Today comes this piece by Rob Capriccioso of Indian Country Today, on an Obama administration plan to reduce homelessness among Native people:
Billed as “the nation’s first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness,” the plan is called Opening Doors. It was launched June 22 under the leadership of several federal agencies, including the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.
The aim is to put the country on a path to end veterans and chronic homelessness by 2015, and to end homelessness among children, families, and youth by 2020. Strategies emphasized include increasing leadership, collaboration, and civic engagement; increasing access to stable and affordable housing; increasing economic security; improving health and stability; and retooling the homeless response system.
Research currently indicates that Native American communities face disproportionately high rates of homelessness, something that federal officials said they want to account for under the plan. According to 2009 Annual Homeless Assessment Report from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, American Indians make up eight percent of the country’s homeless population.
“Native homelessness is an issue that’s near and dear to my heart,” says Karen Diver, chairwoman of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in Minnesota. That tribe recently opened 24 supportive housing units for struggling families by partially using Department of Housing and Urban Development funding, Capriccioso reports.
Read more about the plan at www.usich.gov.
Tags: Annual Homeless Assessment Report, buffalo post, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Gwen Florio, Homeless, Native American news, Opening Doors, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, United States Interagency Council on Homelessness