White House pledges increased federal assistance to tackle homelessness in 5 cities and California.

The Biden administration has unveiled a comprehensive plan to reduce homelessness in America by 25% by 2025. The All Inside initiative will see the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness collaborate with state governments and local administrations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle, and Phoenix to provide permanent housing for unsheltered residents. The areas selected account for almost 50% of America’s unhoused population and have suffered from a chronic shortage of funding and resources to tackle homelessness in recent years.

Susan Rice, the President’s domestic policy advisor, outlined the government’s intentions and referred to the project as an opportunity to provide “knowledge, resources, and elbow grease” to help the participating cities make a significant impact over the next two years. Federal officials will be embedded in each area to provide particular assistance, and teams will be dispatched to facilitate access to federal funding.

Philanthropic groups and private businesses will also be invited to help identify support and collaboration opportunities. Rice cited the magnitude of the homelessness problem, with over 580,000 Americans homeless and four out of ten of them unsheltered and sleeping on sidewalks and in tents and cars. She emphasized that a particular focus on unsheltered homelessness is necessary to make meaningful progress.

The Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Social Security Agency, Department of Labor, and Federal Emergency Management Agency are among the federal agencies that will coordinate the initiative. While details of the initiative’s funding were not immediately available, the administration said it builds on the $2.5 billion already allocated to prevent homelessness under the American Rescue Plan and the $486 million from Department of Housing and Urban Development funding released earlier this year.

Some mayors, such as those of Los Angeles and Seattle, were enthusiastic about the program, saying it will bring together previously fragmented agencies and efforts. The newly launched regional homelessness authority in Seattle, for example, has come in for much criticism, while Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass has allocated $250 million to fund her program, Inside Safe. Others, like Phoenix, face specific challenges, such as a massive downtown encampment known as The Zone, with as many as 1,000 unhoused people near social services.

All In is the successor to Opening Doors, which aimed to end homelessness in America. The Biden administration hopes that this latest initiative will build on the success of its predecessor as part of a broader program to help vulnerable populations across the country.

Related Articles

Back to top button