December 20, 2022, Washington, D.C. – The National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) expresses its enthusiastic support for the newly-released U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) report, All In: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.
NCH has long believed that ending homelessness requires a strong coordinated effort by the US Federal government, as well as the USICH. Being led and governed by those with previous experience of homelessness, we appreciate the USICH’s emphasis on genuine partnerships with people experiencing homelessness, as well as the need to address structural racism.
We believe the initiatives outlined in All In will provide the administration a springboard for more robust condemnation of the efforts to make homelessness illegal, along with clear refocusing on the affordable housing crisis in the United States. It is past time that we focus anti-poverty efforts and solutions to homelessness on structural change instead of perceived individual failures.
USICH is the only federal agency with the sole mission of preventing and ending homelessness in America. It coordinates with 19 federal member agencies, state and local governments, and the private sector to create partnerships, use resources in the most efficient and effective ways, and implement evidence-based best practices.
Donald Whitehead, Executive Director of NCH, said, “the federal government must ensure that all citizens have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is the belief of the National Coalition that housing must be included in the fundamental rights for those living in the richest country in the history of the world.”
All In: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness is a well-designed strategic, measurable and inclusive plan that restores the true role of the USICH to that of a leader in federal policy to end homeless. “Homelessness is solvable. We believe that the Federal Strategic plan provides a roadmap to realize the end to homelessness that motivated our founders, including Michael Stoops, buddy grey and Mitch Snyder” said Donald Whitehead.
Dr. Rajni Shankar-Brown, President of the National Coalition for the Homeless Board and Professor and Distinguished Chair of Social Justice Education at Stetson University stated, “The USICH Federal Strategic Plan to End Homelessness provides a strong start to ending this humanitarian crisis. Housing is a human right. To live in one of the wealthiest nations in the world with millions of individuals, families, children and youth without housing is unacceptable. People with lived experience and expertise must be part of creating solutions. Racial equity and intersectionality must be intentionally prioritized, particularly given persistent and growing disparities — racial, ethnic, gender, LGBTQIA+, disabilities, and historically and socially marginalized communities in the U.S.. We are long overdue to be all in and to genuinely advance housing justice.”
“NCH and the Bring America Home Now Campaign strongly support Housing as a Human Right and it is critical that people that have experienced housing crises are at decision making tables in designing and implementing the responses that meet their needs and wants. To implement this plan we need the equity in resources we provide to homeowners and people’s housing needs at 30% median income and below. (Homeowners receive at least 4x’s the subsidy as people with lowest income in our country),” added Sue Watlov Phillips, NCH Policy Committee Chair and Executive Director of MICAH (Minnesota).
The National Coalition is the oldest national advocacy organization around homelessness and is pleased to see a plan that focuses on data driven solutions and moves away from the disastrous policy promoted by the previous administration.