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

Remembering Robert Hess


With great sadness, we announce the death of Robert Hess, former Commissioner of Homeless Services for the City of New York.

With great sadness, we announce the death of Robert Hess, former Commissioner of Homeless Services for the City of New York.

From running a thrift store for veterans in Baltimore to reducing the number of people experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia by 60 percent to launching Housing Solutions USA to make local businesses part of the solution to homelessness, Rob was a dedicated champion for the homeless throughout his career.  He was committed to creating systems that help the most vulnerable in our society.

Though some fall victim to the notion that homelessness is an intractable social problem, Rob will be remembered as a man of unending optimism and action.  In his words, “If you offer real hope, people will come.”

We extend our condolences and deepest sympathies to his family.

Rob’s obituary may be found here.

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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