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At an individual level, the turmoil that comes from not having a safe place that is home is a crisis. It is a crisis that without adequate resolution gets worse. Although there are programs that provide housing and services for people, we will never have an adequate response that is at the pace and scale needed as long as it depends on people in crisis being required to navigate multiple programs in an attempt to get their needs met. Responding in a person-centered way to homelessness requires that programs are operating as a system. Making this shift is not simple, but it is being done in more and more communities throughout the country, and a systems approach is essential to achieving an end to homelessness.
Seattle-based nonprofit housing provider DESC will create new units of permanent supportive housing in the Interbay neighborhood downtown. The units will serve 97 people who are experiencing homelessness and live with health issues.
Without housing options, people often are forced to rely on culverts, public parks, streets, and abandoned buildings as places to sleep and carry out daily activities that most reserve for the privacy of their own home. As communities recognize and struggle with the fact that people without homes often live in public spaces, multiple strategies arise. Unfortunately, many of these strategies include policies that criminalize homelessness. In a new report, In the Public Eye, author Lucy Adams, of Australia’s Justice Connect and guest blogger at USICH elevates the conversation.
by Jamie Keene, USICH Communications Intern
From July 29 – 31, USICH staff members participated in the National Conference on Ending Homelessness, hosted by the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH). The conference was a great opportunity to connect with and learn from our partners and share best practices through panels, workshops, and convenings. USICH was pleased to have participated in numerous events as well as to listen and learn from so many others—from pre-conference sessions, to workshops, to keynote addresses.
Read on to view and download our presentations from the conference.
Highlighting that ending homelessness among Veterans can be a critical "proof point" to show that we can end homelessness for everyone, on Thursday First Lady Michelle Obama charged advocates, service providers, and policy makers to "redouble our efforts" and "embrace the most effective strategies to end homelessness" at NAEH's National Conference on Ending Homelessness. Hours before the annual convening drew to a close, the First Lady told the standing-room only crowd that their work inspired her and proved that an end to all homelessness is possible.
More than 1,200 policymakers, practitioners and providers have descended on Washington, DC, for the annual National Conference on Ending Homelessness, hosted by the National Alliance to End Homelessness.We were able to capture some of the most impactful moments of yesterday's pre-conference meetings and today's sessions through the tweets of USICH staff, presenters and audience members. Dive in and join the #NAEH14 conversation.
For more information about how you can connect with USICH at the conference, click here.
by Mary Owens, USICH Program Assistant
On July 19, 2014, USICH Executive Director Laura Zeilinger joined NAHRO President Preston Prince in an open discussion with housing officials from across the country at the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) Summer Conference in Tampa, FL. NAHRO is a professional membership organization comprised of housing officials who administer affordable housing and community development programs at the local level. The Summer Conference provided more than 450 practitioners across the country an opportunity to learn how public, private, and nonprofit groups are overcoming challenges to create affordable housing and build stronger communities.
Next week, the National Alliance to End Homelessness will host its annual conference in Washington, DC, convening policymakers and practitioners who are working across the country to prevent and end homelessness. The three day event will offer more than 100 workshops and sessions and will feature plenary remarks from First Lady Michelle Obama, in-coming HUD Secretary Julián Castro, Senator Cory Booker, and USICH Executive Director Laura Zeilinger. USICH and federal partners are looking forward to participating in conversations with stakeholders in preconference and workshop sessions throughout the week. We hope that this guide to our participation will help our partners connect with the USICH team at the conference. We’re looking forward to seeing you.
by Eric Grumdahl, USICH Policy Director
For many people confronting homelessness, employment can mean the difference between housing and homelessness. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), signed into law by President Barack Obama on Tuesday, fosters local innovation and focus on providing employment supports for people experiencing homelessness, by clarifying that the central purpose of the workforce system is to support people with significant barriers to employment. In doing so, WIOA and the President’s job-skills agenda will accelerate progress on ending homelessness.
by Danielle Ferrier and Beatriz McConnie Zapater
There are nearly 6,000 unaccompanied youth in Massachusetts. Experiencing homelessness often prevents motivated, hard-working youth from graduating high school and achieving success. A Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders article shows that without intervention, only about 27 percent of them will graduate high school. Opening Doors, the federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness, sets a goal of ending youth homelessness by 2020 by ensuring communities can connect youth with stable housing, permanent connections, education, and employment all while improving youths’ social and emotional well-being.