The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) is seeking feedback on possible amendments to Opening Doors: the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness (Opening Doors). Suggestions are due by August 8.
Opening Doors, released in 2010, provides a federal government framework with target dates for ending homelessness among different populations. Specific goals and target dates are:
• Ending homelessness among veterans by 2015.
• Ending chronic homelessness by 2015.
• Ending homelessness among children, youth, and families by 2020.
Opening Doors was amended in 2012 to elaborate on the plan’s section regarding ending youth homelessness. Now USICH is seeking potential amendments that reflect best practices, legislative changes such as enactment of the Affordable Care Act, and the impact of constrained federal funding.
USICH Executive Director Laura Green Zeilinger said in an email to stakeholders, “This year, we’re considering amending the plan again to include more of what we’ve learned from our progress. For instance, through the tremendous advances made by communities, we have gained critical new insights on the necessary components of effective homeless crisis response systems. In addition, health care reform has meant new innovations and approaches in bringing Medicaid to bear on ending homelessness. Also, due to a lack of Congressional support for needed affordable housing investments, we will not reach our national goal to end chronic homelessness in 2015. However, if Congress supports the President’s 2015 budget, we can reach the goal in 2016.”