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.

Learn more about Opening Doors Across America

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The Council has established a broad range of intergovernmental partnerships:

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.

- Fact sheet on how to develop a State Interagency Council

- Toolkit on developing a State Interagency Council

- List of States with Active Interagency Councils

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.

- Toolkit for Action: Local and Community Strategic Planning

- Guidance on developing and implementing strategic plans to prevent and end homelessness

- Communities with a strategic plan

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. 

- Learn which regional coordinator covers your region

Below you will find information and resources focused on ways that state and local governments can leverage their resources and expertise to end homelessness:

Additional Resources

Connect with USICH at the NAEH Conference

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Is Law

Schools Are a Critical Part of Solutions to End Youth Homelessness

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu Announces Ambitious Plan to End Veteran Homelessness

Supportive Services for Veteran Families: A Powerful Tool to Keep Veterans and Their Families Home

Successful Partnerships through Aligned Missions and Empathetic Relationships

Ensuring that Homelessness Never Follows Foster Care

Baltimore Takes Steps Forward to End Youth Homelessness

Communities Come Together to Discuss Coordinated Entry

Your Input Is Essential to the Ongoing Success of Opening Doors

Four Clarifications about Housing First

How to Talk About Housing First

101,628 People Are Now in Safe and Stable Homes!

Houston Drives Down Homelessness 37% through Community Collaboration and Housing First Approach

In One Year, New Orleans Reduced Veteran Homelessness by 43%, Chronic Homelessness by 30%

The Chance to Grow Up to Be Whatever You Want: Expanding Access to Services for Children and Families

Houston and Phoenix are Proving that Ending Homelessness is Possible and Within Reach

Federal Partners Release Final 2014 HMIS Data Standards

The True Cost of Doing Nothing

Opening Doors Works: USICH Releases Annual Update to Congress

Creating Meaningful Alternatives to Criminalization in Our Communities

Criminalizing Homelessness is Costly, Ineffective, and Infringes on Human Rights

3 Reasons to Address Homelessness as a Human Rights Issue

The Power of Constituent Voice: The Rhode Island Homeless Bill of Rights

Starting Is the Starting Point for Coordinated Assessment

A Paradigm Shift: How Fairfax County Made Significant Gains in Ending Family Homelessness

Finding Hope, a Home, and a Future

Proving It’s Possible: How Phoenix Ended Chronic Veteran Homelessness

I Believe in Human Rights: My Personal Commitment to Ending Homelessness

Wichita Police Department: Making a Difference for People Experiencing Homelessness

Houston Partners Dedicated to Ending Chronic Homelessness

Life Can be Bitter; Everyone Could Use a Little Sugar… One Man’s Journey from Homelessness to Filmmaker

Why Permanent Supportive Housing and Managed Care Need Each Other

How Medicaid Expansion Will Benefit People Experiencing Homelessness

How Coordinated Entry is Working on Skid Row

Rapid Re-Housing is Working in DC

In Indian Country, Serving Those Who Have Served

Peer Mentors and Navigators are What We Need

Atlanta Hosts Mobile Fair to Help Veterans Find Housing

Emerging research indicates rapid re-housing sets up for success

How Do We End Youth Homelessness?

Homeless Gay and Transgender Youth Count!

Reducing the Criminalization of Homelessness

Ending Family Homelessness: A Message to Continuum of Care & Ten-Year Plan Leaders from Barbara Poppe

HUD SNAPS Issues New NoFA Communications

Mayor Nutter Addresses Homelessness in Speech to the US Conference of Mayors

Ending Chronic Homelessness: A Message to Continuum of Care & Ten-Year Plan Leaders from Barbara Poppe

In the Fishbowl: Community Strategic Planning Charrette in Indiana

New Mexico: Steps to Make a Plan Come to Life

The Affordable Care Act’s Role in Preventing and Ending Homelessness

What is the Affordable Care Act?  On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care...

Opening Doors Overview

An overview of Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, background for...

Opening Doors: State and Local Government Partners

Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness proposes a set of strategies...

Coordinated Assessment: Putting the Key Pieces in Place

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...

Effective Community-Based Solutions to Encampments

Ending homelessness is about protecting and furthering human rights. Balancing health, safety, and community impact...

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 Governments

"State and local stakeholders must be active partners with the Federal Government, and their work...

State and Local Government

The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness believes partnerships with local communities and states are...

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