Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Homelessness Finds a Place on the National Agenda

Next Tuesday, the Administration will announce what it is calling “the nation’s first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness, titled ‘Opening Doors.’” The plan has been in the works for over a year, beginning last May when President Obama signed the Homeless Emergency and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act into law and promised a strategic plan.

The upcoming plan was penned by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), an independent agency of 19 Cabinet Secretaries and other agency heads. Though we can’t speculate on the details of the strategy yet, it is clear that USICH views homelessness as a comprehensive issue that calls for an all-hands approach.

With Secretaries of Housing and Urban Development, Labor, Veterans Affairs, and Health contributing to the announcement next week, the Administration seems to understand that homelessness is a social epidemic with no easy solution. Making sure all Americans have a roof over their heads means smarter development plans, more affordable housing options, more jobs, improving health and wellbeing, expanding supportive programs, taking better care of our veterans, and more.

Stay tuned for more updates when the plan comes out next week.

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