From Our Partners: USICH Unveils Expanding the Toolbox: The Whole-of-Government Response to Homelessness
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) unveiled a new strategic plan to reduce homelessness, Expanding the Toolbox: The Whole-of-Government Response to Homelessness. The plan shares strategies to increase self-sufficiency and focuses on trauma-informed care by considering homelessness beyond the sole issue of housing to explore the root causes for each individual and family experiencing homelessness.
The plan places great emphasis on transparency and accuracy in reporting the number of Americans who are experiencing homelessness. Unsheltered homelessness increased 20.5 percent from 175,399 in 2014 to 211,293 in 2019.
Expanding the Toolbox makes clear that homelessness is on the rise and real reforms are needed. Policies that do not address the real root causes of homelessness combined with high housing costs in overregulated markets have exacerbated the homelessness condition in America.
This strategic plan focuses on:
- The importance and power of the dignity of work
- The importance of mental health and trauma-informed care
- Affordable construction to improve the stock of affordable housing
- Prevention as an avenue to reduce expense while reducing trauma
- The need for population-specific programming
- Renewed focus on racial disparities
- Promotion of alternatives to criminalizing people experiencing homelessness
- The importance of national emergency readiness