Staying the Course
Throughout the ten-year plan duration, the most successful plans remained focused on chronic homelessness, addressing the needs of this high-risk, high-cost group by expanding the stock of permanent supportive housing. Surveys and research tools to identify the most vulnerable homeless individuals and a referral and placement system that matched individual needs to the most appropriate housing placement informed the best use of existing resources.
Public Will and Community Engagement
The ability of plan leadership to engage community stakeholders across many disciplines and areas of influence was a feature of successful plan development and implementation. Salt Lake City’s good fortune in having a plan leader whose involvement spanned the entire ten-year period of development and implementation was undoubtedly a factor in that plan’s success.
Creative Funding for Permanent Supportive Housing
The housing and treatment support services needed for helping people exit homelessness and establish stable lives in the community are costly. These assets should be targeted to the most vulnerable individuals with the greatest need. All five ten-year plans were able to garner funding for housing from federal and state or local governments. Citing the need for creative funding for housing the homeless, Philip Mangano has pointed out that “government can’t do it all.” Sources of funding for housing in successful plans also included foundations, religious institutions, individual donors, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, and Community Reinvestment Act dollars from commercial banks.
Question: What will it take to complete the task of ending chronic homelessness?
“We virtually eliminated homelessness among veterans through a commitment to do so and focused resources, and the same could be accomplished for the chronically homeless.”
Executive Director, Center for Urban Community Services New York, New York
“We know how to end chronic homelessness: permanent supportive housing. Getting enough such housing to do the job will require three things: national political will to provide the resources; local determination to deliver quality housing and services and house every chronically homeless person; and a robust effort to prevent any disabled person from ever again being chronically homeless.”
CEO, National Alliance to End Homelessness Author of, and advocate for, the Ten-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness Washington, D.C.
“We know that permanent supportive housing is the key solution for chronic homelessness in this country, proven to improve people’s lives while also saving communities money. If we can bring the supply of supportive housing to the scale that’s needed, and if communities can target that supportive housing effectively, it will no longer be a matter of whether communities can end chronic homelessness, but when.”
Executive Director, United States Interagency Council on Homelessness Washington, D.C.