How will Washington DC end homelessness?
by Karen FitzGerald (Meyer Foundation) and Maria Barker (Fannie Mae)
According to Laura Zeilinger (Deputy Director, DC Department of Human Services) and Kelly Sweeney McShane (Executive Director, Community of Hope), who briefed funders on DC’s new Strategic Action Plan to End Homelessness, DC plans to:
- Continue to move individuals and families out of homelessness and into affordable, safe housing as quickly as possible.
- Increase the production and preservation of affordable and supportive housing in the city. Some homeless families and individuals need the intensive services and deep rental subsidies of permanent supportive housing to end their homelessness, But about 80 percent of families who experience homelessness simply need an affordable place to live, and so affordable housing remains a crucial element of the plan to end homelessness.
- Redouble efforts to prevent homelessness in the first place, by reducing evictions, and working with such agencies as the Department of Corrections and the Department of Mental Health to ensure that individuals who leave prison and other institutions have a place to live.
The City will also move to a performance-based contracting system with nonprofit organizations that serve our homeless neighbors, and track outcomes along ten indicators.
The Department of Human Services expects to have new contracts in place by October 1st.
Funders plan to meet with DHS leaders in the fall to hear how implementation of the new plan is progressing. Stay tuned.