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Annual Report 2014
Report | December 7, 2015
Letter from the President
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Over the years, the country has come to understand that homelessness is a complicated problem, but one with a solution. Low incomes, high housing costs, disability, domestic violence, family conflict, health, and so many other factors interact to result in homelessness. On the other hand, the solution to homelessness is quite simple: people who have a home are not homeless. Their other problems may not go away, but from the stability of a home, they are much better equipped to address them.
Our work at the Alliance is all about identifying and sharing strategies that will bring us, as a nation, closer to this simple solution of getting people into housing and ending their homelessness. This year, our focus was no different.
In 2014, the Alliance worked hard and successfully on effective efforts to end homelessness, and strong federal policy to support them. Rapid re-housing, permanent supportive housing, treatment for physical and behavioral illnesses, programs for children, employment initiatives – research shows us that these are all effective ways to end homelessness. Used strategically and targeted based on individual need, they allow us to move forward, reducing the number of people who are homeless in the nation.
Alliance staff formed new partnerships with homeless advocates, local and federal officials, and other stakeholders to advocate for evidence-based, cost-effective solutions. We stayed hard at work producing the latest research and guidance for communities across the country so that they could work more efficiently and more cost-effectively.
Through these effective strategies and this collaborative approach, we continue to see homelessness decline. Despite the growing gap between what poor people earn and the cost of rental housing, the numbers continue to suggest that we are making a difference; overall homelessness has dropped 20 percent since 2005.
Over the past year alone, we’ve seen unsheltered homelessness decrease by 10 percent and family homelessness by 3 percent.
We can turn to places like the Commonwealth of Virginia, where the Alliance worked with state and nonprofit partners to shift to a new approach to homeless families. Over the course of four years Virginia reduced the number of families experiencing homelessness by 25 percent – from 1,181 family households in 2010 to 877 in 2014.
This year may be remembered best as the year the nation significantly reduced homelessness among veterans. Working in conjunction with a broad collaboration, our admirable team helped make sure that scores of veterans who had been on the streets, some for years, were able to secure housing.
In fact by the end of the year, 19 of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas had already housed more than 50 percent of their homeless veteran neighbors. New Orleans and New York City housed an even greater percentage.
These are just a few examples of the progress that has been made. But much remains to be done. Hundreds of thousands of people are still homeless every night; tens of thousands of them without even a shelter to sleep in. The National Alliance to End Homelessness continues to work harder and smarter than ever because we believe not only that homelessness is not acceptable in our great nation, but that we have the ability to solve it.
We thank you for your support in achieving that goal.
President and CEO, National Alliance to End Homelessness