On June 22, The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) released an updated version of Opening Doors, the Administration’s comprehensive plan for preventing and ending homelessness. It includes new strategies for reaching the plan’s goals to:
- Prevent and end homelessness among veterans in 2015.
- Finish the job of ending chronic homelessness in 2017.
- Prevent and end homelessness for families, youth, and children in 2020.
- Set a path to end all types of homelessness.
According to USICH, the amended plan “encompasses much of the original plan, but with some additions and clarifications that further strengthen its value as a living blueprint for action.”
The most significant changes to Opening Doors are:
- A new operational definition for an end to homelessness – where “every community [has] a system in place that ensures homelessness is prevented whenever possible or is otherwise a rare, brief, and non-recurring experience.”
- A new timeframe for the goal of ending chronic homelessness from 2015 to 2017, because more resources are needed to achieve this goal nationwide.
- A clarification of the role Medicaid has in financing services in permanent supportive housing.
- Clearer guidance and new strategies to support revamping homeless programs into effective crisis response systems.
- Added emphasis on the uses of data in decision-making and performance management.
The updated version of Opening Doors is at http://usich.gov/resources/uploads/asset_library/USICH_OpeningDoors_Amendment2015_FINAL.pdf
The summary of changes to Opening Doors is at http://usich.gov/resources/uploads/asset_library/Summary_Changes_2015_OD_Amendment.pdf