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

2021 Funders Forum Agenda


This agenda is in development and subject to change without notice.

Tuesday, March 23

2:00 ET
Opening and Welcome
 2:15 ET
Plenary: Advancing a National Policy Agenda for Housing Justice

With a new presidential administration in office, housing and homelessness advocates have new opportunities to push for policies and processes rooted in evidence and justice. To kick off this year’s Funders Forum, national homelessness and housing leaders will discuss their top policy priorities and how the work happening in local communities can both support this national advocacy and be informed by it. 


  • Nan Roman, President and CEO, National Alliance to End Homelessnessshe/her 
  • Diane Yentel, President and CEO, National Low Income Housing Coalitionshe/her 
  • Amanda Andere, CEO, Funders Together to End Homelessness (moderator) - she/her  
3:00 ET
Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Additional breakout descriptions coming soon

Breakout A1: Mobilizing Philanthropy at the Local Level to Advance Housing Policy

Local policy and advocacy efforts are critical to implementing policies and processes that will support people experiencing homelessness and housing instability. We know that funders all across the country are working together locally and are increasingly engaging in policy and advocacy. In this breakout session, Funders Together members will share how they are building the scaffolding to move a funders network toward really pushing for racially equitable policy changes, how they’re bringing funders together to follow the policy agenda of organizers, and more.  


  • Emily Krisciunas, Director, Chicago Funders Together to End Homelessness (CFTEH) - she/her  
  • Jazmin Segura, Program Officer, Common Counsel Foundation – she/her 
  • Rebecca Allen, Senior Program Officer, Melville Charitable Trust – she/her 
Breakout A2: Redefining What is Possible: The Important Work of Local Organizers and a Vision for Structural Change

A description and speakers for this session are coming soon.

4:00 ET


Wednesday, March 24

2:00 ET
Welcome and Opening
2:10 ET
Day 2 Opening Session

This conversation is currently in development, and we are very excited to announce it soon.

3:00 ET
Funder Pop Ups

“Pop-ups” are a way for our network to quickly hear work that philanthropy is engaged in across the country. These are brief, 5-minute presentations designed to share information and invite follow-up conversations after the program is over.


  • The HealthSpark Foundation in Montgomery County, PA, will share how they are supporting research to redesign their county’s coordinated entry system to create an equity-centered intake and triage tool that is more culturally responsive and antiracist than their current tool, used by many across the country.
    • Presenter: Emma Hertz, Director of External Affairs, HealthSpark Foundation
  • Funders for Housing and Opportunity, a national funder collaborative, will describe its support of narrative change work that links the three related crises of our times – COVID-19, the housing crisis, and our country’s racial reckoning. 
  • Others speakers and pop up descriptions coming soon.
3:25 ET
A New Deal to End Youth Homelessness

Ending youth and young adult homelessness will require transformation and re-orientation toward justice in the nation’s major systems serving young people—systems currently rooted in structural racism. The New Deal to End Youth Homelessness is a federal policy proposal that offers a roadmap to transform how young people, particularly Black, Brown, Indigenous, and LGBTQ young people, are supported in our society. During this closing plenary, leaders who helped create the New Deal to End Youth Homelessness will share their transformative vision for ending youth homelessness and how the process to achieve that vision must also be rooted in justice. 


  • Marcella Middleton, Co-director, A Way Home America – she/her
  • Kevin Solarte, Director of Cross-System Initiatives, NIS Center for Housing Justice – he/him
4:00 ET
Closing Remarks and Adjourn

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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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