Chronic homelessness continues to be a critical moral and social problem, one that is costly in terms of dollars and human suffering. But it is a solvable problem….
It is the sense of the Council that: The District is committed to ending chronic homelessness by no later than 2020. To achieve this goal, the District’s [Interagency Council on Homelessness] ICH must coordinate the investment of sufficient resources to plan and create the 2,679 permanent supportive housing units needed to end chronic homelessness by no later than 2020.
These quotes come from a resolution passed unanimously by the DC Council yesterday committing to ending chronic homelessness by 2020. This resolution does not require them to take any future steps or commit any funding, but it does tell us that the DC Council supports ending chronic homelessness in DC. We thank all the Councilmembers who stood together calling for an end to chronic homelessness. As the they consider the budget over the next few months, we need to make sure they keep their commitment and fund the programs that will make chronic homelessness history.
CNHED has been very active in creating the Interagency Council on Homelessness’s plan to end chronic homelessness, and advocated that the Mayor and Council fully fund the plan in this year’s budget. The Mayor’s budget included an increase of over $4 million to serve individual veterans who are experiencing chronic homelessness. This is a good start, but does not fully meet the funding needed in the first year of the plan, and will not serve any chronically homeless families who are currently stuck in DC’s family shelter system. Additional funds will be needed this year, and the District needs to fund the programs according to the plan each year. We will be working with the Council to make sure that the ICH plan is funded this year and in future years, and are counting on you to work with us.