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Building Capacity to End Homelessness
August 23, 2010
Today’s blog comes from Norm Suchar, the recently promoted Director of theCenter for Capacity Building. Read on to hear about what the Center is up to!
There’s a lot happening in the homelessness assistance world these days, and we at the Alliance are working on big things to help communities implement the HEARTH Act and end homelessness.
The Center for Capacity Building is the Alliance’s training, technical assistance, and consulting arm. Over the years, we’ve worked on a lot of interesting projects, including the Rural Homelessness Initiative of Southeast and Central Ohio, which as the name implies is a homelessness planning and implementation project in a 17 county region in Ohio, and Shifting Gears, an initiative to help homelessness assistance providers transition to a housing first approach. More recently, we’ve been working with communities in the DC metro area to implement strategies that reduce family homelessness, holding trainings on rapid re-housing and creating and piloting a new Ending Family Homelessness Tool.
The Center’s mission is to bring together three areas of the homelessness assistance field: what we aspire to, what we know, and what we practice.
Over the past decade, the aspiration to end homelessness has taken hold. Over 300 communities have plans to end homelessness, and now the federal government has an ambitious plan to prevent and end homelessness.
At the same time what we know about solving homelessness through prevention and rapid re-housing has increased a lot. Different strategies have been evaluated, and the data we have on the size, characteristics, and outcomes of the homelessness population is ever increasing.
And now the practice of homelessness will be changing at a faster rate as well with the implementation of the HEARTH Act and growing federal and local government and private philanthropy support for implementing strategies that end homelessness.
Over the next year, the Center is going roll out a series of products and trainings to help communities meet the promise of the HEARTH Act by assessing their existing homelessness assistance system and making it a coordinated, data driven, and housing focused system. It’s an exciting time.