NVAHA 15 – Accomplishment #7 (2009): A Regional Response to Ending Homelessness
NVAHA collaborated with the Alliance to End Homelessness to convene a regional forum to address homelessness in Northern Virginia. Over 120 attendees from across Northern Virginia came together to identify shared challenges among jurisdictions and to provide recommendations. Their recommendations were published in “Homeless in Northern Virginia: Local Communities Respond to Preventing and Ending Homelessness.”
“Homelessness in Northern Virginia,” provides an overview of the state of homelessness in the region and serves as a platform for a regional discussion among service providers, community-based organizations, policy experts, housing developers and local government agencies identifying common challenges and highlighting solutions used by select jurisdictions to meet these challenges. While most jurisdictions have adopted 10 Year Plans to address homelessness, all face issues around limited funding and an overall shortage of affordable housing, with even less housing devoted to those who are in poverty or chronically homeless.
Some jurisdictions are getting creative by collaborating on what funding sources to target and how to distribute any secured funding. Some are assigning dedicated staff to focus on and implement their 10 Year Plans. Some jurisdictions are considering housing options (like affordable efficiencies, group homes and safe havens) that will allow them to provide the more intensive case management and supportive services needed for success with chronically homeless individuals and families. Others are thinking about how to redesign their supportive services (particularly literacy and job training) to better target individuals with multiple barriers to housing and employment.
Regardless of the strategies being employed, these insights have been shared to determine their feasibility for jurisdictions across the region and to ultimately create a regional solution to end homelessness.