08/24/2012 - What We’re Talking About: The Week at USICH - August 20-24

Chicago's Plan 2.0: A Home for Everyone Released 

Yesterday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel along with representatives from the City, the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness, New Moms Inc., Catholic Charities and other agencies unveiled Chicago's new Plan 2.0: A Home for Everyone. This new plan is based on the vision that that ending homelessness is possible and that, in Chicago, everyone should have a home. The plan leverages the framework of Opening Doors while focusing 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. Notably, this plan will invest $2.5 million in new youth-specific initiatives that complement the new federal youth framework and focuses on retooling the city's crisis response system. For more on the Plan and its development, check out the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness' website

Read the press release from the Mayor's Office

Read Plan 2.0

Partners in Phoenix, Arizona Pursuing Change

USICH Regional Coordinator Matthew Doherty returned last night from a 3-day visit to Phoenix, Arizona, having met with public and private sector partners focused on ending homelessness in Phoenix, in Maricopa County, and across the state. During his stay the Arizona Republic ran this article, spurred by the death of Rodney Claw, a 40 year old man experiencing homelessness in the hot desert summer. The article is both a brutal reminder of the critical importance of ending homelessness, but also a profile of a community actively pursuing change. Such reminders help explain the needed sense of urgency that local leaders and organizations are bringing to their efforts to transform systems of care to create lasting solutions: organizations such as Valley of the Sun United Way’s Ending Homelessness Advisory Council, the Arizona Commission on Homelessness and Housing, the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness, the Continuum of Care Regional Committee on Homelessness, and local housing and service organizations.

For more examples of local United Way’s collaborative leadership toward ending homelessness, see USICH’s Toolkit for United Ways

Announcements from DOL and VA

Two announcements came out this week concerning programs that serve our nation’s Veterans: one from the Department of Labor and the other from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Department of Labor announced the grant award recipients in the Veterans Workforce Employment Program, which awarded $11.53 million to fund training programs for Veterans in fields such as computer services, construction, hospitality management, and more. Eleven organizations in ten states will implement this program. You can learn more about this program and the grant recipients from DOL’s website

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced this week a call for letters of intent for organizations planning to apply for initial or renewal funding in the Supportive Services for Veterans Families program. Organizations are encouraged to submit a non-binding letter of intent to apply for either initial or renewal funding for supportive services grants by 4 pm on September 28, 2012. The FY 2013 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) will be published after the beginning of the fiscal year and will include information about the SSVF program, application procedures, and the amount of funding available. You may download a copy of the Letter of Intent format and learn more about this program from the SSVF program page.  

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