A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

Ending Homelessness: An Overview for Funders

Homelessness is a complex issue but it is not an unsolvable problem. It can be ended and philanthropy has a vital role to play.

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Effective Grantmaking to Help End Homelessness

A wide variety of resources are available to help you increase the overall effectiveness of your grantmaking, but very few offer specific advice about grantmaking to end homelessness. This factsheet provides a brief overview of effective grantmaking in general followed by a list of questions intended to help you assess the effectiveness of potential grantees working in homelessness as well as resources to reference that will help guide your homelessness grantmaking.

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Retooling the Homeless Crisis Response System

The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act, passed in 2009, is the most important piece of federal legislation on homelessness in 20 years. HEARTH affects how homeless services are funded and delivered, including consolidating funding programs, increasing local flexibility, and introducing new community-level performance expectations.

This brief describes the paradigm shift embedded in both the HEARTH Act and Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, which call for local communities to create coordinated, crisis resolution systems. It describes the essential role of philanthropy in helping communities to make that shift and provides examples of strategic investments and recommended actions for grantmakers to support this transition.

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Using Local Data for System Improvement

This brief describes the key role that data collection and utilization will play under HEARTH and how philanthropy can be instrumental in the improvement of data systems and practices for measuring homeless outcomes.

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Framing the Front Door: Coordinated Assessment

This brief describes the importance of every homeless crisis response system’s having a centralized or coordinated method for reaching and assessing homeless and at-risk clients and directing them to the appropriate program or service. It describes the role philanthropic organizations can play in supporting this effort and provides examples of recent community leadership and investment strategies.

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Improving Housing Outcomes with Rapid Re-housing

This brief describes the important impact that rapid re-housing approaches can have in shortening periods of homelessness and securing housing for homeless households. It describes the role philanthropic funders can have in promoting rapid re-housing approaches and provides examples of leadership and investments.

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Solutions That Work to End Homelessness

We can end homelessness with coordinated, strategic investments—both public and private—in effective solutions. Or, put more simply, by funding what works. The key is housing combined with the right supports for people who are or may become homeless.

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Contact Us

Not seeing what you're looking for?  Do you have a suggestion for a resource that would be helpful for your work?  Contact Lauren Bennett at lauren@funderstogether.org or 617.245.0314.


We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

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