On June 15th, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) released guidance for addressing encampments that can be found here. Unsheltered homelessness and encampments have been considered by USICH to be a crisis in the United States. According to USICH, more individuals that experienced homelessness in 2020 were living on the streets than in shelters for the first time.
The guidance lists seven core principles in addressing encampments, which includes:
- Establishing a Cross-Agency, Multi-Sector Response
- Engage with Encampment Residents to Develop Solutions
- Conduct Comprehensive and Coordinated Outreach
- Address Basic Needs and Provide Storage
- Ensure Access to Shelter or Housing Options
- Develop Pathways to Permanent Housing and Supports
- Create a Plan for What Will Happen to Encampment Sites After Closure
This release follows the unanimous vote by USICH to approve the national goal to significantly reduce homelessness. The goal and strategies to achieve it will be published in the newest federal strategic plan to be released later this year.
More information regarding the guidance will be provided in the next edition of the Monitor published on June 30.