Aligning Hearts, Heads, and Budgets to End Chronic Homelessness in 2017


As the FY 2016 budget process moves forward, there could be good news for our efforts to end homelessness, and in particular, ending chronic homelessness. This is because there is still the opportunity for Congress to fulfill the request made by President Obama in this Fiscal Year budget to provide $2.48 billion for HUD’s Homeless Assistance Grants, which includes $265 million to create 25,500 additional permanent supportive housing units to achieve the goal of ending chronic homelessness in 2017.

In this moment, it may be helpful to remind ourselves of the reasons why ending chronic homelessness has historically received strong legislative support:

Ending chronic homelessness is one of the rare instances of a policy issue where we know what must be done to solve it, and moreover, where the most compassionate thing to do is also the most fiscally responsible thing to do. It’s time now to align our budgets with what both our hearts and our heads tell us to do. It’s time to end chronic homelessness.


Richard Cho is the Deputy Director at USICH, where he coordinates USICH’s Federal policy efforts and the implementation of Opening Doors.