The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) held its quarterly council meeting—the first with newly-appointed Executive Director Jeff Olivet—on Thursday to discuss the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, strategies developed by the first-ever Interagency Homelessness Prevention Working Group, and the 2021 Point-in-Time count.
The meeting was led by Council Chair and HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge and by Council Vice Chair and VA Secretary Denis McDonough. It was attended by representatives of 19 federal agencies, including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. White House officials Gene Sperling, a senior adviser to President Biden, and Carmel Martin, deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council for Economic Mobility, also attended.
Since the last council meeting, in October, USICH concluded the initial round of public feedback on the federal strategic plan. It elicited more than 1,500 online comments—500 from people who have experienced homelessness—and input from hundreds of groups and individuals in close to 100 listening sessions with wide-ranging stakeholders representing all 50 states.
After extensive analysis of the public feedback, USICH developed a framework for the federal strategic plan and presented it to the council on Thursday. USICH will now work with the council agencies to incorporate the strategies developed by the 14-agency Homelessness Prevention Working Group and to finalize the plan, which will be released to the public later this year.
The council also discussed the soon-to-be released findings of the January 2021 Point-in-Time (PIT) count, which aims to collect a one-night snapshot of homelessness in America. The findings will be published this month as part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress.
The next council meeting will take place in May or June.