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

We Can All Go Home Now...


Funders Together CEO, Amanda Andere, attended the White House Policy Briefing on Youth Homelessness held on June 3rd and walked away with some key action items in order to leverage the momentum of those partnering to end youth homelessness.

Last week at the White House Policy Briefing on Youth Homelessness, we heard from youth experiencing homelessness about their journey and ways they thought the Federal Opening Doors plan was effective. Several speakers after them said, well, we can all go home now.


They were so courageous, passionate, and knowledgeable about what worked for them. They spoke to where the system needed improvement, and how they were working to ensure other youth didn’t have to experience homelessness – we can all go home now! That is our collective goal.


As I listened to their stories I saw pieces of myself.  While I can no way relate to the economic barriers of their stories. I am women of color, an immigrant, daughter of immigrants, grew up middle class, but my Dad lost his job my senior year of high school, and it could have caused our family to spiral. I started to ask, “Why not me?” My family faced some of the same personal or potential system barriers, and yet we never experienced homelessness. Why? Because we had a community.  A safe place to fall and to succeed.

Last week was also the launch of A Way Home America (AWHA), which is not another organization, but rather an initiative. A movement. That all so important community. Funders Together is on the leadership committee and proud that some of the impetus for this initiative started with our Foundation for Youth Success community of practice.  AWHA is unique in that it includes the involvement of over 50 different organizations addressing youth homelessness. Federal partners are engaged and at the table, including the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness which leads the coordinated federal response to homelessness and its member agencies.

We must work together to leverage this momentum.  In the coming year we will:

  • Learn from and authentically engage young people who have experienced homelessness about how to solve the problem.  
  • Identify actions and policies necessary to eliminate youth and young adult homelessness. We’ll then be able to speak in a collective voice about what is needed.  
  • Accelerate our efforts in local communities by launching 100-Day Challenges that set ambitious goals for housing homeless youth and by sharing successful outcomes for replication nation-wide.
  • Elevate the issue of youth homelessness nationally.  

A community committed to do things differently through collective action, so we can ALL go home now. 

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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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