1. What Is A 10-Year Strategy to End Homelessness?
A 10-Year Strategy to End Homelessness is:
• Designed to address the critical problem of homelessness and all related issues through a coordinated community-based process of identifying needs and building a system of care to address those needs.
• Predicated on the understanding that homelessness is not caused merely by a lack of shelter, but involves a variety of underlying, unmet needsphysical, economic, and social.
• Supported by a community-wide public and private strategy with a goal of ending homelessness that is based upon the successful implementation of three major community-coordinated actions(1) building infrastructure; (2) strengthening an existing continuum of care system; and (3) planning for sustainable outcomes.
2. Who Is Completing A 10-Year Strategy to End Homelessness?
More than 100 cities are currently completing “A 10-Year Strategy to End Homelessness,” according to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH). Philip F. Mangano, ICH Executive Director, was appointed by President Bush to lead the ICH in March of 2002. The ICH is part of the Domestic Policy Council within the Executive Office of the President and is responsible for the coordination of 20 federal agencies in their response to reduce and end homelessness.
The U. S. Conference of Mayors has recently extended the Bush Administration’s challenge to the 100 largest cities to complete 10-Year Strategies to End Homelessness. In June of 2003, the Mayors Conference unanimously passed a resolution that “strongly encourages cities to create and implement strategic plans to end homelessness in 10 years.”
Locally, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) staff will be coordinating the city-wide 10-Year Strategy process. The Institute for Urban Research and Development has been selected to be the DHHS Principal Consultant in this planning effort.
While Long Beach is one of three cities in the Countythe other two being Glendale and Pasadenathat coordinates their own homeless Continuum of Care system and are developing their own 10-year strategies to end homelessness. To ensure coordination and integration with Los Angeles County, the City of Long Beach has been participating in the County’s 10-year strategy to end homelessness which is called the “Partnership to End Homelessness - Bring LA Home.”
3. Why Is A 10-Year Strategy to End Homelessness Important?
Several cities that have already completed and are implementing 10-year strategies have recognized that their past efforts focused on “managing” homelessness rather than ending it. Through the 10-Year strategies, these communities have moved beyond efforts to manage homelessness and into strategic goals and objectives that are both preventing homelessness and ending it. Such goals and objectives include:
• Preventing homelessness for persons living in poverty (particularly among those who are already clients of other social service systems and public institutions such as hospitals, jails, and foster care);
• Developing permanent housing options that improve cost-efficiency and ensure long-term stability;
• Improving the availability of affordable housing, creating a livable wage, and necessary support services for people at the lowest end of the economic spectrum;
• Collecting accurate data in order to improve system-wide effectiveness in preventing and ending homelessness; and
• Analyzing data and evaluating outcomes in order to identify the most effective strategies for each subgroup of the homeless population.
Successfully implementing a long-range, community-based, coordinated action plan in Long Beach is important. Although current homeless services programs end homelessness for people every day, they are soon replaced by other persons entering into homelessness. Some expected results from doing a coordinated long-range plan are:
• Significant savings from reduced usage of high-cost, publicly-funded services (e.g., jails and emergency room services);
• Cleaner, safer streets within residential, business, and recreational areas;
• More (80 percent or greater) homeless individuals and families will maintain affordable housing; and
• Better tracking of outcomes and resource allocation.
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