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

Homelessness 101


New to this work? Just looking for a refresher? This resource is for funders looking for key resources on homelessness in America. Included are resources to help you understand why people experience homelessness, the scale of the problem, promising solutions, and the essential role of funders. You'll also find great success stories from communities across the country and contact information for experts who have been doing this work for years.

Click on any of the green section headers below to show/hide additional content and review additional information and resources.



The Challenge and Landscape

The following resources highlight the top causes of homelessness, including who experiences homelessness and other key statistics. These resources also look at the most recent data to examine service use patterns and capacity to house people. Finally, a new report from SPARC works to understand and respond to racial inequities in homelessness.


Homelessness is a complex issue, but it is a solvable problem. We know what works! The following resources highlight evidence-based solutions – including Rapid Re-housing, Housing First, and Permanent Supportive Housing – that every community should be using in their work to end homelessness.

Funders Role

We know that we can end homelessness with the right combination of strategies above. We also know that philanthropy has a vital role to play in this work. Our Grantmakers Toolkit on Ending Homelessness is a great place for funders to start.

As you know, philanthropy can’t do everything and definitely cannot take the place of government. However, there are key roles that philanthropy must play to help move this work forward both through grantmaking and beyond.

Who is Doing This Work?

Stay Up To Date in Real Time

As you know, things change fast! Stay up to date with the latest information, including important policy and advocacy items, by following Funders Together (@funderstogether) and our CEO, Amanda Andere (@AmandaAndere) on Twitter! You can also follow our partners Steve Berg (@sberg0) and Diane Yentel (@dianeyentel), who do an excellent job sharing updates and opportunities.

Another great opportunity to learn about the latest work in the field is to join us at our annual Funders Forum and Funders Institute. These events are also conveniently held in conjunction with the National Alliance to End Homelessness’ annual conferences where leaders from across the country come together to share and learn.

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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