USICH Blog

03/06/2014 - Opening Doors is Working

By Shaun Donovan, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

As Chair of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, I'm pleased to announce that President Obama's Fiscal Year 2015 Budget clearly demonstrates the commitment of this Administration to achieve the goals of Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. In a time of difficult budget choices, this Administration continues to make smart investments in proven solutions. Opening Doors is working, and this budget provides historic new investments in programs that prevent and end homelessness. Overall, the President's Budget requests $5.69 billion in homelessness programs across all Federal agencies, an increase of 12 percent over FY 2014 enacted levels. 

Since the launch of Opening Doors in 2010, with President Obama's leadership and strong partnerships with States and communities, we've reduced family homelessness by eight percent, chronic homelessness by 16 percent, and homelessness among Veterans by an amazing 24 percent. Still, there is much work to be done. The historic new investments proposed in President Obama's FY 2015 budget would create an even greater opportunity to act together with urgency and focus on what works. 

In this budget, the President continues his unwavering commitment to our nation's Veterans. With additional investments in the HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program, we could ensure that 10,000 Veterans with disabilities will move from homelessness to stable housing. By increasing the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program to $500 million we will make certain that the families who have sacrificed so much for this country will have a safe and stable place to call home. The decreases we have seen in Veteran homelessness are evidence that when Congress works together in a bipartisan manner to fully fund programs that work, we see significant results. If this bipartisanship continues, we will end Veteran homelessness as we know it.

The President's FY 2015 Budget request includes more than $2.4 billion for HUD Homeless Assistance Grants, $301 million more than in the FY 2014 budget, which will serve a record number of individuals, youth, and families experiencing or at-risk of homelessness through a wide variety of proven solutions like rapid re-housing, permanent supportive housing, and Housing First. We have an incredible opportunity to help vulnerable individuals with disabilities no longer experience chronic homelessness, as well as to continue on our path of ending family and youth homelessness by 2020.

With Opening Doors, we have made solving homelessness the responsibility of the entire Federal government in partnership with state and local community providers. Together, we are changing the trajectory of homelessness and making a real difference in people's lives. Thank you for your partnership. We hope you will join us in the responsibility of putting these historic new investments to work in your community and achieve the goals of Opening Doors.

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