Local and Community Strategic Planning

Preventing and ending homelessness is a national goal and requires the support of federal resources and policies, but the work to accomplish this goal takes place on the local level. Each community in America is different and each community strategic plan to end homelessness will reflect this fact. 

Why Create a Community Strategic Plan?

  • A plan focuses attention and resources on the most critical goals, and puts your community in the best possible position to implement strategies that have a demonstrated ability to reduce and end homelessness.
  • A strong plan created by a diverse group of stakeholders creates a single set of community strategies with measureable outcomes and built-in accountability that leads to greater public buy-in and a more effective investment of resources.
  • In many cases, a plan can help redirect current resources to more effective uses, or demonstrate that key investments will pay off in the long run.
  • A successful plan can enhance quality of life for both those experiencing homelessness and those who are housed.

Effective communities are already implementing strategic plans to prevent and end homelessness tailored to their local needs. For those who have established Ten Year Plans, Community Strategic Plans, or Continuum of Care Plans, USICH is encouraging you to both reassess your community’s progress to the goals/objectives outlined in your plan and consider revisiting your plans to align with the subpopulations, goals, and timelines given in Opening Doors and with new opportunities outlined in the HEARTH Act.  For those that do not already have a Ten Year Plan, USICH calls on you to develop a Community Strategic Plan to prevent and end homelessness guided by best practices and aligned with the Opening Doors goals.

Communitywide strategic planning is a pivotal step in ending homelessness and has resulted in demonstrable decreases in homelessness when the plans are well-crafted and implemented. This toolkit is meant to provide your community with the steps and resources it needs to align with Opening Doors while ensuring the unique needs of your community are met.