Chicago’s Plan to End Homelessness represents a new approach. Rather than place homeless people in temporary shelters, the goal is to find them permanent housing with supportive services right away. People respond better to job training, education, substance abuse treatment and other services when they have peace of mind about their living situation.
The best way to end homelessness is to keep it from occurring in the first place. Chicago must increase resources available to help families and individuals who find themselves at imminent risk of losing their home.
Should prevention fail, the first priority is to get homeless people back into permanent housing. This marks a departure from the current system of homeless shelters meant to prepare people for eventual re-housing.
A full complement of support services that address the reasons a client became homeless are essential if they are to keep their new housing. Support services must remain available until self-sufficiency is achieved. In some cases, support services will be required for life.
The Chicago Continuum of Care, a network of nearly 200 private and public organizations committed to serving the homeless developed "Getting Housed, Staying Housed" the city’s ten-year plan to end homelessness. The Mayor's Office endorsed the plan. Providers, advocates, government agencies, funders and homeless people are now united around a common plan and goals.