Philanthropy can take the lead in solving, rather than managing homelessness.
As summer comes to an end (with a bang for those who live on the east coast), we are all preparing for life to again pick up its pace. Many of us are getting ready for “back to school” or to return to the busyness of our working lives. It is almost time to say goodbye to those halcyon days of summer.
Unfortunately, for our country, it has not been a particularly good summer. And sadly the months-and even years-ahead continue to look bleak for many. Over the past few months we have watched our nation continue to struggle with a harsh economic reality and a looming debt crisis. Then came the certainty of massive budget cuts on the horizon-cuts that will make life harder for most Americans, especially for those who are the most vulnerable.
Funders Together to End Homelessness focuses on those who are perhaps the most vulnerable in our society: the homeless or those at risk of being homeless. Sadly, homelessness touches many-children and youth, families, veterans, those suffering from mental and physical illnesses. But it also touches many we don’t normally think of-those with university degrees, jobs and careers, and people with immediate and extended families. As our economy has worsened, the number of individuals and families experiencing homelessness has increased and, with the coming budget cuts, we know the danger is there that the numbers will grow.
Take the Lead in Solving, Rather than Managing Homelessness
So, is there anything funders can do to prevent or even solve homelessness in light of the economic forecast? The answer is a categorical yes. Many communities have continued to reduce their number of homeless individuals and families despite these harsh economic times-_and philanthropy has played a key role_. Homelessness can be solved, even when times are tough – if we do the right things.
Now is the time for funders, whether they are private or public foundations, United Ways, or individual donors, to step forward and be catalysts for change. By funding what works and by taking the lead in promoting, supporting, and sustaining effective solutions, they can lead our communities towards solving, rather than simply managing, homelessness.
Funders Together to End Homelessness is here to help funders as they work towards effective solutions. We know what works to prevent and end homelessness in ways that are efficient and cost effective, and most importantly, in ways that create positive outcomes for those experiencing homelessness. Funders Together continues to work hard at developing resources for funders and creating opportunities for them to come together to share ideas and to learn from each other about what works to prevent and end homelessness.
As Executive Director of Funders Together, Anne brings years of expertise in both the corporate and not-for-profit sector. She is passionate about promoting the philanthropic community’s catalytic role in ending homelessness, working with government to create public-private partnerships, and advocating for funding and policies which end, rather than manage, homelessness.