Archive for September 17th, 2012
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) recently released an amendment to Opening Doors, the federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. The amendment, which USICH officials developed with its federal partners, addresses the education needs of children experiencing homelessness and provides strategies to solve the problem of homelessness amongst youth.
The amendment, which calls for data, more research, more resources, systems-level thinking, and true collaborations across systems and disciplines, adds depth and context to the administration’s current thinking on what’s needed to address these issues.
This new perspective comes from two models included in the amendment, one that outlines a new strategy for obtaining more accurate data on youth, and another, which shows the administration’s framework for ending youth homelessness, which was released in conjunction with USICH’s June 2012 council meeting.
The new amendment:
- Adds robust language on obtaining a more comprehensive understanding of the scope of youth homelessness;
- Outlines new strategies for increasing access to education for unaccompanied youth and improving their educational outcomes;
- Adds a new emphasis on increasing access for unaccompanied youth to early childhood education programs;
- Adds a new focus on awareness among practitioners of the importance of child and youth development;
- Outlines new strategies to support healthy child and youth development within housing programs;and
- Adds a new focus on advancing the health and housing stability for youth experiencing homelessness and youth exiting the foster care and juvenile justice systems.
We still have a lot of work to do if we are to end youth homelessness by 2020. However, this amendment speaks to the administration’s overall commitment to children and youth experiencing homelessness.
Now it’s time for us to determine what housing models and support services are the most effective for youth who are unable to return home or be reconnected with their families through family intervention.
We need to improve the crisis response mechanism for getting youth off of the street and connected to services. And lastly, we need to size these resources and bring them to scale for universal implementation – before 2020.
It’s that time of year again, the Combined Federal Campaign starts soon and we just wanted to remind you that The National Alliance to End Homelessness will be participating again this year! All federal employees have the opportunity to participate in the world’s largest giving program.
Last year federal workers pledged $69,314.52 toward our goal of ending homelessness. To those of you who helped us reach this incredible number, thank you! This year we need your help again. Remember to look for us under “Homelessness, National Alliance to End,” #10022 in your CFC pledge book and on your local campaign website. You may also see some of us at your upcoming CFC Fair.
If you’re not a federal employee you can still give! Many companies have their own matching campaigns that allow you to double your own person contribution. You can also remind friends and family who are federal employees to remember us when filling out their card.