The work to end family homelessness is a national priority for many reasons. Being in safe and stable housing benefits both parents and children for a lifetime, improving their overall well-being, health, education, and future employment opportunities—outcomes that strengthen our communities and our country as a whole.
Through strengthened crisis response systems, more effective use of public and private resources, and stronger practices, our most recent Point-in-Time count data tells us that the number of families experiencing unsheltered or sheltered homelessness on any given night fell by 23% in this country between 2010 and 2016—including a 65% reduction in unsheltered homelessness. But given the scope of the challenge, we need much greater progress.
To end family homelessness once and for all, we need to continue building strong public–private partnerships, marshaling existing resources, and investing new resources to ensure all families have access to safe, stable housing they can sustain long-term, with connections to opportunities that contribute to self-sufficiency and overall well-being.
To prevent families with children from experiencing homelessness, and to make sure that when families do experience homelessness they can quickly regain permanent housing, communities need robust, coordinated systems, focused on shared outcomes. Federal, state, and local action has focused on four key strategies.
In January 2017, USICH and our federal partners provided additional guidance to communities through the federal Criteria and Benchmarks for Achieving the Goal of Ending Family Homelessness. That document was updated in July 2017, after input from local and national stakeholders.