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United States Interagency Council on Homelessness Newsletter Archives
  • 2015
  • First Lady Michelle Obama releases Video Encouraging Landlords to Help End Veteran Homelessness  (11/5/2015)
  • Also in this issue:
    Aligning Hearts, Heads, and Budgets to End Chronic Homelessness in 2017;
    Council Confronts Racial Disparities, Including Criminal Justice Involvement and Native American Homelessness; and,
    New Opportunity: Program Support for State Medicaid-Housing Agency Partnerships
  • Where Does Your Community Stand on Ending Veteran Homelessness?  (10/20/2015)
  • Also in this issue:
    Join us for these upcoming webinars;
    Celebrate #PurpleThursday with these Five Resources on Domestic Violence; and
    A Movement is Building to End Youth Homelessness.
  • To End Family Homelessness, We Must Address Domestic Violence  (10/7/2015)
  • Also in this issue:
    Meet our New Regional Coordinator, Joe Savage;
    Highlights of Our Webinar on HUD FY 2015 CoC Program Competition;
    Ending Veteran Homelessness Criteria and Benchmarks; and
    Don't Miss the Nov. 13 Deadline for HUD's Extraordinary Administrative Fees Initiative
  • Special Alert from USICH: Further Guidance on What it Means to End Veteran Homelessness  (10/2/2015)
  • The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Veterans Affairs have adopted a vision of what it means to end all homelessness and specific criteria and benchmarks for ending Veteran homelessness in order to help guide communities as they take action to achieve the goal. Together, these criteria and benchmarks are intended to help to define the vision of ending Veteran homelessness within communities and to help align local efforts in support of that vision, with a focus on long-term, lasting solutions.
  • New Guidance: Ending Youth Homelessness through a Coordinated Community Response  (9/22/2015)
  • Also in this issue: Register for USICH webinar on FY 2015 CoC Competition on September 29; In Ending Homelessness, We Leave No-one Behind - Deputy Director Richard Cho reflects on the national commitment to end chronic homelessness and why that commitment matters; Show Me Collaboration! How Missouri Works Together to End Homelessness
  • Watch Live: Briefing on State of Homelessness in America  (9/10/2015)
  • Also in this issue: Connecting People to Employement, 6 Resources to Know; Strategies to Link People to SSI/SSDI Benefits; Coordinated Services in Philadelphia Help Veterans Get Back on Their Feet.
  • Take Local Action to Break the Cycle of Incarceration and Homelessness Among Veterans  (8/26/2015)
  • Also in this issue: Webinar recording on non-time-limited housing for youth is now available; a look at a project out of San Diego focused on housing for people who are experiencing chronic homelessness and frequent users of public systems and resources; and, read what it's like to be an intern with us, and apply for an intership!
  • Criminalizing Homelessness is not the Solution  (8/11/2015)
  • DOJ releases statement of interest regarding communities making it a crime to sleep in public places and USICH releases framework for developing local action plans to link people living in encampments with permanent supportive housing.
    Also in this newsletter: Linking employment and housing to prevent and end homelessness; 12 ways you can fund rapid re-housing; and July Council meeting update
  • USICH and Federal partners release new guidance on SSI/SSDI benefits for people experiencing homelessness.  (7/14/2015)
  • Also in this newsletter: HUD study shows access to affordable housing can end family homelessness; Medicaid services can support housing stability; and a closer look at Opening Doors: Spotlight on Data
  • USICH Releases Opening Doors, as Amended in 2015  (6/22/2015)
  • On the five year anniversary of the launch of the first comprehensive Federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness, USICH is pleased to release Opening Doors, as amended in 2015. This amended version sustains core elements of the original Plan, reflects what we have learned since 2010 when Opening Doors was first launched, and includes new strategies to drive increased progress. Our intention remains to ensure that the Plan serves as a living blueprint, containing the latest knowledge and best practices to prevent and end homelessness.
  • All In to End Homelessness for All Americans  (6/5/2015)
  • The All In City Swing to End Veteran Homelessness brought together HUD Secretary Julián Castro, VA Secretary Robert McDonald, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, and USICH Executive Director, Matthew Doherty to talk with local leaders and community partners in Houston, Tucson, and Las Vegas. The Administration stands together to work towards ending homelessness not only for Veterans, but for all Americans.
  • CoC Suite of Resources for Competition  (5/12/2015)
  • USICH and our partner Federal agencies know how hard communities, and their Continuums of Care, are working to build the most effective and efficient systems for ending homelessness and to use Federal resources in support of the strongest practices and strategies.
  • Harnessing Medicaid to Help Solve Homelessness  (5/8/2015)
  • Five years since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, many of the major objectives of the law are being met; more than 16 million Americans have gained health coverage, bringing the number of people without insurance down to historic lows. Included in the newly insured are approximately six million of the lowest income Americans, who have gained access to public health insurance through Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). And while the data is limited on the specific number of people experiencing homelessness who have gained coverage, we have numerous reports that enrollment in Medicaid and other types of health insurance among people experiencing homelessness has grown significantly. With so many people now able to access health care coverage, the results are in: the Affordable Care Act is working.
  • Council Appoints New Executive Director; Council Update  (4/16/2015)
  • Matthew Doherty is appointed Executive Director of USICH by Council; USICH holds its first meeting of 2015, here's an update.
  • Ending Homelessness Happens Locally  (4/2/2015)
  • Across the country, heroic efforts are underway to end homelessness - for Veterans, for people experiencing chronic homelessness, for families with children, for youth. Providers, people experiencing homelessness, faith communities, businesses, and all levels of government are collaborating to ensure everyone has a safe, stable place to call home.
  • Innovations in Ending Family and Youth Homelessness  (3/5/2015)
  • "We must never accept homelessness as a part of American life." - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro speaks at the National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness. There, he announced new HUD guidance on providing services for transgender persons in single-sex facilities, as well as a partnership with True Colors Fund to prevent and end LGBTQ youth homelessness.
  • With 11 Months Remaining, the Goal to End Veteran Homelessness is in Reach  (1/30/2015)
  • Just a few weeks ago, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced the city had effectively ended Veteran homelessness, becoming the first major U.S. city to achieve the goal and doing it a full year ahead of schedule.
  • 2014
  • Developing Local Coordinated Entry Systems is Hard but Necessary Work  (12/18/2014)
  • One of the most important recent developments from our work to end homelessness is the recognition that the impact of evidence-informed models like permanent supportive housing and rapid re-housing are only fully realized when they work together as part of a coordinated system.
  • National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week   (11/20/2014)
  • This week is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, a time when many Americans are engaged to help our neighbors who live without food security and without a safe and stable place to call home. For those of us who work to end hunger and homelessness year-round, this week provides a fresh opportunity to gain new ground, to meet and recruit new partners, to share meals with neighbors, and to extend a helping hand. It's an opportunity to look forward and take action, a time to focus intently on the steps we need to take together to end hunger and homelessness once and for all.
  • HUD Releases 2014 PIT Results, Homelessness Is Down Across All Populations  (10/30/2014)
  • HUD released new data from the 2014 Point-in-Time (PIT) count, a national enumeration of people experiencing homelessness on a single night in January. The results are clear: homelessness is on the decline; we continue to make real progress against all of our goals. The call of Opening Doors and the mission of USICH is to work across all levels of government, and in partnership with private and nonprofit partners, toward a common goal. This unprecedented collaboration has been the key to our progress.
  • Coc Program Competition Puts Strong Emphasis on Reallocation  (10/9/2014)
  • Last month, HUD released a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Continuum of Care Program Competition, launching a competition for approximately $1.83 billion in Fiscal Year 2014 for FY 2014 CoC Funding Notice under the FY 2013 - FY 2014 CoC Program Competition. The FY 2014 CoC Program Funding Notice carries forward and continues the policy priorities outlined in combined FY 2013-FY 2014 CoC Program Competition NOFA, which are focused on accelerating progress on Opening Doors. Specifically, this program competition emphasizes the investment of resources in permanent supportive housing and encourages prioritization of services for people experiencing chronic homelessness. In addition, it promotes the adoption of the Housing First approach and the expansion of rapid re-housing to advance our goals of ending family homelessness.
  • Tailoring Interventions and Assistance for Families  (9/18/2014)
  • Families experience homelessness for a number of reasons. Whether as a result of a health or economic crisis or fleeing domestic violence, the experience of homelessness is extremely traumatizing for families generally, and can be especially traumatizing for children. Homelessness disrupts education for children and can lead to extremely poor health and social outcomes in adulthood. We know the best thing we can do for families at risk of or experiencing homelessness is ensure their safety, support their ability to obtain permanent housing as quickly as possible, and help them sustain housing stability.
  • Retooling the Homeless Crisis Response System  (8/21/2014)
  • Ending homelessness means providing a pathway to stable and permanent housing now for people who are experiencing homelessness. It also means changing the way we respond when people have a housing crisis so that we can prevent homelessness whenever possible or otherwise ensure that homelessness is a rare, brief, and nonrecurring experience. We do this by helping individuals and families keep or quickly transition back to permanent housing with access to needed services. This response is what in Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness we call the "homeless crisis response system." It is the overall system where coordinated assessment, homeless programs, and mainstream programs logically fit together to provide a meaningful solution for people.
  • Leveraging Mainstream Systems Is Critical to Ending Homelessness  (7/28/2014)
  • The drum beat from this Administration is quickening and growing louder. President Obama is committed to ending homelessness, not just managing it - leading this Administration to more effective policies and requesting historic new investments in real solutions. First Lady Michelle Obama, along with Dr. Jill Biden and Joining Forces, are engaging more partners in the effort by issuing a call to local leaders to join the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness by the end of 2015. Currently, more than 165 mayors, governors, and county officials have joined the challenge. We could not be more honored that Mrs. Obama will address more than 1,600 people from across the country who are working to end homelessness later this week at the National Alliance to End Homelessness annual conference.
  • As Local Partnerships Strengthen, National Momentum to End Homelessness Builds  (7/2/2014)
  • USICH and federal partners are teaming up with communities all across the country to accelerate and align existing efforts toward ending Veteran and chronic homelessness and to do this in a way that lays the foundation for ending all homelessness.
  • Homelessness Ends with Housing First  (6/19/2014)
  • The Obama Administration fully supports and calls for the adoption of Housing First across all communities - as something that is not just good to do, but as something that we must do to reach our goals.
  • First Lady Announces Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness  (6/5/2014)
  • First Lady Michelle Obama announced the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness; Eric Grumdahl writes on evidence for Housing First.
  • Council Focuses on Support for Local Communities  (5/2/2014)
  • Members of the Cabinet and leaders from 19 Federal agencies, who together make up the Interagency Council on Homelessness, met to take action on Federal efforts to support and advance progress on ending homelessness in local communities.
  • Alternatives to Criminalization   (4/17/2014)
  • USICH is dedicated to supporting states and communities to implement a Human Rights approach to ending homelessness that connects people to stable housing and eliminates the criminalization of homelessness.
  • An End to Chronic Homelessness  (3/26/2014)
  • USICH Executive Director Laura Zeilinger discusses how the President's FY 2015 Budget creates an unprecedented opportunity for what we can do together to end chronic homelessness in 2016.
  • President Obama Proposes Historic New Investments to End Homelessness  (3/6/2014)
  • President Obama's Fiscal Year 2015 Budget clearly demonstrates the high priority this Administration has for achieving to the goals of Opening Doors. This year's budget proposal includes more than $5.69 billion for homelessness assistance funding, a 12 percent increase over Fiscal Year 2014 appropriations.
  • White House Event Honors Barbara Poppe  (2/27/2014)
  • Earlier this week, USICH Council Chair Shaun Donovan, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, hosted an event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to honor the service of USICH Executive Director Barbara Poppe.
  • New Resource to Help Communities End Family Homelessness  (2/11/2014)
  • Today, USICH releases Family Connection: Building Systems to End Family Homelessness, a resource aimed at expanding an effective partnership with communities across the country to prevent and end homelessness for families.
  • Barbara Poppe to Step Down from USICH Post  (2/4/2014)
  • After more than four years in office, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) Executive Director Barbara Poppe today announced that she will step down on March 7, 2014.
  • President Lauds Collaborations to End Homelessness, Mayors on Front Lines  (1/29/2014)
  • In last night's State of the Union address, President Obama highlighted the incredible collaborations happening across all levels of government to end homelessness.
  • Council Focuses on Youth, VA Offers $600 Million to SSVF  (1/17/2014)
  • Last week, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness met to discuss how the Federal Framework to End Youth Homelessness is supporting local efforts in communities around the country. The Council heard from two leading community experts, who shared their experiences of how the framework is helping their community make progress to end youth homelessness. The Council also reported on 2013 Point-In-Time data which shows reductions in homelessness for all populations.
  • 2013
  • Human Rights and Homelessness  (12/19/2013)
  • USICH is marking Human Rights Day through this special edition newsletter focused on US laws and regulations that protect the human and civil rights of people who experience homelessness. While the belief in basic human rights is a primary reason many of us are committed to ending homelessness, we often focus on the "cost-effectiveness argument" to express why ending homelessness makes sense.
  • Latest News from the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness  (12/17/2013)
  • Each year, HUD requires Continuums of Care (CoCs) to count the number of people experiencing homelessness in the geographic area that they serve through the Point-in-Time count (PIT). Conducted by most CoCs during the last ten days in January, the PIT count includes people served in shelter programs every year. In addition, every odd-numbered year, CoCs are responsible for counting people who are unsheltered, mobilizing staff and volunteers who canvas the streets and other settings to identify and enumerate people experiencing homelessness.
  • Three Things You Need to Know Going into the 2013 CoC Competition  (11/26/2013)
  • On Friday, November 22, 2013, HUD released the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Continuum of Care Program Competition, launching the annual competition for $1.7 billion in Federal funding for the Continuum of Care (CoC) program. HUD has also made some important changes in this year's competition. HUD has made these changes in an effort to sustain and accelerate the progress our nation has made in ending homelessness, as reflected in last week's release of the 2013 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report to Congress. The 2013 Point-in-Time count data reflects an overall downward trend in homelessness and shows that with strategic investment in proven strategies, we can achieve the vision set forth in Opening Doors, that everyone should have a safe and stable place to call home.
  • HUD Reports Continued Decline in U.S. Homelessness Since 2010  (11/21/2013)
  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today released its latest national estimate of homelessness in the U.S., noting reductions in every major category or subpopulation since 2010, the year the federal government established Opening Doors, a strategic plan to end homelessness. HUD's 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress finds significant and measurable progress to reduce the scale of long-term or 'chronic' homelessness as well as homelessness experienced by Veterans and families.
  • USICH Releases New PHA Guidebook to Ending Homelessness  (11/14/2013)
  • Across the country, a growing number of public housing authorities (PHAs) have become integral to their community's efforts to prevent and end homelessness. This willingness to partner and engage in collaborative planning is critical to both local and national success in ending homelessness. The new USICH PHA Guidebook provides guidance and the best practices that PHAs can use to strengthen their collaborative efforts.
  • The Affordable Care Act & Homelessness: What You Need to Know  (10/22/2013)
  • October 1st was an important day as the first day of open enrollment in private insurance through the health insurance marketplaces and in Medicaid in the states that are expanding. But it's also important to remember that this is only the beginning, not the end, of the road to health care transformation. The Affordable Care Act won't bring about changes to our nation's approach to health care overnight, nor will it fix everything in our nation's approach to health care. But it's an important first step.
  • Presidential Address, New VA/HUD Vouchers, and SSVF Study  (9/4/2013)
  • The Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) is VA's new rapid re-housing and homelessness prevention program, which draws upon the strength of community agencies to provide focused, speedy, and flexible services to vulnerable Veterans and their families. In FY 2012, SSVF's first year of operations, VA awarded competitive grants totaling nearly $60 million to 85 grantees across the country who in turn provide supportive services to very low-income Veteran families living in or transitioning to permanent housing. A recent report about SSVF's first year reveals promising data on the effectiveness of the programs.
  • The Invisible Population  (8/1/2013)
  • The number of young people who experience homelessness each year is largely unknown. Often called an "invisible population," young people who are homeless tend to stay with friends, avoid adult services, and dodge authorities, which makes it difficult for communities to include them in their annual point-in-time counts and to engage them in services.
  • Cabinet Secretaries Advance Efforts to End Family Homelessness  (7/17/2013)
  • On July 9th, the Obama Administration convened a meeting to push forward its agenda to end homelessness. USICH Chair, VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki, and Vice Chair, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, met with other Council leaders including ED Secretary Arne Duncan and DOL Acting Secretary Seth Harris, USICH Executive Director Barbara J. Poppe, Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service Wendy Spencer, Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Melissa Rogers, and representatives from 11 other member agencies. The group discussed ways to leverage opportunities created by the Affordable Care Act and ways to better serve families who are experiencing homelessness. Donna Seymour, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Warrior Care Policy at the Department of Defense, also updated the Council on DoD's efforts since the last Council meeting to coordinate transitions from active service to Veteran status for our nation's Service members.
  • End Chronic Homelessness in Your Community  (6/25/2013)
  • Not long ago, I sat in the same place that you are sitting, managing the Continuum of Care and leading our community's ten-year plan to end homelessness. You have challenging jobs to do and I know you are balancing many competing issues and priorities. I've been fortunate to visit communities that are making great progress, and to support and work with communities that still struggle. Now I would like to share some reflections on the lessons I've learned from you, my colleagues, in our mission to end homelessness. Thank you for listening and especially for acting.
  • Five Federal Funding Opportunities and Growing Your Investment in Rapid Rehousing  (5/20/2013)
  • The team at USICH provides this general newsletter at a time when many of those who are responsible for making policy and budget decisions, as well as those who serve people experiencing homelessness, are feeling the impact of sequester-related and other funding decreases. For that reason, we have chosen to refocus on an intervention that continues to be cost efficient and effective for the majority of people who become homeless - rapid rehousing. In addition, we also highlight five current competitive funding opportunities that could enhance efforts to provide services, care and supports.
  • Pushing to the Goal: Accelerating Progress on Veteran Homelessness  (4/25/2013)
  • With less than 1,000 days until the 2015 goal, here are three important ways to accelerate progress.
  • USICH Introduces the Solutions Database!  (4/1/2013)
  • USICH is pleased to announce that we have launched a new collection of tools and resources that communities will be able to use to find real solutions to the challenges of preventing and ending homelessness. The Solutions Database currently contains more than 50 short profiles of practices and programs; each profile includes tips for implementation, information about results achieved, and links to more information and resources.
  • Looking to the End of Family Homelessness  (3/20/2013)
  • Opening Doors sets a national goal of ending family homelessness by 2020. In one way, this goal is audacious and bold, and in another, it's too far off-we need to end family homelessness as soon as possible. Each day we do not, children's lives are torn off course and their futures are threatened. Homelessness is life-disrupting and potentially traumatizing for anyone, but it is particularly so for children; instability and lack of security can negatively impact children's health, development, and academic achievement.
  • Ending Veteran Homelessness: Asking the Hard Questions and Working Together  (2/25/2013)
  • Three resources highlight the importance of collaboration and innovation to accelerate progress on Veteran homelessness .
  • USICH Releases Additional Information on Federal Framework to End Youth Homelessness  (2/21/2013)
  • Today, as hundreds of advocates and service providers for youth experiencing homelessness gather in Seattle, WA for the National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness, USICH releases the USICH Framework to End Youth Homelessness: A Resource Text for Dialogue and Action (youth framework). As participants in this conference learn from and connect with one another on the best strategies and programs to end youth homelessness, we at USICH hope to ground the discussion with this important document for providers across the country. This federal framework for tackling the problem of youth homelessness sets forth the vision for how we should proceed in this important work, building off of the 2012 Amendment to Opening Doors.
  • The 2013 PIT Count Experience & More News  (2/7/2013)
  • Unprecedented Federal and local collaboration on display to get most comprehensive count to date.
  • Get Involved: The 2013 PIT Count & More News  (1/16/2013)
  • Every year, during the last ten days in January, HUD requires Continuums of Care (CoCs) to count the number of people experiencing homelessness in the geographic area that they serve through the Point-in-Time count (PIT). The PIT count always includes people served in shelter programs, and every other year must also include people who are unsheltered. This year, CoCs are required to count people who are unsheltered. The 2013 PIT count at the end of January is an important opportunity for communities across the country to collect the most accurate data on people experiencing homelessness in America. Collecting accurate data is critical to effective community planning and performance management toward the goal of ending homelessness.
United States Interagency Council on Homelessness
1275 First Street, NE, Suite 227
Washington, DC 20552