A few months after taking office, President Obama vowed to end homelessness in 10 years with an ambitious plan titled “Opening Doors.” This federal strategic plan puts us on the path to end veterans’ and chronic homelessness by 2015, and to end homelessness among children and families by 2020. This plan brings together HUD, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor and several other federal agencies to align housing, health, education, and human services to prevent Americans from losing their home.
But it isn’t just the federal government working to end homelessness. Local governments are coming up with ways to tackle homelessness in their back yard. Yesterday, the City of New Orleans unveiled its ten year plan to end homelessness. Joined by HUD Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development Mercedes Márquez, and U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Executive Director Barbara Poppe, Mayor Mitch Landrieu discussed plans to establish the New Orleans Interagency Council on Homelessness. The council will oversee the implementation of the city’s ten year plan.
“Mayor Landrieu’s got it right to confront the challenge of homelessness head on. The City’s plan recognizes the tremendous need for permanent supportive housing and HUD intends to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the mayor, city council members, housing advocates and anyone else in the community working to make this plan a reality.” –Assistant Secretary Márquez