medicaid Opportunities to Pay for the “Support” in Permanent Supportive Housing
Solving for Services: New Medicaid Opportunities to Pay for the “Support” in Permanent...
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"State and local stakeholders must be active partners with the Federal Government, and their work...
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness believes partnerships with local communities and states are...