Friday, December 17, 2010

Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program

Secretary of labor to chair homelessness council, HHS secretary vice chair

Dec. 16, 2010 - Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today was elected by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness to lead federal efforts to end homelessness. As chair of USICH, Secretary Solis joins the newly elected vice chair, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, in implementing Opening Doors, the first federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. Solis succeeds Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, who has been chair since 2009.

The council is made up of 19 agencies from the federal government which, along with state and local partners, are tasked with implementing Opening Doors. This strategic plan is the most far-reaching and ambitious in U.S. history to end all types of homelessness, including ending chronic homelessness and homelessness among veterans in five years, while ending homelessness for families, youth and children within a decade.

The Department of Labor played an integral role in the development of Opening Doors, and is leading the efforts to increase sustainable employment and create meaningful careers for the nation's most vulnerable populations.

"Ending the continuing tragedy of homelessness demands thoughtful and focused efforts," said Secretary Solis. "I look forward to building upon Secretary Donovan's leadership of the council to promote the importance of interagency collaboration as we implement Opening Doors. The bottom line is that the best defense against homelessness is a job that pays. That is why the Department of Labor is leading efforts to prevent and end homelessness with job training and employment services for this underserved population."

The mission of the USICH is to coordinate the federal response to homelessness, and to create a national partnership with every level of government and the private sector to address homelessness in the nation. {continued}

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