Ten Essentials Toolkit


National Alliance to End Homelessness

Toolkits | August 15, 2006

Files: PDF | 681 KB | 113 pages

What Your Community Needs To Do To End Homelessness

The National Alliance to End Homelessness has created the this toolkit as a guide to help communities identify the minimum requirements for an effective permanent solution to prevent and end homelessness.

This toolkit presents a checklist of steps that communities should take to end homelessness. The checklist is based on essentials presented in the Alliance's Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness, which draws from over twenty years of research and experience with communities around the country. No essential is more important than another. All require participation from every sector of the community.

This toolkit includes examples and case studies from communities across the country, as well as former Executive Director of the Interagency Council on Homelessness Philip Mangano’s remarks to the 2003 US Conference of Mayors.

The Ten Essentials, as identified by the Alliance, are listed below:

Your community has a set of strategies focused on ending homelessness. A wide range of players (government programs, elected officials, homeless providers, etc.) has made funding and implementation commitments to these strategies.

Your community has a homelessness management information system that can be analyzed to assess how long people are homeless, what their needs are, what the causes of homelessness are, how people interact with mainstream systems of care, the effectiveness of interventions, and the number of homeless people.

Emergency Prevention
Your community has in place an emergency homelessness prevention program that includes rent/mortgage/utility assistance, case management, landlord/lender intervention, and other strategies to prevent eviction and homelessness.

Systems Prevention

  • Mainstream programs (mental health, substance abuse, TANF, child welfare, etc.) that provide care and services to low-income people consistently assess and respond to their housing needs.
  • There is placement in stable housing for all people being released from public institutions.

Your community has an outreach and engagement system designed to reduce barriers and encourage homeless people so that they enter appropriate housing (including safe havens) linked with appropriate services.

Shorten Homelessness
The shelter and transitional housing system in your community is organized to reduce or minimize the length of time people remain homeless, and the number of times they become homeless. Outcome measures will be key to this effort.

Rapid Re-Housing
Your community has skilled housing search and housing placement services available to rapidly re-house all people losing their housing or who are homeless and who want permanent housing.

When households are re-housed, they have rapid access to funded services, and mainstream programs provide the bulk of these services.

Permanent Housing

  • Your community has a sufficient supply of permanent supportive housing to meet the needs of all chronically homeless people.
  • Your community is implementing a plan to fully address the permanent housing needs of extremely low-income people.

When it is necessary in order to obtain housing, your community assists homeless people to secure enough income to afford rent, by rapidly linking them with employment and/or benefits. It also connects them to opportunities for increasing their incomes after housing placement opportunities provided primarily by mainstream programs).