1-Year Update on ALL INside: How USICH and the White House Are Helping Communities Address Unsheltered Homelessness

May 29, 2024
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A year ago this month, in May 2023, the White House and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) launched the ALL INside Initiative to address the homelessness crisis in targeted communities with high numbers of people living outside. 

Since then, USICH has worked with its federal agency partners to embed experts locally in Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Seattle, and the governor’s office in California. This initiative aims to help communities cut the red tape that makes it difficult for people to access housing, health care, and other supports. ALL INside builds on other Biden-Harris administration efforts to specifically address unsheltered homelessness, such as $529 million in special unsheltered grants and vouchers awarded last year from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for 62 communities, including Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles.

“President Biden believes that every American deserves access to safe and affordable housing,” said Chair of the White House Domestic Policy Council and Domestic Policy Advisor to the President Neera Tanden. “The Biden-Harris administration has taken unprecedented steps to address homelessness head-on, and this unique partnership illustrates the progress that can be made when federal, state, and local governments work together to increase access and lower barriers to housing.” 

“As part of ALL INside, HHS and other federal agencies are treating homelessness like the public health crisis that it is. Living outside exposes people to daily and deadly risks of hunger, disease, extreme weather, and violence,” said USICH Chair and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Housing is a basic human need and a fundamental element of true health for all people and communities. That’s why we are working with mayors, providers, and other local partners to get people not just the housing but the health care that sustains us.”

While the work is ongoing, here are some highlights of ALL INside to date:

  • The two largest public housing authorities (PHAs) in the Los Angeles area received approval from HUD to allow people additional time to provide documents related to identity, disability status, and income. More specifically, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Development Authority can now issue vouchers to people experiencing homelessness before completing the verification process. (Typically, PHAs can only issue vouchers after income, identity, and disability status are verified.)
  • HUD streamlined the process for PHAs to request flexibilities like those provided to Los Angeles. By showing good cause that flexibilities are needed to serve people experiencing homelessness more effectively, PHAs can receive expedited approval of waivers that allow applicants to self-certify date of birth, disability status, and income.
  • HUD approved a first-of-its-kind waiver for Dallas to allow local providers of permanent supportive housing funded by HUD’s special unsheltered grants to leverage behavioral health resources with HUD Continuum of Care funding to provide Housing First Assertive Community Treatment and Intensive Case Management to people transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing.
  • Phoenix received first-of-its kind funding from HHS’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to provide comprehensive and integrated behavioral and HIV/AIDS health care for medically underserved people experiencing unsheltered homelessness. Since February, it has provided care to 150 people.
  • In Chicago, 59 people have been diverted to shelter, where they await permanent housing, after living in transit stations.
  • Dallas' Continuum of Care established a "homelessness preference" to provide 100 housing vouchers a year specifically for people experiencing homelessness.
  • The city of Dallas created a new procurement process for permanent supportive housing, which will result in more than 50 additional units of permanent supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness.
  • HHS and HUD launched the Housing and Services Partnership Accelerator to help select states (including Arizona, California, and Washington) leverage Medicaid flexibilities to develop and expand innovative housing-related supports and services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness who have complex medical needs (e.g., people with disabilities, older adults, people with mental health disorders, and people with substance use disorders).
  • Washington state received approval under its Medicaid program to provide additional medical support to people experiencing homelessness, and Seattle partnered with community-based organizations to support implementation of these changes.
  • Chicago is improving the application process for project-based housing vouchers and published a two-page guide for homelessness service providers to accessing documents from the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA).
  • Dallas established an agreement with the state driver’s license division to speed up the ID process for people experiencing homelessness and enrolled in a SSA pilot program for virtual appointments for SSA services.

While the work is far from over, it is beginning to show progress. In the Dallas region, for instance, homelessness dropped 12% from January 2023 to January 2024, and since 2021, unsheltered homelessness has dropped by 24%, according to preliminary Point-in-Time (PIT) data released by the community but not yet verified by HUD. In the Phoenix metro area, the community announced a preliminary 17% drop in unsheltered homelessness during the same time. 

“The multi-agency, cross-government work of ALL INside underscores the fact that homelessness represents the failure of multiple systems,” said USICH Director Jeff Olivet. “To end this crisis for more people, and prevent others from the traumatic experience, we have to work together—across jurisdictions, sectors, and systems—to lower the barriers that leave tens of thousands of Americans with nowhere else to sleep but outside.” 

Each ALL INside community has its own local goals, but in every ALL INside community, the federal government is working to:

  • Build capacity of local governments and organizations to respond to, reduce, and prevent unsheltered homelessness 
  • Create and strengthen alignment of local partners’ goals and strategies
  • Expand targeted funding to address unsheltered homelessness, in part by leveraging and aligning local, state, federal, and philanthropic funding
  • Identify needed flexibilities from federal agencies and encourage communities to maximize existing discretion in their implementation of federal programs

For more on ALL INside, visit usich.gov/all-inside.

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