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Ending Homelessness: Fact or Fiction Presentation by Joe Colletti, PhD Institute for Urban Initiatives. Four Questions. Is ending homelessness fiction? Is ending homelessness fact? Why are we divided? Where do we go from here?. The Call to End Homelessness.

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slide1
Ending Homelessness: Fact or FictionPresentation by Joe Colletti, PhDInstitute for Urban Initiatives
four questions
Four Questions

Is ending homelessness fiction?

Is ending homelessness fact?

Why are we divided?

Where do we go from here?

the call to end homelessness
The Call to End Homelessness

10-year plans to end chronic homelessness;

On May 20, 2009 the President signed the HEARTH Act into law which directs HUD to establish regulations for, and promote communitywide commitment to, ending homelessness;

Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to End Homelessness (2010)

defining ending homelessness
Defining “Ending Homelessness”
  • Means helping everyone who is living on the streets obtain and maintain permanent housing;
  • Means helping anyone who becomes homeless obtain permanent housing within 30 days or less and helping them maintain their housing.
fact or fiction
Fact or Fiction
  • If you have only been providing emergency assistance such as food, clothing, “spare change” and shelter, ending homelessness is likely fiction;
  • If you have been involved in implementing plans based on evidence-based and “best” practices during the past 10 years or so, ending homelessness is likely fact.
1980s a decade of compassion
1980s: A Decade of Compassion
  • Compassion is a powerful force;
    • A person can spend untold hours assisting others in need or journey into harms way
  • Compassion beckons us into unexplored territory—often into a world of persistent human need;
  • Emergency assistance and compassion fatigue.
1990s a decade of backlash
1990s: A Decade of Backlash
  • Emergency assistance and compassion frustration;
  • Pity as a powerful motivator.
    • The right mix of misery and hope
1995 hud s continuum of care
1995: HUD’s Continuum of Care

Street Outreach;

Intake and Assessment;

Emergency Shelter;

Transitional Housing;

Permanent Supportive Housing.

1995 hud s continuum of care1
1995: HUD’s Continuum of Care
    • Had limited success

(“got off on the wrong foot”)

  • Too often street outreach was a means of providing emergency assistance;
  • Intake and assessment was more about finding a bed, any bed.
1995 hud s continuum of care2
1995: HUD’s Continuum of Care

Emergency shelter was either the old “three hots and a cot” model;

or a new “housing-ready” model.

1995 hud s continuum of care3
1995: HUD’s Continuum of Care
  • Housing –ready means
    • You commit to a case management plan in order to “earn” your housing;
  • Transitional housing programs also became housing-ready models
  • I can remember agencies applying for transitional housing because shelters were not eligible
1995 hud s continuum of care4
1995: HUD’s Continuum of Care

Plan to obtain housing was implemented at the end of a resident’s length of stay instead of the beginning;

If the agreed upon length of stay was 60 days in a shelter, too often it was not until the last week that serious attempts were made to find housing;

Treating the symptoms of homelessness instead of its root cause was the primary emphasis for the first seven weeks.

2000s plans and practices
2000s: Plans and Practices
  • 10-year Plans to End Homelessness;
    • More than 1,000 jurisdictions created approximately 350 plans
  • Evidence-based and “best” practices;
    • Research-based, field-tested, and time tested
  • “Next practices.”
    • scaling what we know works
why are we divided
Why Are We Divided?

I believe that the allocation of resources is one primary action that divides those who think ending homelessness is fiction and those who think ending homelessness is fact

why are we divided1
Why Are We Divided?

I believe that if you want to continue to see public and private grant funds, other charitable giving, in-kind donations or services used to support the initial continuum of care system, then you are likely to believe that ending homelessness is fiction.

why are we divided2
Why Are We Divided?

I believe if you want to see a reallocation of resources of public and private grant funds, other charitable giving, in-kind donations or services used to support evidence-based and best practices, then you are likely to believe that ending homelessness is fact

why are we divided3
Why Are We Divided?

Instead of continuing to spend millions and millions of dollars to sustain people’s lives on the streets, or live in shelters and transitional housing programs, we would spend the money on helping people obtain and maintain permanent housing.

where do we go from here
Where Do We Go From Here?
  • We need to reach critical mass?
    • Enough of us have to believe that we can end homelessness
    • 100 yrs ago – child labor
    • 50 yrs ago – civil rights
    • 40 yrs ago – section 8
where do we go from here1
Where Do We Go From Here?
  • “Undecideds”
    • You want to believe we can end homelessness
    • You’re not sure where all the resources will come from
    • You’re even willing to give it a shot even if you are not sure where all of the resources will come from
where do we go from here2
Where Do We Go From Here?

We need to convince you that enough housing can be found?

We need to convince you that most homeless people will not lose their housing once they are housed

We need to convince you that we can get chronically homeless people off the streets

where do we go from here3
Where Do We Go From Here?
  • We need to reach critical mass concerning resources;
    • Public funding
      • Federal, State, County, and City
    • Leveraging – HUD encourages 150%
    • Private foundations and grants
      • Scaling what works http://www.scalingwhatworks.org
where do we go from here4
Where Do We Go From Here?
  • Private Donations
    • Corporations, civic groups, individuals
  • Fundraising Events
    • Dinners, auctions, tournaments, etc
  • Volunteers
    • legion
  • Social capital
    • quality and quantity of relationships, networks, and norms among people and organizations that facilitate collective action.
where do we go from here5
Where Do We Go From Here?
  • Compassion and Critical Mass
  • Compassion is a powerful force;
    • A person can spend untold hours assisting others in need or journey into harms way;
  • Compassion beckons us into unexplored territory—often into a world of persistent human need.