Resource Roundup for Addressing Encampments

July 29, 2022

Communities across the United States are facing a crisis of unsheltered homelessness. Local decision-makers are caught between demands for swift action and the reality that permanent, sustainable solutions—housing with voluntary supportive services—take time and investment to bring to scale.

Some communities have turned to aggressive law enforcement approaches that criminalize homelessness and close encampments without offering shelter or housing options. While these efforts may have the short-term effect of clearing an encampment from public view, encampments will appear again in another neighborhood or even in the same place they previously existed.

In June 2022, USICH—in collaboration with several federal and national partners—released new guidance, “7 Principles for Addressing Encampments,” to help communities develop and implement effective and humane responses.

The following list of resources can help communities implement USICH’s 7 Principles for Addressing Encampments:

Principle 1: Establish a Cross-Agency, Multi-Sector Response

Principle 2: Engage Encampment Residents to Develop Solutions

Principle 3: Conduct Comprehensive and Coordinated Outreach

Principle 4: Address Basic Needs and Provide Storage

Principle 5: Ensure Access to Shelter or Housing Options

Principle 6: Develop Pathways to Permanent Housing and Supports

Principle 7: Create a Plan for What Will Happen to Encampment Sites After Closure