SAMHSA Webinar on Homelessness Prevention

The longer someone has been homeless, the more difficult—and expensive—it becomes to restore stability. An April 2011 expert panel on homelessness prevention hosted by SAMHSA with USICH participation highlighted pertinent research and specific strategies for preventing homelessness before it becomes a long term crisis for both individuals and public systems. This webinar, conducted on January 24, 2013 included participants from that panel and draw from information gained from that expert panel discussion. USICH created a fact sheet on the guiding principles and strategies gleaned from that panel and can be another resource along with this webinar. 

Homelessness prevention has been the focus of growing interest in the field. Not only is this a compassionate strategy, but it makes better fiscal sense. Once people have become homeless, it quickly becomes more difficult—and more expensive—to return them to sustainable self-sufficiency. Though the evidence base for homelessness prevention is in its early stages, recent efforts with the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP) and a history derived from federal initiatives provide information on lessons learned and suggest strategies that should be examined, studied, evaluated, and implemented.

This 90-minute webinar offered an opportunity for providers and policymakers to hear about innovative homelessness prevention strategies and guiding principles articulated by the experts involved in the expert panel event. The webinar offered lessons learned from a range of federal initiatives, strategies to prevent homelessness, and insights from the field. 

Panelists included: 

  • Jennifer Ho, Deputy Director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), will serve as Moderator.
  • Martha Fleetwood is Founder and Executive Director of HomeBase, an organization that has worked for more than 25 years to help states and communities implement effective systems and programs to prevent and address homelessness and poverty.
  • Marybeth Shinn, Ph.D., a Professor of Human and Organizational Development at Vanderbilt University, has focused much of her work on individuals who face social exclusion due to poverty, homelessness, and/or mental illness. Recent projects have included an examination of the impact of targeted homelessness prevention services in New York City.
  • Jamey Burden, M.S.W., is Director of Housing Programs at Community of Hope in Washington, D.C., where he is responsible for developing and overseeing the agency’s four housing and supportive services programs. 

Access/download the recording of the webinar here

Access the Prevention Panel Fact Sheet here

You may also download the slides from the green box on the right

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