National Progress in Ending Homelessness

Opening DoorsThe United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) recently issued its 2013 Annual Update to Congress, which highlights the progress in reaching the goals outlined in Opening Doors: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness (Opening Doors). According to this report, homelessness has decreased by more than six percent since Opening Doors was released in 2010. Family homelessness has decreased by eight percent, chronic homelessness by 16 percent, and veteran homelessness by 24 percent.

Further, USICH hosted a meeting in April 2014 to discuss the progress it has made in assisting and supporting the efforts of local communities in ending homelessness. Representatives from Houston and Phoenix were invited to speak about the power of their Federal partnerships in helping them advance their efforts to reach the goals outlined in Opening Doors.

To add to the accomplishments of cities making significant progress in ending homelessness, the New York Times recently featured Philadelphia’s success in housing the homeless with significant commitment from John and Leigh Middleton, two philanthropic donors who contributed $30 million to Project HOME. Project HOME is a Philadelphia-based organization committed to providing housing and services to homeless individuals and families. The donation is expected to enable Philadelphia to double the number of apartments available to the homeless.

Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia, among other cities, stand as evidence that it is possible to make significant progress in ending homelessness.