The National Alliance to End Homelessness, the Technical Assistance Collaborative, and CSH have developed this “how to” guide to help Continuum of Care (CoC) and other service system leaders work with health care systems to explore how Medicaid can finance supportive services in permanent supportive housing.
The goal to end chronic homelessness set by the federal government in 2005 was considered very ambitious. Today, we are excited to share that the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and its 19 federal member agencies released criteria and a benchmark that define what ending chronic homelessness should look like. Being at a point where we are able to define what it means to end chronic homelessness is exciting — it means we have made significant strides and now need to plan an end game.
The date Dec. 21 has meanings both ancient and new. Communities in every era have paused in awareness of waning daylight and the promise of the sun’s return; in our era, some will pause to look for assurance that the world keeps turning. It is appropriate that National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day is Dec. 21.
For people living on the street, the darkest day of the calendar is especially dark; for a person to die on the street is an ending that should be unthinkable. Homeless advocates, today, will pause to honor the neighbors and fellow citizens who passed away in 2012 without a home.
After years of trying to nail down a definition of chronic homelessness, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) finally released a new definition earlier this month. The new definition incorporates comments submitted over the years by a wide variety of stakeholders, including the Alliance.
Now that HUD’s definition is finalized, communities will need to make adjustments to their homeless systems in order to implement the new definition and use it to help end homelessness. We think the new definition will lead to improvements. But to understand fully why it’s good for ending homelessness, you need to first understand what the new definition changes.
One a single night of this year, 564,708 people were experiencing homelessness in across the country. This is according to the 2015 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR) Part 1, which was released today by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This report provides data aggregated from community point-in-time counts conducted in January and includes longitudinal trends in overall homelessness and among specific subpopulations.
So how are we doing in our efforts to end homelessness? Overall homelessness has decreased by 11.4 percent since 2010, when the Administration set ambitious goals to end veteran and chronic homelessness in five years and family and youth homelessness in 10 years. And, we have seen substantial decreases in veteran, chronic, and family homelessness in that same time period: