Message From Executive Director

This is an excerpt of All In: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. Read the full plan at usich.gov/fsp.

Homelessness in the United States is an urgent life-and-death public health issue and humanitarian crisis. Far too many Americans live—and die—without a roof over their heads. This is disproportionately true for people of color—Black, American Indian and Alaska Native, and Latino people in particular—reflecting the compounding effects of racial discrimination in housing, employment, health care, and education that persist to this day. It does not have to be this way. Homelessness is not inevitable, and it is not unsolvable. At USICH, we envision a future in which no one experiences homelessness—not even for one night.

USICH believes that housing should be treated as a human right, and that housing is health care. We prioritize the use of data and evidence for effective policymaking and know that an evidence-informed approach to ending homelessness will require us to address the barriers and disparities that people of color and other marginalized groups too often face. Advancing the most effective policy solutions will require that people who have experienced homelessness firsthand should be in positions of power to shape federal, state, and local policy. We can prevent homelessness before it starts by scaling up housing and supports—both of which are critical to ending homelessness. The federal government must listen to local needs, support local innovation, and foster collaboration and partnerships. The United States of America can end homelessness by fixing public services and systems—not by blaming the individuals and families who have been left behind by failed policies and economic exclusion.

Many Americans, especially those whose neighborhoods and communities have been most directly impacted by the homelessness crisis, ask, “How do we end homelessness in the United States?” This plan outlines a set of strategies and actions for achieving such a vision. The plan is built upon the foundations of equity, data, and collaboration, and designed around the solutions of housing and supports, homelessness response, and prevention. It points to a single goal—a 25% reduction in homelessness by 2025. Achieving this ambitious goal is a critical first step on our national journey to end homelessness.

This work will require a deep commitment on the part of the federal government as well as state and local leaders, nonprofits, the faith community, and the business and philanthropic sectors; and it must be shaped by those closest to the crisis—people who have experienced homelessness. Homelessness is not a partisan issue. Division and finger-pointing will not solve the crisis. We as a nation have come together before to tackle difficult challenges, and we can do the same with homelessness. We must find common ground, scale what works, and develop new and creative solutions until homelessness is a relic of the past and every American has a safe, stable, accessible, and affordable home.

Jeff Olivet
USICH Executive Director

This is an excerpt of All In: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. Read the full plan at usich.gov/fsp.