Funders Together to End Homelessness extends its welcome to the new United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) Executive Director, Jeff Olivet.
Mr. Olivet has been a long-time partner of Funders Together through his work at the Center for Social Innovation (now C4 Innovations), Racial Equity Partners, and the National Racial Equity Working Group on Homelessness and Housing. He led our members in educational opportunities and truth-telling discussions on the racialized history of homelessness and findings from the Supporting Partnerships for Anti-Racist Communities (SPARC) report, which he co-authored, helped inform the creation of our first cohort of Foundations for Racial Equity community of practice.
Now is a critical time in our country to work towards housing justice and there is a vast need to help this federal administration uphold its commitment to racial justice. Mr. Olivet’s strong racial equity analysis and alignment with our housing and racial justice framework can help address this need for accountability and assist in advancing equitable and just solutions to end homelessness and housing instability for those who are most impacted.
We know this analysis and expertise is not a replacement for the lived expertise and perspective of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color who have experienced homelessness. Mr. Olivet’s appointment as Executive Director reflects the lack of diversity that continues to pervade the agency and partnering departments. However, we have witnessed that he understands the importance of elevating and working with BIPOC leaders and people with lived expertise and Funders Together is confident he will demonstrate this through his new role in the agency’s work to prevent and end homelessness.
Based on our previous work with Mr. Olivet, we know he also recognizes the effectiveness of public-private partnerships and philanthropy’s unique role in ending homelessness within local communities. Funders Together is dedicated to fostering opportunities to further build and nurture authentic partnerships between philanthropy and USICH under Mr. Olivet’s leadership as we work towards transformational change.
We look forward to working closely with Mr. Olivet in this key role and are committed to providing support in the form of guidance, thought partnership, and accountability as he leads this agency with a housing justice orientation.