City of Chicago Partners with Biden-Harris Administration on New Initiative to Address Homelessness
Chicago is one of six sites selected for new initiative
CHICAGO — Today, Mayor Brandon Johnson; Deputy Mayor of Education, Youth, & Human Services Jennifer Johnson; the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS); and All Chicago Making Homelessness History announced a partnership with the White House and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) to participate in ALL INside, a first-of-its-kind initiative to address unsheltered homelessness.
As part of ALL INside, the City will partner with USICH and its 19 federal member agencies for up to two years to strengthen and accelerate local efforts to move unsheltered people off the streets and into homes where they can rebuild their lives.
“We must work with our federal and community partners to assist people experiencing homelessness and build pathways that ensure every Chicagoan has a roof over their head, as well as support services to help them thrive,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “ALL INside is an exciting initiative that helps leverage federal programs and resources to help the City and community address homelessness. I look forward to collaborating with the White House, USICH, and All Chicago Making Homelessness History to exchange best practices and help our unsheltered neighbors find safe places to live.”
To accelerate ongoing efforts by local leaders, the Biden-Harris Administration will offer innovative and tailored support to participating communities for up to two years, including:
- Embedding a dedicated federal official in each community to accelerate locally driven strategies and enact system-level changes to reduce unsheltered homelessness.
- Deploying dedicated teams across the federal government to identify opportunities for regulatory relief and flexibilities, navigate federal funding streams, and facilitate a peer learning network across the communities; and
- Convening philanthropy, the private sector, and other communities to identify opportunities for follow-on support and collaboration.
“This initiative will provide essential access to Federal alliances as we coordinate and build upon the efforts of our many partners. We know that centralized, coordinated initiatives are more effective in our efforts to find our neighbors experiencing homelessness a safe place to call home," said Carolyn Ross, President & CEO of All Chicago Making Homelessness History, an organization that prevents and ends homelessness through emergency financial assistance, community partnerships, data analytics, and training. "We need all the help we can get to help our unsheltered neighbors, for whom the situation is dire. ALL INside creates the opportunity to seek guidance in our work to find innovative solutions to roadblocks and ways to better coordinate our efforts. This is an essential step forward in our efforts to end homelessness.”
The City of Chicago, All Chicago, and Chicago Continuum of Care Board identified the following points as key areas of need for the initiative:
- A dedicated focus and priority on pathways to housing for residents returning from jails and prisons and residents with arrest or conviction records, including a systematic review of eligibility and exclusions.
- An address of the needs of unsheltered people on public transit, as well as safety concerns near highways and under viaducts and bridges — and divert unsheltered persons from transportation systems to safer places for shelter.
- Dedicated support to help participants in the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) make community choices to create a data system that will support collaborative change in Chicago.
- Efficient processes for preparing and accessing documentation/IDs to support access to housing and benefits.
- An improvement of the involvement of persons with lived experience in actual decision-making processes beyond the “input” stage and extending into the “implementation” stage.
“Many unsheltered people seek refuge on trains and other forms of transportation, which is why we need to ensure the City, as well as our community partners, can reach them and respond to their different needs. Improving our response on transit systems is an essential step toward supporting unsheltered residents,” said DFSS Commissioner Brandie Knazze. “With this agreement, we have a direct line to our federal partners to advocate for our unsheltered neighbors.”
ALL INside is part of All In: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, which set a bold goal to reduce homelessness 25% by 2025 and ultimately build a country where every person has a safe and affordable home.
In addition, the Biden-Harris Administration will launch new cross-cutting policy efforts to address major barriers to housing, health care, and other support for people experiencing unsheltered homelessness, as mentioned in the ALL INside White House Fact Sheet and USICH Announcement released today.
Ambassador Susan Rice, the White House Domestic Policy Advisor; Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough, the chair of USICH; and USICH Executive Director Jeff Olivet will launch ALL INside in Washington, D.C., along with local leaders, including Deputy Mayor of Education, Youth & Human Services Jennifer Johnson and President Carolyn Ross. Watch the event live at 1 p.m. CT on YouTube: https://youtube.com/live/f9KRmjJ_qCg.