The homeless crisis in New York is the worse since the Great Depression of the 1930s. (iStock via GSU)
The homeless crisis in New York is the worse since the Great Depression of the 1930s. (iStock via GSU)

The Biden-Harris administration has set forth a federal plan to end homelessness in America with the ambitious goal of reducing it by 25% by 2025. 

The “All In: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness,” announced last month, will “build on the success of previous plans” and will do more to combat the systemic racism that has created racial and ethnic disparities in homelessness.

“All In,” recommits the federal government to strategies proven to work, said the administration, like “Housing First”—the model of care that treats housing as the immediate solution to homelessness, but not the only solution. 

Once housed, many people need support to stay housed—from health care and job training to legal and education assistance. 

But, they add that this model works because it treats people with dignity, personalizes their care, and recognizes that—without housing—every other aspect of a person’s life suffers.

“My plan offers a roadmap for not only getting people into housing but also ensuring that they have access to the support, services, and income that allow them to thrive,” President Biden said. “It is a plan that is grounded in the best evidence and aims to improve equity and strengthen collaboration at all levels.”

Biden added that he encourages state and local governments to use All In, developed by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), as a blueprint for creating their own plans to prevent and end homelessness and setting their own ambitious goals for 2025.

In addition, All In was shaped by public input from more than 500 people who have experienced homelessness, as well as leaders, providers, advocates, developers, and other partners from more than 600 communities, tribes, and territories. 

The plan is also based on more than 1,500 online comments and more than 80 listening sessions. The comments included expanding the supply and access to affordable housing and high-quality support and building better systems to prevent people from losing their homes.

“Nobody—no veteran, no American—should experience homelessness in the greatest country in the world,” said Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough, the chair of USICH, which developed All In with 19 federal agencies. 

“Together, we’ve driven down veteran homelessness by 55% since 2010, showing that we know how to tackle this issue if we all work together. Under President Biden’s leadership, we are going to build on that momentum and drive toward the day when every American has a good, safe place to call home.”

The plan’s release coincided with the week of Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day, commemorating the people who have lost their lives while living without a home. People who experience homelessness die nearly 30 years earlier than the average American.

“While homelessness is deadly, it is also preventable. The pandemic proved the power of prevention,” said the Department of Health and Human Services. 

“The Biden-Harris administration’s response to COVID—including emergency rental assistance for people at risk of eviction and direct cash assistance for most Americans— prevented millions from losing their homes and kept evictions at pre-pandemic levels. All In aims to further fix systems and failed policies in order to prevent homelessness, or the risk of it, long before it happens.”

Sarafina Wright –Washington Informer Staff Writer

Sarafina Wright is a staff writer at the Washington Informer where she covers business, community events, education, health and politics. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge, the Informer’s...

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