In 2010, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) introduced the first comprehensive federal strategy to prevent and end homelessness. This plan, called Opening Doors, outlined a number of goals related to ending homelessness in the U.S.- key to this plan was a focus on ending chronic homelessness within five years. Since it’s initial launch, chronic homelessness has decreased by 21 percent nationwide showing that, while Opening Doors was on the right track, new strategies and resources are needed to achieve its goals. Last year, USICH released the 2015 Amendment to Opening Doors, adjusting the goal of ending chronic homelessness from 2015 to 2017.
In June 2016, USICH released the Criteria and Benchmark for Achieving the Goal of Ending Chronic Homelessness in order to help guide communities as they take action to achieve the goal, with a focus on long-term, lasting solutions. Using these criteria and benchmark as our map, along with lessons learned and results achieved through our work to end veteran homelessness, the Ohio BoSCoC has committed to a goal of ending chronic homelessness by 2017. The newly formed Chronic Homeless Workgroup will focus on building and fine-tuning the systems already put in place to identify and permanently house chronically homeless individuals and to align local efforts in support of these goals.