National Health Care for the Homeless Council Welcomes New Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness

National Health Care for the Homeless Council Welcomes New Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness

December 20, 2022

This week, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) released ALL IN: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, outlining a blueprint for a future where no one experiences homelessness, and everyone has a safe, stable, accessible, and affordable home. The National Health Care for the Homeless Council (NHCHC) appreciates the comprehensive approach to this plan, and supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness by 25% by January 2025.  

While the plan outlines a wide range of goals and relevant strategies across many areas, many components of the plan align with NHCHC’s mission and priorities.

In particular, the plan:

  • Clearly states that housing is a social determinant of health, and that lack of housing contributes to trauma, illness, and premature mortality. 
  • Emphasizes that housing is health care, and illustrates the significant chronic medical and behavioral health disparities that exist between housed and unhoused people.  
  • Advances the important role of low-barrier health care services delivered with a harm reduction philosophy, and calls for investments to expand the health care workforce (to include community health workers, peer supports, and others). 
  • Elevates medical respite care as a specific strategy to meet the needs of people who need recuperative care after hospital discharge. 
  • Calls out the role of systemic racism and the disproportionate impact of homelessness on people of color, while also advancing solutions framed around racial equity.  
  • Centers the voices of people with lived experience of homelessness, and calls for more inclusive decision-making and authentic collaboration with a wider range of historically marginalized groups.  
  • Outlines the critical need for additional affordable housing, and emphasizes the importance of using an evidence-based, ‘Housing First’ approach that includes needed services.  
  • Recognizes the role of Health Care for the Homeless programs as a targeted program benefiting people experiencing homelessness, as well as the role of the broader health center program (as a non-targeted program). 
  • Offers a roadmap to prevent homelessness that recognizes the interconnected role of education, employment, health care, and housing supports.  

“We commend the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness on this very thorough plan, which looks at homelessness from a public health perspective and emphasizes the upstream causes of homelessness—such as systemic racism and the lack of affordable housing,” said NHCHC CEO Bobby Watts. 

It is clear, however, that this plan will require additional resources and policy changes, especially across the housing and health care sectors. The Council looks forward to working with Congress to increase the funding and enact the policies needed to truly prevent and end homelessness for so many Americans. 

For more information

Please contact Bobby Watts.

About the National Health Care for the Homeless Council 

The National Health Care for the Homeless Council, based in Nashville, is the premier national organization working at the nexus of homelessness and health care. Grounded in human rights and social justice, the NHCHC’s mission is to build an equitable, high-quality health care system through training, research, and advocacy in the movement to end homelessness.  

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