Friday News Roundup: homelessness headlines from New York, Ventura County, Denver and the blogospher

written by naehblog
April 16, 2010

What a week!

The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness released the findings of their listening process – the result will be the very first Federal Plan to End Homelessness! Keep an eye out for the plan on May 20.

Along with other policymakers and advocates, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan showed up for the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Annual Policy Conference was this week. Find out more about the event on the National Housing Institute’s blog Rooflines, which I just discovered this week.

From the headlines:

  • From California, the Ventura County Star published a surprisingly detailed story about their community count on homelessness. While similar stories tell a sparse story of the numbers, this story examined deeper issues, including the role of housing, services, and detailing the strategies that local stakeholders thought caused the decrease. Perhaps the most resonating message in the story came from the executive director of the Ventura County Homeless and Housing Coalition:When you write and follow a plan – it works.
  • Robert Pear of the New York Times offered a story on the eligibility requirements of welfare. Pear noted that even in the tough economy, old limits to the program remain – sometimes to the detriment of the community’s more vulnerable citizens.
  • Another story from the Times caused some conversation in the office – the Bloomberg administration has announced that a work requirement to the city’s “Advantage voucher” – a rent subsidy. The idea has gotten some negative feedback from those in the homeless assistance field. Still others have noted that as long as those who don’t qualify for the subsidy are eligible for other – likely more intensive – interventions, the new work requirement may be a good way to target the resource.
  • And finally, some personal news in this week’s clips: Jamie Van Leeuwen of Denver’s Road Home has resigned to work as the policy director for Mayor Johhn Hickenlooper’s gubernatorial campaign. During his tenure, the outgoing executive director made significant strides in implementing the organizations’ 10-year plan to end homelessness.

From the ever-expanding, ever-exciting blogopshere:

  • The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities just launched a new blog: Off the Charts. Check out the awesome infographics!
  • On the, End Homelessness blog, Neil Donovan of the National Coalition for the Homeless breaks down the problems with the U.S. Census’s attempts to count people experiencing homelessness.
  • The Portland Rescue Mission blog looks at youth homelessness from the perspective of a school bus driver.
  • I also just discovered The Road Home blog. It does a fantastic job of keeping us up to date about their work, which is definitely a national model.

(Careful readers of this blog might notice that we promised a post on youth homelessness this week: please stay tuned! We’ll feature the Runaway Homeless Youth Act next week, plus more on our Annual Awards Ceremony).