United States Interagency Council on Homelessness

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Seal of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness
United States Interagency Council on Homelessness
Agency overview
FormedJuly 22, 1987
Headquarters1275 First Street NE
Suite 227 Washington, D.C. 20552
Employees18 (2021) [1]
Annual budget$3.8 million (2021) [2]
Agency executive
Websitewww.USICH.gov

The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) is an independent federal agency within the U.S. executive branch that leads the implementation of the federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. USICH is advised by a Council, which includes the heads of its 20 federal member agencies. The immediate past chair was Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, and the vice chair was Secretary of Education John King. USICH partners with these 19 federal agencies, state and local governments, advocates, service providers, and people experiencing homelessness to achieve the goals outlined in the first federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness, Opening Doors.[3]

USICH is made up of a small team headquartered in Washington, D.C., led by Executive Director Robert Marbut since December 2019.[4] Previously it was led by Executive Director Matthew Doherty from April 2015 until November 2019.[5] Policy staff work closely with each of the 20 Federal Agencies that make up the Council to make progress on the goals and strategies of Opening Doors. USICH works directly with states and communities through five Regional Coordinators who connect with state and local governments in the creation of strategic plans and to promote the strategies of Opening Doors in local communities.

USICH works with its partners to

  • Establish and maintain effective, coordinated, and supportive relationships with every federal agency;
  • Organize and support states and communities to effectively implement local plans to end homelessness;
  • Develop an effective portal to federal programs and initiatives;
  • Establish and maintain productive communications with Congress;
  • Establish partnerships with public and private sector stakeholders;
  • Monitor, evaluate, and recommend improvements in serving those experiencing homelessness and disseminate best practices;
  • Provide professional and technical assistance to states, local governments, and other public and private nonprofit organizations.

In 2010, the agency released the first federal strategic plan to end homelessness in the United States which includes four goals

  1. To finish the job of ending chronic homelessness by 2015.
  2. To prevent and end homelessness among Veterans by 2015.
  3. To prevent and end homelessness for families, youth, and children by 2020.
  4. To set a path to ending all types of homelessness.

History[edit]

The Interagency Council on the Homeless was authorized by Title II of the landmark Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act enacted on July 22, 1987 (PL 100-77). The McKinney Act established the Interagency Council on the Homeless as an "independent establishment" within the executive branch to review the effectiveness of federal activities and programs to assist people experiencing homelessness, promote better coordination among agency programs, and inform state and local governments and public and private sector organizations about the availability of federal homeless assistance. In 2002, Council members voted to approve changing the name of the agency to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), a change that was enacted into law in 2004 (PL 108-199).

The most recent reauthorization of USICH occurred in 2009 with enactment of the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act. (PL111-22).[6]

The Council originally included the heads (or their representatives) of 16 Federal agencies. Five additional agencies were subsequently added by Council vote or statutory amendments, while two agencies are now inactive. The current members of the Council include the heads of the following 19 Departments and agencies: U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, Labor, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs, Corporation for National and Community Service, General Services Administration, Office of Management and Budget, Social Security Administration, United States Postal Service, and the White House Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives.

Directors[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Fiscal Year 2022 Congressional Budget Justification" (PDF).
  2. ^ "U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Fiscal Year 2022 Congressional Budget Justification" (PDF).
  3. ^ "Opening Doors" (PDF).
  4. ^ Kesling, Ben (2020-02-01). "New Homelessness Czar Takes Aim at Longstanding Policy". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-02-01.
  5. ^ a b Stein, Jeff, Trump administration ousts top homelessness official as White House prepares broad crackdown, The Washington Post, November 16, 2019.
  6. ^ Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009
  7. ^ "Staff | United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH)". www.usich.gov.

External links[edit]