The Goal to End and Prevent Chronic Homelessness

Due to a lack of Congressional support for needed resources, we will not reach our national goal to end chronic homelessness in 2015. However, if Congress acts to fund the President’s fiscal year 2015 Budget requests to create 37,000 new units of permanent supportive housing, we can finally bring the national inventory of permanent supportive housing to a scale that will end chronic homelessness in 2016 and prevent its recurrence.

While ending chronic homelessness in 2016 is a year later than we had originally planned in Opening Doors, this timeline reflects our ongoing commitment to act with urgency, while adjusting for the fact that the resources requested by the President in previous years were not funded by Congress.

There are communities that can achieve this goal in 2015, and all communities can continue to accelerate their efforts. Even with full support from Congress, we will only reach our goal if communities remain focused on implementing the strategies of Opening Doors and driving as much progress as possible by the end of 2015.

Since the launch of Opening Doors, our understanding of what works has further solidified, and we’ve seen tremendous progress. Your input is essential to the ongoing success of Opening Doors. Please share and vote for the ideas you think would have the greatest impact in an amendment to Opening Doors.

Please consider these questions when crafting your feedback and voting for the feedback you think is most valuable. And please use the Opening Doors Amendment 2014 Participation Guide for more information on what strategies are currently included in Opening Doors. Find it here: http://bit.ly/USICH2014

1. How will amending the Opening Doors goal to end chronic homelessness from 2015 to 2016 affect your community’s/organizations’ efforts?

2. Does Opening Doors fully explain the strategies needed to end chronic homelessness in 2016 or are there strategies for which additional information is needed?

3. Are there other areas of the Plan you feel would benefit from updated information or the incorporation of additional strategies?

Thank you!

Does Opening Doors fully explain the strategies needed to end chronic homelessness in 2016 or are there strategies for which additional information is needed?

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  1. Prevent chronic homelessness by housing youth who are experiencing homelessness

    • Preventing and housing youth who experience homelessness prevents these young people from becoming chronically homeless adults. Expanding youth-appropriate housing and services for homeless youth will save lives, decrease chronic homelessness over time and decrease costs associated with long-term homelessness. Therefore, when defining the goal to prevent and end chronic homelessness it is necessary to:

    o Recognize that the causes of youth homelessness are different from those of adults, and the circumstances that lead young people to be ejected from or leave their homes are complex. The goal should be defined as increased effective prevention of youth homelessness and increased…

    114 votes
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      0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    • Make rent subsidies available

      Chronic homelessness involves people who are highly unlikely to escape from homelessness without long-term, deep rent subsidies. Unfortunately, cuts to HUD funding in recent years, culminating in the “sequestration” year of 2013, have made rent subsidies harder to come by. For this reason if for no other, extending the time period for ending chronic homelessness is a realistic move.

      Despite reductions in HUD funding, the number of people experiencing chronic homelessness has gone done, substantially in many communities. The plan amendment should encourage other communities to adopt successful strategies for making rent subsidies available to end chronic homelessness. These include…

      63 votes
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        1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      • Adopt an inclusive emphasis to broaden "Opening Doors" homeless assistance portfolio to recognize transitional housing as a viable option

        While this idea has broad implications, it specifically relates to homeless individuals who suffer from substance addictions, mental health disorders and/or co-occurring disorders ("special needs" population).

        Ann Oliva (HUD) authored an article (September 2013), which appeared in the SNAPS Weekly Focus: What About Transitional Housing? In that article, Ms. Oliva stated, "HUD does not advocate the wholesale removal of one type of homeless resource in a community (like emergency shelter or transitional housing) with the replacement of another (like rapid re-housing). That would be short-sighted, and does not take into account the specific needs of communities. Transitional housing is an…

        53 votes
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        • Improve ability to target identification and services to homeless individuals with mental illness

          States must enhance their capacity to evaluate the degree to which homeless individuals have mental illness, and do more to invest in programs that focus on access to treatment, housing first, and repid rehousing for these individuals. PATH programs address this portion of the homeless population, but are chronically underfunded to meet the needs.

          45 votes
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          • Produce MORE Affordable HOUSING PERIOD!!

            This is not an Idea ,This is reality! If ,there is No Affordable housing Units for Homeless to Move into.Homelessness will never end!! NO Matter How much money you sink into,"the problem".! 100,000's of Housing Units are Need to be,Brought into the picture Just to make a sizeable Dent in the True # of homeless Families,Across this Country!Homeless Veterans and Single Men and Women,Also need affordable units.If,Common Ground ,can House 101,000+Homeless.WHY,Can't 500,000-1,000,000.be Housed Also!? Affordable Units,Accepting Owners and management, of said units,THAT's Why!!!Do the Research ,there are 1000's of Properties sitting Empty,Across the Country.But Banks,Owners.Towns and cities are waiting for…

            41 votes
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            • Direct additional targeted resources towards communities with the highest numbers of chronically homeless persons.

              Follow the lead of the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs and direct additional "surge" funding to those communities with the highest numbers of chronically homeless persons. Because McKinney Continuum of Care funding is not based on the numbers of homeless persons and because that formula is not likely to change in the future, some communities with high numbers of chronically homeless persons are getting relatively little assistance to address the issue. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs used data to direct additional "surge" SSVF funding to communities with the highest need. This will likely help those communities to…

              27 votes
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              • One item in the plan I feel needs addressing is the "prevention of homelessness" idea.

                The idea of preventing homeless sounds great but basically appears not to be an effective investment of resources. A randomized study was just completed in Utah of 443 households at risk of homelessness. Half received resources (total of $257,000) to keep them housed and half the other half received no additional services. Of those who received prevention assistance, 7, or 3%, became homeless and those who received no assistance, 15, or 7%, became homeless. We have concluded that the investment of resources into rapid housing is a much more effective approach as it is difficult to predict who will become…

                27 votes
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                • Allow CoCs to request and obtain locally-based policy exceptions (similar to PHAs and MTW status)

                  Federal programs should allow CoCs or the local community to apply for community-wide exceptions to existing policy, similar to the way Public Housing Authorities can apply for Moving To Work status in order to test and pilot innovative housing programs.

                  Federal policy often limits the ability of CoCs to be creative with their resources. Several CoCs struggle with utilizing subsidy resources because of the current policies of programs. For example, CoC Program grants that are structured as Leasing programs limit the amount of subsidy available to FMR. In many areas, it is nearly impossible to find suitable units that are…

                  18 votes
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                  • Fund demonstration projects that would test whether pairing CTI with a voucher works as alternative to PSH for chronically homeless adults.

                    With the high cost of developing and ongoing operations/services for PSH, it would be good to test whether a lower cost alternative would be successful for some sub-populations of chronically homeless.. One alternative is to provide CTI (critical time intervention) paired with a housing voucher that provides long term affordability. At the conclusion of CTI - the healthcare and services responsibilities transition to the community.

                    17 votes
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                    • What does ending mean?

                      Suggest the Plan address what "ending chronic homelessness" will look like at the end of 2016. As there will always be homeless citizens, some of which will be chronically homeless as some are housing resistant, the Plan could address more completely what an effective/optimum community homeless delivery system would look like that quickly identifies and provides housing opportunities for those presenting at shelters or on the street. With full employment being considered at 4% unemployment, something similar could be described in the updated Plan.

                      10 votes
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                      • Public Education

                        I believe educating the public at-large is the first step to anything that we do. In Austin right now we have housing vouchers, but the vast majority of landlords refuse to rent to those with them. The general public believes the homeless "want" or "deserve" to be where they are. Once we dis-spell those myths and make them understand housing is cheaper than them remaining on the streets, we'll get the necessary support.
                        The city is currently considering banning discrimination against those with public funds for housing. We next have to break down barriers for those with criminal records.

                        10 votes
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                        • Homelessness will not end until the community and the federal government stop using mental illness as a cover. Mental illness is the core.

                          Mental illness needs to be addressed first. Politics need to stay out, i.e. "make mental health care more than just campaign fodder". Quit talking about poverty and social justice focus on mental health.

                          6 votes
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                          • Provide clearer guidance on how services can be funded beyond Medicaid

                            While Medicaid is an important resource to cover health care related services in PSH, other funding is needed to provide critical supportive services like assistance with benefits, budgeting, home management skills, life skills, conflict management, etc. Also assistance with transportation and employment is needed. Communities and PSH providers are struggling to pay for these services.

                            6 votes
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                            • Greater emphasis and additional resources needed for homeless prevention programs.

                              Here in MA we have been providing services to at-risk households in our courts(Housing Courts) who have a disability(mental illness, substance abuse, etc.) and are at-risk for eviction. Under the ADA, households where a lease violation secondary to a disability is placing the tenancy in jeopardy, a project called the Tenancy Preservation Program or TPP, provides clinical consultation in the Housing Court in order to prevent the eviction. The court utilizes the services of clinicians from local Social Service Agencies to work in conjunction with the court and all parties(landlords,tenants attorneys) to resolve the issue(s) that are contributing to the…

                              5 votes
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                              • Preventing and housing youth who experience homelessness prevents these young people from becoming chronically homeless adults.

                                • Preventing and housing youth who experience homelessness prevents these young people from becoming chronically homeless adults. Expanding youth-appropriate housing and services for homeless youth will save lives, decrease chronic homelessness over time and decrease costs associated with long-term homelessness. Therefore, when defining the goal to prevent and end chronic homelessness it is necessary to:

                                o Recognize that the causes of youth homelessness are different from those of adults, and the circumstances that lead young people to be ejected from or leave their homes are complex. The goal should be defined as increased effective prevention of youth homelessness and increased…

                                5 votes
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                                  0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                • Provide more ifnormation on mainstream services of all kinds that can be partners in efforts to end chronic homelessness

                                  PSH is one very successful model of housing chronically homeless people. Other models, such as CTI with affordable units mentioned below, and mobile mental health services generally may be other promising models. Helping providers and communities find partners and funding from other resources than housing supports can expand the number of chronically homeless we can house, but there is far less information and encouragement to do this.

                                  3 votes
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                                  • Family homelessness

                                    Family Homelessness
                                    The focus on chronic homelessness continues to make it more difficult to address family homelessness. In our state, we have very few shelter beds for homeless families and families will do everything they can to avoid sleeping on the streets. Therefore, very few families meet HUD’s definition of chronic homelessness. There needs to be a better balance of resources to address the need of homeless families. There needs to be more resources to better address the needs of homeless families, or those at risk of homelessness, before they become chronically homeless. Part of this includes developing criteria that…

                                    2 votes
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                                      0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    • Build a conversation/interpretation on "Chronic/Vulnerable" homelessness that is inclusive of children to deepen Two-Gen service systems.

                                      The category of "chronic" homelessness is not currently very useful for serving unaccompanied youth and children because we usually are highlighting health and criminal justice outcomes seen as a consequence of the category itself. Youth and children are far upstream of these visible consequences. Many children have been homeless for more than a year but are not enumerated in counts of "chronic" homelessness (though the family unit is). Quite simply, unaccompanied youth and children in homeless families haven't been around long enough to find themselves diagnosed or involved in criminal justice. However, scientific evidence-based conversations such as the ACE study…

                                      1 vote
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                                      • Definition of chronic homelessness

                                        If we are serious about ending chronic homelessness, we should not make the definition even narrower than it is currently by defining the length of an episode of homelessness. This is something that would be nearly impossible for chronically homeless people with severe mental illness not only to remember but also to document. Ironically such a requirement could make it harder to house some of the most vulnerable people. We prefer a more comprehensive approach where physical and mental health are considered along with chronic homelessness in prioritizing who will be housed first. -Submitted by the New Mexico Coalition to…

                                        1 vote
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                                          0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        • we have a olan introduced by the mayorto end homelessness here - but no action!

                                          deal with the mental ill on the federal level!! If the top keeps making cuts - it shows it is not a priority and the rest of the country top down acts accordingly!! fund permanent supportive housing programs once and for all!!

                                          1 vote
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                                            0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                                          The Goal to End and Prevent Chronic Homelessness

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