Opening Doors is the nation’s first comprehensive federal strategy to prevent and end homelessness. It was presented to Congress on June 22, 2010, and updated and amended in 2012 and 2015 to reflect what we have learned.
An end to homelessness means that every community will have a comprehensive response in place that ensures homelessness is prevented whenever possible, or if it can’t be prevented, it is a rare, brief, and non-recurring experience.
Specifically, every community will have the capacity to:
Quickly identify and engage people at risk of and experiencing homelessness.
Intervene to prevent the loss of housing and divert people from entering the homelessness services system.
When homelessness does occur, provide immediate access to shelter and crisis services, without barriers to entry, while permanent stable housing and appropriate supports are being secured, and quickly connect people to housing assistance and services—tailored to their unique needs and strengths—to help them achieve and maintain stable housing.
USICH and its member agencies have also developed specific criteria and benchmarks in order to help guide communities as they take action to end homelessness for Veterans, families, youth, and people with disabilities. Criteria represent the essential elements of a community’s response, while benchmarks serve as measurements that a community can use to evaluate its overall effectiveness.
Read the 2014 Annual Update for an overview of our progress.