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

2021 Funders Forum Agenda

<<Return to the main Funders Forum page

This agenda is subject to change without notice.

Quick Links & Helpful Info

  • Tell us what you're hearing on social media! Use the hashtag #FTEH2021 on Twitter to be a part of the conversation.
  • If you have not received your Zoom link, please email Lauren Samblanet at [email protected]
  • See the Technology and FAQ page


Tuesday, March 23

2:00 ET
Opening and Welcome
Rename yourself in the participant box to reflect your full name and pronouns. Turn your webcam OFF and use the chat box to ask questions during the plenary.


 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. 


  • Jeremie Greer, Executive Director, Liberation in a Generation, and contributing author to Housing Policy Playbook - he/him
  • 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

Participants will be able to self-select their breakout if they have Zoom version 5.3.0 or higher. Funders Together staff will assist participants who are not able to self-select their breakout rooms.

Please turn ON your webcams and unmute yourself if you have a question or comment.

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 mobilizing foundation leadership across a state to do joint advocacy.


  • 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: Supporting Community-Led Work and a Vision for Change

Philanthropy has been having more and more conversations about building relationships and trust, funding grassroots organizing, and shifting power to communities and people to get us closer toward equity and justice. Incrementally more and more funders are starting to shift their strategies and grantmaking to do this, but we also know that this work, while crucial, is also not easy. In this session, we’ll hear from funders who are supporting the vision of organizers and taking steps to shift power. This conversation will go deep about how our work on housing and racial justice pushes us (as it should!) to navigate different perspectives between community, foundation staff, and board and what funders are learning about visions for new systems that are equitable and just.


  • Paula Carvalho, Program Officer, Youth Homelessness, Raikes Foundation – she/her
  • Brian Paulson, Senior Program Officer, Pohlad Family Foundation – he/him
4:00 ET

Day 1 of the Funders Forum will adjourn directly from the breakout sessions. Breakout rooms will remain open until a quarter past the hour in case participants wish to wrap up conversations.


Wednesday, March 24

2:00 ET
Welcome and Opening

Rename yourself in the participant box to reflect your full name and pronouns. Turn your webcam OFF and use the chat box to ask questions during the plenary.


 2:15 ET
Pop-Up Talks

“Pop-ups” are a way for our network to quickly hear work that philanthropy and our homelessness and housing partners are 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 - she/her
  • 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. FHO will describe the evolution of its work to move housing out of a commodity context into a common good/human right framing – starting with field scans and analysis of how housing is currently framed, to specific message testing on housing, to its current support of work that equips housing justice fellows with practical communications tools and supports, informs systems-change policy work, and embeds these messages in arts and culture.  
    • Presenter: Jeanne Fekade-Sellassie, Project Direcotr, Funders for Housing and Opportunity - she/her
  • With new leadership at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are new opportunities to advance racial equity in housing and homelessness. Richard Cho, Senior Advisor for Housing and Services at HUD, will share brief remarks about work already underway and priorities for the new Secretary.
    • Presenter: Richard S. Cho, Ph.D., Senior Advisor for Housing and Services, Office of the Secretary, US Department of Housing and Urban Development - he/him
  • Anthony Love, Interim Executive Director at the United State Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), will share some brief remarks about priorities and areas of focus for USICH. 
    • Presenter: Anthony Love, Interim Executive Director, US Interagency Council on Homelessness - he/him
2:40 ET
Roundtable Conversations

Roundtable conversations are open, generative conversations for funders to share what they’re working on or thinking about and to gather ideas and thought partnership on questions or challenges. Please select the conversation that is most useful and relevant to your work.

  1. Building Infrastructure for Public-Private Alignment on Narrative and Messaging Change
  2. Working with CoCs to Build a More Equitable Homeless Crisis Response System
  3. Supporting COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution and Messaging Efforts
  4. Providing Thought Partnership to HUD on Preventing and Ending Homelessness and Advancing Racial Equity

Participants will be able to self-select their breakout if they have Zoom version 5.3.0 or higher. Funders Together staff will assist participants who are not able to self-select their breakout rooms.

Please turn ON your webcams and unmute yourself if you have a question or comment.

3:15 ET
Transition Break
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


3:55 ET
Closing Remarks

We will wrap up the 2021 Funders Forum with closing remarks from Amanda Andere, CEO of Funders Together to End Homelessness.

4:00 ET

Showing 1 reaction

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

Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or email.