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

Funder Call: Harm Reduction in Housing Justice: Values, Policy, and Services

Monday, April 8, 2024 | 2:00pm ET, 1:00pm CT, 12:00pm MT, 11:00am PT


Harm reduction
means what it sounds like: mitigating the negative consequences of behaviors like substance use. In the homelessness sector, it connotes non-punitive, housing-first policies and, more specifically, it refers to programs like syringe exchange or naloxone access.  

But harm reduction is also a philosophy characterized by a commitment to preserving human lives. In a certain sense,  a shelter may be considered a harm-reduction measure in that it mitigates the deadliness of unsheltered homelessness. From this perspective, it is “just” harm reduction, failing to address the conditions that lead to homelessness in the first place, the latter sentiment characterizing housing justice, Funders Together's north star. Does that mean harm reduction contradicts housing justice?  

In this facilitated discussion, we’ll dive into the minutia of both connotations of harm reduction: drug-specific policies and broader values. In conversation with members of Funders Together’s network Health Funders for Housing Justice, we’ll hear from two leaders representing harm-reduction powerhouses: the National Harm Reduction Coalition and the Drug Policy Alliance. We hope to leave attendees with practical guidance for grantmaking at the intersection of health and housing and clarity on what housing justice really means.  

Learning Objectives

By participating in the event, participants will be able to:

  • Name at least three principles of harm reduction
  • Understand how harm reduction fits into housing-justice values
  • Describe best-practice harm-reduction services for people who use drugs


  • Melissa Moore, Director, Civil Systems Reform, Drug Policy Alliance
  • Tanagra M. Melgarejo Pulido, National Director of Capacity Building and Engagement, National Harm Reduction Coalition 


Please RSVP for this funder call
 using the button below. Once staff confirm your eligibility, you will receive a calendar invitation from Michael Durham with a zoom link 

Registration is free but limited to Funders Together’s full and basic members and other funders. 

Register here for the Re-Entry Webinar

Please note: Participation in Funders Together programming is limited to foundations, United Ways, corporate giving programs, philanthropy-serving organizations, and members of Funders Together. Government funder and staff at organizations where grantmaking is not the primary function are not eligible to participate. If you have any questions about your eligibility to participate, please contact Stephanie Chan, Chief Strategy Officer.  


This funder call will take place via Zoom. Registration will be open until April 7. If you do not receive your Zoom link or have technical issues logging into this call, please reach out to Michael Durham:
[email protected]  

This call will last 75 minutes.  

Grantmakers In Health

April 08, 2024 at 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Michael Durham ·

Showing 1 reaction

  • Jack Zhang
    published this page in Programming 2024-01-31 14:13:03 -0500

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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