July 2014 Archive

30/07/2014 - #NAEH14 Begins

More than 1,200 policymakers, practitioners and providers have descended on Washington, DC, for the annual National Conference on Ending Homelessness, hosted by the National Alliance to End Homelessness.We were able to capture some of the most impactful moments of yesterday's pre-conference meetings and today's sessions through the tweets of USICH staff, presenters and audience members. Dive in and join the #NAEH14 conversation. 

For more information about how you can connect with USICH at the conference, click here.

28/07/2014 - USICH Connects with Public Housing Leaders at NAHRO

by Mary Owens, USICH Program Assistant

On July 19, 2014, USICH Executive Director Laura Zeilinger joined NAHRO President Preston Prince in an open discussion with housing officials from across the country at the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) Summer Conference in Tampa, FL. NAHRO is a professional membership organization comprised of housing officials who administer affordable housing and community development programs at the local level. The Summer Conference provided more than 450 practitioners across the country an opportunity to learn how public, private, and nonprofit groups are overcoming challenges to create affordable housing and build stronger communities.   

25/07/2014 - Connect with USICH at the NAEH Conference

Next week, the National Alliance to End Homelessness will host its annual conference in Washington, DC, convening policymakers and practitioners who are working across the country to prevent and end homelessness. The three day event will offer more than 100 workshops and sessions and will feature plenary remarks from First Lady Michelle Obama, in-coming HUD Secretary Julián Castro, Senator Cory Booker, and USICH Executive Director Laura Zeilinger. USICH and federal partners are looking forward to participating in conversations with stakeholders in preconference and workshop sessions throughout the week. We hope that this guide to our participation will help our partners connect with the USICH team at the conference. We’re looking forward to seeing you.

24/07/2014 - The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Is Law

by Eric Grumdahl, USICH Policy Director

For many people confronting homelessness, employment can mean the difference between housing and homelessness. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), signed into law by President Barack Obama on Tuesday, fosters local innovation and focus on providing employment supports for people experiencing homelessness, by clarifying that the central purpose of the workforce system is to support people with significant barriers to employment. In doing so, WIOA and the President’s job-skills agenda will accelerate progress on ending homelessness. 

21/07/2014 - Schools Are a Critical Part of Solutions to End Youth Homelessness

by Danielle Ferrier and Beatriz McConnie Zapater

There are nearly 6,000 unaccompanied youth in Massachusetts. Experiencing homelessness often prevents motivated, hard-working youth from graduating high school and achieving success. A Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders article shows that without intervention, only about 27 percent of them will graduate high school. Opening Doors, the federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness, sets a goal of ending youth homelessness by 2020 by ensuring communities can connect youth with stable housing, permanent connections, education, and employment all while improving youths’ social and emotional well-being.

17/07/2014 - Register for This July 22 Webinar: Core Principles of Housing First and Rapid Re-Housing Webinar

Join Ann Oliva, the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Richard Cho, the Senior Policy Director with the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) for this informative webinar on Housing First and Rapid Re-Housing. 

Register here:

16/07/2014 - First Lady, USICH #Unite4Vets

First Lady Michelle Obama, USICH Executive Director Laura Zeilinger, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti today helped kick off the Unite for Veterans Summit in Los Angeles. Organized by United Way of Greater Los Angeles, the gathering brought together key business and civic leaders, government agencies and community stakeholders to highlight best practices in housing, employment and other services for Veterans. United Way officials announced that through recent public-private partnerships, 9,000 Veterans experiencing homelessness in LA have been connected with housing. Mayor Garcetti announced that he and the City of Los Angeles were joining the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness in 2015.

Take a look at the summit through the lens of social media. We feature here video and highlights from the event as tweeted by @USICHgov and our friends and followers.

10/07/2014 - New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu Announces Ambitious Plan to End Veteran Homelessness

by Jamie Keene, USICH Communications Intern

Once the city with the highest rate of homelessness in the country, today New Orleans has reduced homelessness to levels that are lower than before the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. By overcoming incredible challenges, New Orleans has shown that ending chronic and Veteran homelessness is possible in every American city. 

09/07/2014 - Supportive Services for Veteran Families: A Powerful Tool to Keep Veterans and Their Families Home

by Peter Nicewicz, USICH Management and Policy Analyst

Based on previous analysis, we already knew that the VA's Supportive Services for Veteran Families program is not only effective, but it is cost-effective as well.  It now costs only about $2,400 to serve each Veteran household through the program, a 12 percent decrease since its first year of operations. 

So what makes SSVF such an effective program in ending and preventing homelessness for Veteran households? There are several key ingredients.

07/07/2014 - We Must Increase the Role We Play in Ending Homelessness

by Preston Prince, CME, President of National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials

It is not enough for us to do the vitally important daily work that we do at our organizations to combat homelessness. We must also debunk the stereotypes that have sprung up about it. A fallacy that I have heard many times throughout my career is that “people choose to be homeless.” I vehemently dis­agree. People do not want to be homeless. Period. 

01/07/2014 - Successful Partnerships through Aligned Missions and Empathetic Relationships

Like most partnerships, one of the most critical ingredients is empathy. We have to be able to understand one another's incentives and find the common ground that aligns our work together. We shouldn’t just invite our partners to our meetings. (Who has time to attend someone else’s meetings?) We need to make “my” meetings “our” meetings. To do so, we have to work to understand what is important to our partners and create a space for honest dialogue and mutual understanding about where our efforts should support one another. We have to show that this is not only a good use of their time, but that we are focused on helping our partners succeed at their mission. And that, of course, is how together we succeed at our mission.