Federal News, Homelessness, Supportive Housing

CT Advocates Join Crowd in DC to End Homelessness


The Partnership's Shelby Mertes and 25 others from Connecticut - providers of housing and services, advocates, and people who have experienced homelessness - are among 1400 individuals from around the country that have converged upon Washington, DC at the National Alliance to End Homelessness's (NAEH) annual conference. The 3-day conference allows participants to share their practices and data, and to advocate for solutions with members of Congress and their staffs.

Despite a challenging budget environment in Washington, conference attendees expressed optimism that solid research, based on decades of experience, enables advocates to prove what works and allows them to confidently articulate those solutions.

Supportive and affordable housing, integrating systems and policy areas, and data-driven practices and policymaking are allowing advocates to offer solutions that help government curb spending on poor outcomes in healthcare, prisons, veterans affairs and other areas.

The conversations on the national front run parallel to policy considerations in Connecticut:

  • A new focus on youth homelessness;
  • A greater emphasis on data collection and analysis;
  • Refinement of approaches used under the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Program (HPRP) that will now be encouraged and funded by McKinney Vento;
  • Using Medicaid to fund services in supportive housing;
  • Coordinated intake into the homelessness response system;
  • The importance of housing authorities in the fight against homelessness;
  • Collaboration across policy areas; and
  • Helping the growing wave of returning veterans that become homeless.

NAEH has posted presentations from most of the many conference workshops.

Plenary sessions included:

  • Nan Roman of the National Alliance to End Homelessness
  • Roseanne Haggerty of Common Ground  and the national 100,000 Homes Campaign.  100,000 Homes has fostered creation of local coalitions across the country that use volunteers to reach out and identify people in chronic homelessness, create supportive housing, and get the most vulnerable people into that housing.  Journey Home, the organization leading the Hartford region’s Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness is a member of the Campaign.
  • Sam Tsemberis of Pathways to Housing in New York City, a pioneer in the ‘housing first’ approach to chronic homelessness.
  • Derek Douglas, Special Assistant to President Obama, White House Domestic Policy Council.

NAEH is still posting conference material to their website, and will have these plenary sessions available soon.

To Learn More:
NAEH conference workshops, presentations and materials


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