How We Began
For centuries, communities and organizations have responded to the plight of deep poverty and homelessness in remarkable and diverse ways.
These efforts and organizations have partnered with their communities and the tax-payer to leverage their impact to create lasting change in the lives of those needing a hand up.
Over the last decade, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) used its funding, authority, and priorities to dictate a one-size-fits-all top-down approach toward solving homelessness. With the problem of homelessness at an all time high in every community across the Country, it is time for reform.
Local providers with hands-on experience serving families and youth are leading the effort to encourage HUD to fund multiple pathways out of homelessness and create a local, needs-based approach. We also seek better outcome measures to assess effectiveness in helping people permanently exit homelessness.
The goal of our collective effort is to work with HUD to broaden its approach to ending homelessness, and the corresponding funding, thereby restoring local control to communities. We also aim to work with HUD to create realistic outcomes that not only solve homelessness, but deep, generational poverty as well. To do so, we will act to reform federal homelessness assistance policy to address the following concerns:
- Concern for the limiting federal definition of homelessness.
- Concern for the well-being of families with children, and youth, who have not been prioritized or well-served by current HUD priorities.
- Concern with the inaccuracy of the Point In Time Count and its negative impact on communities and populations, especially families, women, children, and youth.
- Concern with top-down, one-size-fits-all bureaucratic approaches, rigid national mandates imposed on communities, and housing models that do not meet the unique needs of families and youth.
- Concern with outcome measures and evaluation that fail to include income, workforce preparation, educational attainment, child and youth well-being, and family stability.
Specific activities will include:
- Meeting with the new HUD Administration to help shape homeless assistance goals and strategies over the next four years;
- Connecting and meeting with elected officials, particularly U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators, to explain the negative impact of current federal homelessness assistance policies on our communities, our programs, and those they serve;
- Sharing local information, data, and research that demonstrates the harms and short-sightedness of the current approach, as well as the promise of local efforts;
- Engaging in Op Ed and social media content and media creation to raise awareness of the public policy consequences of the current approach on families, children, youth, and communities;
- Participating in monthly conference calls to share, strategize and update one another on action; and
- Identifying and recruiting other potential coalition partners.
If you are an agency serving homeless children, families or youth and would like to join the NCHS, contact us for more information.