Development of a State Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness
State Councils are critical in aligning State and Local Plans with the four principal national goals as set forth in Opening Doors:
- Finish the job of ending chronic homelessness by 2015;
- Prevent and end homelessness among Veterans by 2015;
- Prevent and end homelessness for families, youth, and children by 2020;
- Set a path to ending all types of homelessness.
State Councils promote state-wide plans based on a common set of values shared by federal, state, and local plans:
- Homelessness is unacceptable.
- There are no “homeless people,” but rather people who have lost their homes who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
- Homelessness is expensive; it is better to invest in solutions.
- Homelessness is solvable; we have learned a lot about what works.
- Homelessness can be prevented.
- There is strength in collaboration.
Some key actions needed to be undertaken in the planning and implementation of any State Plan to be effective:
- Develop measurable goals to end homelessness
- Set targets and measure results
- Set numeric goals for permanent housing units made available for target homeless populations
- Measure progress using the annual point-in-time data for the four population goals
- Measure housing retention and how well homeless programs help their clients become employed and access mainstream programs
- Create and coordinate statewide data collection and reporting system
- Assemble accurate fiscal and demographic information and research/data to support policy development and track outcome
- Map out a state-wide production plan for permanent, supportive housing
- Coordinate goals and tasks of Balance of State Continuum of Care with local continuums
- Promote systems integration (e.g. health services and housing supports) to increase effectiveness and efficiency
State Interagency Council's Relationship to Local Communities and How the State Plan Connects
A State Plan takes on issues beyond reach of local plans, but they should be connected on the same core values and goals. State Plans should also inform the practices and approaches of local plans. The State Interagency Council, guided by the tenets and tasks of the State Plan, inform local plans by
- Providing tools and resources to local community plans
- Sharing state-wide data captured in HMIS with communties
- Developing state-wide prisoner re-entry policies
- Coordinating state housing resources
- Guiding overall production of permanent, supportive housing
- Guiding local efforts to align with national strategies such as Housing First
- Supporting local plan connection to mainstream resources: Medicaid, TANF, education, employment
- Providing policy guidance to rural and small community plans