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By Cullen Ryan
The state of Maine found that many individuals experiencing chronic homelessness frequented shelters several months at a time, bouncing between providers yet not appearing "chronic" to any one shelter. This resulted in a congested shelter system statewide and increased costs.
In order to more easily identify and target services to people staying the longest in shelters, Maine's Statewide Homeless Council decided to focus on identifying "long term stayers", people staying in shelters or outdoors for over 180 cumulative days within a 365 day period. Cullen Ryan, Executive Director of Community Housing of Maine, discusses how data helped jump start this collaborative effort and the impressive results that have come of it.
By Richard Cho, Deputy Director
For too many people, the experience of homelessness involves police encounters, lockups, courts, or jail and prison cells as much as it does shelter beds. Some people are caught in a revolving door between the streets or shelters and jails, not to mention other institutional settings.
Deputy Director Richard Cho provides details on interagency discussions taking place and strategies being implemented to break this cycle.
By Matthew Doherty, Executive Director
Veterans Day is a time to reflect on the sacrifices our service members have made for us, and what we owe them for that sacrifice. I think I speak for all Americans when I say that one thing we certainly owe them is the opportunity of a place to call home. The Commonwealth of Virginia, and all the other communities that have achieved this amazing milestone, have honored that commitment to Veterans and serve as profound examples to the rest of the country that we can, in fact, end homelessness.
11/16/2015 - Federal Agencies Set a Path to End Homelessness among American Indians and Alaska Natives
By Lindsay Knotts
Earlier this month, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and seven other Federal agencies signed an historic memorandum of understanding to implement strategies that set a path to end homelessness among American Indians and Alaska Natives. The memorandum was the culmination of work undertaken by the Interagency Working Group on Homelessness among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) that was presented to Council during our October meeting. It was informed by conversations with tribal leaders, urban native communities, and experts.
Learn more about the four strategic areas of action identified to set a path to end homelessness among these populations.
11/05/2015 - First Lady Michelle Obama Releases Video Encouraging Landlords to Help End Veteran Homelessness
First Lady Michelle Obama released a video to landlords today encouraging them to help communities across the country end Veteran homelessness.
“You all have the power to open doors for Vets, and give them the stability they deserve, and help our country solve an issue that has been swept under the rug for far too long,” Mrs. Obama says.
The message asks landlords to make units available to Veterans with Federal rental assistance who haven’t yet been able find a home.
11/05/2015 - Council Confronts Racial Disparities in Homelessness, Reducing Criminal Justice System Involvement and Homelessness among Native Americans
By Matthew Doherty, Executive Director
On October 21, our Chair, Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, convened the quarterly meeting of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. At the meeting, Council members confronted important issues related to racial disparities among people experiencing homelessness – issues that we do not talk about nearly enough in this country or even within the homelessness services and housing sectors.
11/04/2015 - Federal Partners Announce Availability of Program Support for State Medicaid-Housing Agency Partnerships
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in partnership with national organizations, are pleased to announce a new opportunity for states needing targeted program support aimed at strengthening state-level collaboration between health and housing agencies to bring to scale permanent supportive housing by coordinating housing resources with Medicaid-covered housing-related services.
The Administration is committed to bringing to scale the cost-effective, evidence-based solution known as permanent supportive housing to end chronic homelessness in 2017, as well as to support the community integration for people with long-term services and supports needs. USICH, HUD, and HHS recognize that access to affordable, stable housing and access to coordinated and comprehensive health care services will improve health outcomes for Medicaid beneficiaries and lower health care and other public services costs for states and communities.
By Richard Cho
As the FY 2016 budget process moves forward, there could be good news for our efforts to end homelessness, and in particular, ending chronic homelessness. Deputy Director Richard Cho walks us through why ending chronic homelessness is not only the most compassionate thing to do, but also the most fiscally responsible thing to do.
10/22/2015 - Engaging Landlords to End Veteran Homelessness: Seattle/King County Shares What They’ve Learned
By Dawn Barrett
Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, with a rental market vacancy rate of just two percent in several cities throughout King County. Like many cities, these market conditions make finding a sufficient supply of affordable rental units, and the landlords willing to rent them, a considerable challenge.
Dawn Barrett, with the King County Regional Veterans Initiative, walks us through how she and her team organized a landlord engagment event, including best practices all communities can use in their efforts to partner with landlords to end homelessness.
By Diane Kean
Domestic violence is one of the leading causes of family homelessness. Individuals and their children are often faced with a heart-wrenching choice – remain in a dangerous situation or leave with no safe place to go.
We are committed to supporting communities at the local and state level in building partnerships that are responsive to the unique needs of victims and work to prevent and end homelessness. In honor of this week's #PurpleThursday, we compiled five resources for action: