USICH Votes on National Goal to Reduce Homelessness
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) held its second quarterly meeting of 2022 on Monday, June 13, to discuss the crisis of unsheltered homelessness and the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.
The meeting, led by Council Chair and HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge and Vice Chair and VA Secretary Denis McDonough, was attended by representatives of the 19 federal agencies that comprise the council, as well as White House officials, including Ambassador Susan Rice, director of the Domestic Policy Council; Gene Sperling, a senior adviser to President Biden; and Carmel Martin, deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council for Economic Mobility.
The council unanimously voted to approve an ambitious national goal to significantly reduce homelessness in the next few years and set the United States on a path to end homelessness for all. The goal will be published in the new federal strategic plan, which will be released later this year and will outline strategies and actions for achieving it.
Since the last council meeting, USICH has been working with federal, national, state, and local groups to develop a strategic plan that addresses the diverse input received last year. Through more than 80 listening sessions and 1,500 online comments, USICH received input from at least 500 people who have current or past experience of homelessness and from public leaders, providers, advocates, and other stakeholders in nearly 650 communities across the country.
The council meeting also focused on the crisis of unsheltered homelessness. In 2020, for the first time, more individuals experiencing homelessness were living outside on the streets than in shelters. On Monday, the council heard from Dr. Monica Bharel about Boston’s efforts to address encampments and from Dr. Steve Braverman about the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System “Veterans’ Row” Encampment.
USICH recently released guidance on this issue—“7 Principles for Addressing Encampments”—that was developed in coordination with council member agencies, including the departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); Justice (DOJ); and Veterans Affairs (VA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and several national partners.
The next council meeting will be scheduled for mid-August.
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