2016 National Planning Excellence Award: HUD Secretary's Opportunity & Empowerment Award
Homeless Solutions Community 10-Year Plan
City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio
Differing from other existing approaches, the Homeless Solutions 10-Year Plan changed the approach from 'managing' to ending chronic homelessness. The plan is data-driven and based on best practice models providing a creative, coordinated and collaborative approach to tackling the moral and economic challenges of homelessness.
Prior to the plan, the homeless 'system' was more of a collection of dedicated providers who initially stepped up to fill the need. The plan provides a cohesive, coordinated homeless system implementing a set of agreed upon community strategies, changing the shape of the homeless assistance system in Dayton and Montgomery County.
The plan identifies four key principles: poverty reduction, housing, prevention, and multi-system response. The differentiating elements that have propelled Dayton-Montgomery County efforts to the national forefront include: coordinated entry/assessment; joint funding; and performance measurement.
The plan also offers other communities prescriptive measures as they work to develop their own housing and homeless solutions:
- Understand the nature and extent of homelessness in the community.
- Set a clear goal
- Commit to a community-wide level of organization
- Leverage resources from mainstream public and private agencies
- Adopt strategies to end not 'manage' homelessness
Nearly 200 individuals representing consumers, providers, neighborhood groups, government jurisdictions, philanthropy, business, nonprofits, education, housing and the faith community participated. The leadership team is comprised of community leaders from the fields of business, faith, healthcare, criminal justice, education, housing, mental health, social services, media, and philanthropy.
Individual interviews and focus groups with homeless and formerly homeless persons provided a direct perspective on and experiences with the services and programs they encountered.
The Homeless Solutions 10-Year Plan has been formally adopted by the City of Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, and the United Way of the Greater Dayton Area. The plan and governance structure has been used as a model to shape other community initiatives on substance abuse, ex-offender reentry, and poverty reduction.
The plan has reached 80 percent of one of its quantitative goals to produce permanent support housing. And chronic homelessness has declined 79 percent since the plan's implementation.