Ending Chronic Homelessness

We can end homelessness for people in our communities with disabilities and other complex needs, including people who have the most extensive experiences of homelessness. As documented through the federal Criteria and Benchmarks, one community has already ended chronic homelessness, and many others are working toward achieving the goal.

We know the solution—supportive housing—and we have seen its effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness, across the country.

Supportive housing has been shown to help people with disabilities permanently stay out of homelessness, improve their health conditions, and lower public costs by reducing their use of crisis services. In fact, numerous studies have shown that it is cheaper to provide people experiencing chronic homelessness with supportive housing than have them remain homeless.

Informed by that evidence-base, we’ve expanded access to supportive housing, doubling the number of supportive housing beds to more than 110,000 since 2010. As a result, we've reduced chronic homelessness by 27% in this country between 2010 and 2016. But in order to end chronic homelessness once and for all, we must continue to expand the supply of supportive housing opportunities through federal, state, and local strategies and investments.

Essential Strategies

To make sure all people with disabilities experiencing chronic homelessness are on a quick path to permanent housing—and that no one else becomes chronically homelessness—communities need robust, coordinated systems that are focused on the same shared outcomes. We have identified 10 essential strategies communities are using to drive progress toward ending chronic homelessness. We encourage stakeholders in every community to review these strategies and identify opportunities to strengthen their systems.