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

Funders Together Statement on New USICH Executive Director, Jeff Olivet

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 Partnersand 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. 

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  • Amy Louttit
    followed this page 2022-02-01 13:51:24 -0500
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    published this page in Blog 2022-01-31 10:07:45 -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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