A Statement from the New Executive Director of USICH
It is a true honor to be chosen as the executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. This position comes with very important and urgent responsibilities, and I commit to do everything within my power to be a good steward while serving in this position.
There is no way to sugarcoat the situation. With more than 194,000 unsheltered individuals experiencing homelessness, more than 850,000 homelessness assistance beds, and more than 1,300,000 children and youth identified by public schools as experiencing homelessness, we are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. This crisis is especially pronounced in California and other Western States. Sadly, more than 1,000 individuals experiencing homelessness died last year in Los Angeles alone, and the number of individuals might be even higher this year.
The evidence is clear. We are in a real crisis! Playing games with data, changing definitions and hiding from realities only mask the challenges we face. This in turn impedes implementing real solutions that address the true causes of homelessness. We need to be honest with ourselves; much of what we have been doing is not working. If it were working, the number of individuals and families experiencing homelessness would be dropping.
I am looking forward to working with the President, member agencies of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, Congress, as well as state/local governments and community-based service providers to address these critical issues. Working together, we can make the needed changes to address this crisis.
I would like to thank the President, the White House staff and outgoing USICH Chair Frank Brogan for the honor of this service assignment. I would also like to acknowledge former Executive Director Matthew Doherty’s dedicated service over the last five years.
Working together, we can successfully take on this challenge.
Dr. Robert G. Marbut Jr.