According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, 580,466 people were experiencing homelessness in America at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. While New York State and California experience the greatest incidence of homelessness across the United States, homelessness is a problem with relatively little variation between states. With that said, certain subgroups are at substantially greater risk of falling into homelessness. Males are far more likely to experience homelessness than females. Out of every 10,000 males, 22 are homeless. For women and girls, that number is 13. Sexual orientation is also a factor. According to Street Kids, 42% of homeless children identify as LGBT. Race is another significant predictor of homelessness, as socio-economically marginalized ethnic populations encounter higher rates of homelessness. For instance, with a homelessness rate of a little over 1%, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders have the highest homelessness rate of any ethnic group in the United States. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to hinder economic growth, homelessness is expected to rise. It is subsequently feared that elevated unemployment rates and widespread evictions may wipe out the modest reduction in homelessness that has been made since 2007.
Homelessness is tackled at multiple levels of government across the United States via a variety of housing and services programs. Assistance infrastructure includes emergency shelters, transitional housing, rapid re-housing, and permanent supportive housing. Over the last decade, the strategy to assist America’s homeless populations has shifted. Instead of providing traditional housing programs, a greater emphasis has been placed on permanent housing solutions to homelessness—such as permanent supportive housing and rapid re-housing. Since 2016, the majority of US states (33 in total), have increased permanent supportive housing capacity. However, a number of states have decreased permanent supportive housing capacity. For example, Minnesota decreased its housing capacity by 1,379 in just one year.
In August 2021, the Senate passed a budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 14) instructing the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs to prepare legislation that would increase the nation’s investment in housing vouchers, public housing, and the National Housing Trust Fund by $322 billion. The Housing Secretary has also allocated $5 billion in new grants to states and local governments across the country for rental assistance.
Despite, these novel efforts to invest in housing provisions, charities argue that further attention needs to be awarded to certain priorities. The National Alliance to End Homelessness has recommended that within the Committee’s legislative preparations, $40 billion be allocated for new and renovated residential buildings throughout the Housing and Trust Fund (HTF), and $70 billion for public housing repairs and renovation – which is key to prevent housing depreciating. In light of the economic fallout of the pandemic, The National Alliance to End Homelessness also pushes for an expansion of the Housing Choice Voucher to help people pay their rents. As the federal eviction moratorium ends, and the Biden administration announces significant funds to tackle homelessness, this timely symposium will look not only at strategies to tackle homelessness, but also priorities for upcoming legislation and best practices for supporting vulnerable individuals at the federal, state, and local levels.
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Veterans Affairs
Homeless services authorities
Housing and community investment departments
Affordable housing developers
Public housing authorities
Directors of housing operations
Directors of housing development
Family housing agencies
Directors of homeless services
Directors of residential services
Case managers (homeless services)
Shelter case managers
Homeless veteran advocates
Veteran support specialists
Women's veteran advocates
Community outreach specialists
Community health workers
Housing stabilization specialists
Peer housing navigators
Relocation service managers/caseworkers
Homeless coalition managers
Student homelessness liaisons
Community programs advocates
Family service coordinators
Family care coordinators
Emergency relief counselors
Mental health clinicians/ Specialists
Treatment/Substance abuse specialists
Public health managers/Administrators
Real estate professionals
City council representatives
City & Urban Planners
Special interest groups
Faith-based and interfaith organizations
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