Community strategies to end homelessness require three simultaneous efforts:
- Prevention to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness,
- Effective homelessness response to provide crisis response and housing solutions for households that do become homeless, and
- Development of an adequate supply of housing that is affordable for people at low and extremely low income levels.
The homelessness response system operates in the context of and in coordination with multi-system efforts to prevent homelessness and expand housing.
Multi-System Prevention Efforts
Experiences of homelessness are influenced by housing market conditions, access to living wages, educational opportunities, access to affordable health and behavioral health care, child welfare and criminal justice system outcomes, and institutional and societal racism. As a result, efforts to prevent homelessness require multi-sector engagement. Leaders within the homelessness response system engage with these efforts in many ways, including through targeted prevention strategies, diversion training for cross-system partners, and education and advocacy for system reforms and community resources.
Housing Advocacy & Development
To help connect households who do experience homelessness with housing as efficiently as possible, communities need an adequate supply of safe, decent, and affordable housing. Housing market analyses that include data on people experiencing homelessness can inform education, advocacy, and cross-sector efforts to optimize usage of existing housing and increase affordable housing development, including the development of permanent supportive housing.