Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness is our nation’s first-ever federal strategic plan to prevent end homelessness. Simply put, the plan acts as a blueprint by which the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) and its local and state partners work to collectively put an end to homelessness in America.
With five years under its belt, Opening Doors has been amended this year to strengthen practices that have proven successful and to introduce additional strategies and current data to address the issue of homelessness.
The most notable changes, as identified by USICH, include:
- The inclusion of an operational definition for an end to homelessness;
- Updating the timing of the goal of ending chronic homelessness from 2015 to 2017, which reflects the need for additional resources to achieve this goal nationally;
- Clarifying the role of Medicaid in financing services in permanent supportive housing, including the impact of the Supreme Court ruling on Medicaid expansion as a State decision;
- Providing clearer guidance and adding new strategies to support the retooling of homelessness programs into effective crisis response systems; and
- Adding emphasis on the uses of data in decision-making and performance management to prevent and end homelessness.
This is just a small glimpse of the changes made to the plan. For a more in-depth look at Opening Doors and the 2015 amendment, visit USICH online.