Relevant Federal Agencies and Departments
- Housing and Urban Development:
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business.
- Veterans Affairs:
The mission of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is to fulfill President Lincoln's promise "to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's veterans.
- Health and Human Services:
HHS is the United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and supporting the delivery of essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. As such, the delivery of treatment and services to persons experiencing homelessness is included in the activities of the department. The coordination of these services, both within the department, as well as with our federal partners who provide housing and complementary service programs, is a critical component of achieving the goal of preventing and ending homelessness.
- HEARTH Act:
On May 20, 2009, President Obama signed the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act into law, reauthorizing HUD's Homeless Assistance programs. It was included as part of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009. The HEARTH Act allows for the prevention of homelessness, rapid re-housing, consolidation of housing programs, and new homeless categories. In the eighteen months after the bill's signing, HUD must make regulations implementing this new McKinney program.
- Opening Doors:
On June 22, 2010, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) delivered Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness 2010, the nation's first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness to President Obama and congress. The plan's goals include finishing the job of ending chronic homelessness in five years, preventing and ending homelessness among veterans in five years, preventing and ending homelessness for families, youth and children in ten years and setting a path to ending all types of homelessness. The objectives of the plan are structured thematically, specifically by increasing leadership, collaboration and civic engagement, increasing access to stable and affordable housing, increasing economic security, improving health and stability and retooling the homeless crisis response system.
- McKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance:
TheMcKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987 is a United States federal law that provides federal money for homeless shelter programs. It was the first significant federal legislative response to homelessness, and was passed and signed into law by Presiden tRonald Reaganon July 22, 1987. The act has been reauthorized several times over the years. The McKinney Act originally had fifteen programs providing a spectrum of services to homeless people, including the Continuum of Care Programs, the Supportive Housing Program, the Shelter Plus Care Program, the Single Room Occupancy Program, and the Emergency Shelter Grant Program. It established the Interagency Council on the Homeless (later called the Interagency Council on Homelessness). The legislation has been amended several times since it was first written and enacted.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development – VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program is a joint effort between HUD and VA to move veterans and their families out of homelessness and into permanent housing. HUD provides housing assistance through its Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) that allows homeless veterans to rent privately owned housing. VA offers eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive services through its health care system across the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. From FY 2008 through FY 2011, HUD has allocated funding to local public housing authorities to provide over 37,000 Housing Choice Vouchers to homeless veterans while VA has hired dedicated VA case managers to assist homeless veterans in securing and maintaining permanent housing through intensive case management.