On August 23, Mayor Emanuel, along with representatives from the City, the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness, New Moms Inc., Catholic Charities, and other keystakeholders,unveiled Chicago’s new Plan 2.0: A Home for Everyone. Plan 2.0 is based on the vision that ending homelessness is possible and in Chicago, everyone should have a home.
Building on the progress made under Chicago’s original Plan to End Homelessness, Getting Housed, Staying Housed, Plan 2.0 focuses on seven strategic priorities: the crisis response system, access to stable and affordable housing, youth homelessness, employment, advocacy and civic engagement, cross-systems integration, and capacity building.
Chicago’s Plan 2.0 leverages the framework of Opening Doors and addresses many of the actions USICH outlines as essential to preventing and ending homelessness across America. Here are three ways Chicago's plan reinforces the work of Opening Doors:
- Answering Opening Doors’ call to Partner Collaboratively. Plan 2.0 creates an infrastructure to establish a Chicago Interagency Council on Homelessness by 2013. Interagency Councils have an important role to play to ensure effective solutions are shared and that communities can build on the knowledge base already developed. As Chicago implements Plan 2.0 it is essential to keep the lines of communication open among government, non-profit, philanthropic and faith-based organizations, and businesses in order to increase civic engagement and so that other communities can benefit from lessons learned in Chicago.
- Plan 2.0 is an example of using data to Set Targets and Measure Results. Chicago will use data from the Annual Homeless Assessment Report, Chicago’s Annual Action Plan, Housing Inventory Chart, Homeless Management Information System, and Point in Time Count to project the number of units and type of housing needed to achieve goals. This strategic use of data allows Chicago to develop sound policies to address the needs of people who are experiencing or at-risk of homelessness by estimating the number of households that will require housing assistance and options they will need in order to remain stably housed. Committing to incremental targets, measuring progress toward goals, and implementing strategies that enable the community to achieve these goals are keys to a successful plan. As has often been said, "What gets measured gets done."
- Chicago is Acting Strategically. Plan 2.0’s first strategic priority is to transform homeless services to rapid response systems that will prevent homelessness wherever possible and rapidly return people who experience homelessness to stable housing. Plan 2.0 includes strategies for Veterans, those experiencing chronic homelessness, families, and, in particular, youth. The youth priority complements the Federal Youth Framework, which focuses on improving data to improve knowledge about this population, and leveraging resources to develop a comprehensive range of services to prevent and end youth homelessness. Plan 2.0 will leverage effective, evidence-based practices, including adopting a Housing First model, investing in employment opportunities, improving institutional knowledge about people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, and adopting best practices.
Congratulations to Chicago and all of the stakeholders who provided their expertise in the creation of Plan 2.0: A Home for Everyone. Plan 2.0 acts strategically, uses data to inform strategies, and commits to collaboration through strong interagency partnerships to achieve the shared goal of ending homelessness in Chicago.
Want more information on these actions for your community? Contact your USICH Regional Coordinator.