June 9, 2003
MARTINEZ PRAISES MAYORS FOR ADOPTING RESOLUTION SUPPORTING AN END TO CHRONIC HOMELESSNESS
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez and the Bush Administration's point person on homelessness, Philip Mangano, today praised the U.S. Conference of Mayors for adopting a resolution modeled on the Bush Administration's strategy seeking an end to chronic homelessness.
Supported by a bipartisan group of mayors, the resolution demonstrates the spirit of partnership that exists between the cities and the Bush Administration on the issue of ending chronic or long-term homelessness.
Martinez said, "I'm immensely gratified that mayors across our country
have agreed to become partners in the President's plan to end chronic homelessness
in 10 years. It's clear that if we are to meet the President's challenge, the
federal government is going to need the active participation of our cities,
counties and states. Working together, we can help house and serve those living
with disabilities, addictions or mental illness and give them hope for something
better than a life on the streets."
"Whether reflected in the President's call for ending chronic homelessness in 10 years or in the actions of the mayors in adopting this resolution, we are acting on our belief that chronic homelessness is a national disgrace which must be ended, not managed" said Mangano, director of the Interagency Council on Homelessness. "We share a commitment to taking action to make a visible and measurable change on the streets of America and in the lives of homeless people."
The resolution, which encourages cities to develop 10-year plans and pledges the U.S. Conference of Mayors to work with the Interagency Council on Homelessness to ensure policies and resources support the elimination of chronic homelessness. Boston Mayor Menino, Hempstead Mayor Garner, San Francisco Mayor Brown, Chicago Mayor Daley, Augusta Mayor Young, Charlotte Mayor McCrory and Beaumont Mayor Lord offered the measure.
We are changing the verb of homelessness from manage, to end. Ten years ago our best expectation might have been to manage homelessness but now research and new technologies have created such movement and innovation on the issue - helping us to understand the system failures that lead to homelessness and what works in engagement and housing solutions, that the new standard of expectation is that we will end chronic homelessness," said. Mangano.
Cities are encouraged to utilize resources being made available through the Interagency Council to help them develop 10 year plans that are fashioned on data, the latest research and new, more effective housing and service strategies that focus on performance outcomes. Among these resources are ICH regional homeless coordinators who are prepared to provide on-site technical assistance, the opportunity to designate a city liaison to the Council to participate in focus groups and other information exchanging opportunities, and a Tool Kit available through the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the Conference of Mayors and the Interagency Council.
Copies of the Tool Kit and contact information for the regional homeless coordinators can be found on the Council's website. Also available on the website are links to plans already developed by other cities including Atlanta, Chicago, Columbus, Indianapolis, Memphis and Phoenix and information on research-driven innovations such as discharge planning protocols which can be incorporated into 10 year plans.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet.