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

Funders Together to End Homelessness Response to the Administration’s Federal Intervention on Homelessness

Funders Together to End Homelessness responds to the recent White House Council of Economic Advisers "The State of Homelessness in America" report and proposed federal intervention on homelessness in Los Angeles.

Recently, news of the Trump Administration’s plan to “address homelessness” in California spread quickly in the field, causing concern and alarm. Then, on Monday night, the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers released “The State of Homelessness in America” which outlines troubling actions the Administration is proposing as a solution.  

Given this report and the other attacks on communities who are historically marginalized like through the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s proposed “mixed status” families rule, changes to the Equal Access Rule, and the public charge, we know the approach and method that will make up this federal intervention are not evidenced-based, ethical, or equitable, and it will not solve homelessness in Los Angeles or other communities facing the same challenges.  

Homelessness is a crisis in our country. It isn’t a new one, but it is growing. Not because current solutions to homelessness aren’t working, rather the solutions can’t keep up with the inflow from the root causes of homelessness like the increasing lack of affordable housing, continually stagnant wages, and racial inequities in housing. While in the report the Administration claims it wants to address the root causes of homelessness, there is a clear misunderstanding of homelessness, its contributing factors, and appropriate responses. Using the federal government’s resources to “warehouse” people or utilizing public safety officials to reinforce harmful policies isn’t effective because it won’t address the causes of this crisis and may, in fact, exacerbate it. 

Private philanthropy and the federal government are both investors in the community. And as investors, we are also partners. Together, it is crucial to think about how we can engage in meaningful partnerships to support solutions that address root causes, show compassion, and prioritize the care of people. We know what works: access to safe and affordable homes. Housing is the answer to housing instability and homelessness. That is a proven, evidence-based fact and there are supported models already in place that are working in communities across the country. We’ve seen the power of public-private partnership in cities like Los Angeles, and how initiatives can be effective when funders and local leaders who know the community best collaborate and respond to what residents need. 

Philanthropy is ready to collaborate with our federal partners through effective and intentional public-private partnerships, as well as provide support to our community advocates to ensure those in need have access to a safe and affordable place to call home. It is committed to working with local and federal partners to support evidence-based models and approaches that prioritize access to affordable housing, centering people with lived expertise, and compassion. Philanthropy will continue to work to ensure solutions are implemented with a racial equity lens in order to end racial disparities in housing and homelessness.  

“Philanthropy has invested in, not only solutions to end homelessness, but the evaluation and research of those solutions to better understand what works and what does not,” said Amanda Andere, CEO of Funders Together to End Homelessness. “We need our federal partners to continue to work with us to support to best practices and not revert to policies that we know are ineffective and inhumane.” 

To see resources and statements from funders, partners, and communities, visit our Federal Intervention on Homelessness resource page.

About Funders Together to End Homelessness: Funders Together to End Homelessness is a national network of more than 240 private foundations, United Ways, individual philanthropist, and corporate giving programs dedicated to preventing and ending homelessness by supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions. Funders Together works to expand philanthropy’s impact and influence to advance the movement to prevent and end homelessness. Funders Together, an approved 501(c)(3), is a virtually based in organization. For more information, visit www.FundersTogether.org. 

Showing 1 reaction

  • Julie Steiner
    commented 2019-09-20 13:20:14 -0400
    THANK YOU! A beautifully written, completely on point statement. While it will undoubtedly fall on deaf ears in the administration, I know that people in LA especially those working in the field will appreciate this tremendously. We have known for a long time that housing is what matters and it has been a long time since there has been a significant increase in spending on housing at the federal level. Thanks for all you do for our friends in Los Angeles! BRAVO!

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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