United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH)

    Opening Doors Across America

    The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) is a government organization dedicated to reducing and ending homelessness through establishing a partnership between all levels of government and the private sector. The partnership includes 19 federal agencies, state and local governments, advocates, service providers, and the homeless.

    USICH ensures that issues and needs related to help end homelessness are addressed and effective.  As an independent establishment within the executive branch, USICH helps ensure that government activities are effective and coordinated among agency programs, and that programs to help end homelessness are efficient and effective.  USICH also helps inform the public and private sector about federal homeless assistance.

    In 2010, USICH launched the first national campaign to help end homelessness. Known as Opening Doors, the campaign is a national effort which aims to encourage states and communities to end homelessness by:

    • Aligning Plans with Opening Doors:  By aligning local strategic plans for ending homelessness with the Opening Doors effort, communities will contribute to preventing and ending chronic and Veterans homelessness by 2015; prevent and end homelessness for families, youth, and children by 2020; and strive to end all types of homelessness.
    • Setting Targets and Measuring Results: Measure and track reliable data about state or local homelessness that can help assess program goals.
    • Acting Strategically:  Implement effective centralization and coordination of services in response to the needs of the homeless, including rapid response systems that place individuals in shelters or alternatives to shelters to help prevent homelessness.
    • Partnering in National Efforts to End Homelessness: Maintain open communication across agencies, communities, and states about what works and what doesn’t work in helping to end or prevent homelessness.*

    Information about USICH and the federal agencies working to end homelessness can be found at www.usich.gov.  Whether you are someone in need, an advocate, a service provider, or a public service student looking to make a difference, you can visit the USICH website for information about programs, activities, and assistance.  In recognition of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, we also invite you to take a look at the Take Action section of the USICH website to find out how you can join Opening Doors Across America and help make a positive impact in the lives of those facing or struggling with homelessness.


    * United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. (2013). Retrieved from www.usich.gov  

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