A Home for Everyone: A Blueprint to End Homelessness
In 2004, Washtenaw County citizens embarked on a bold endeavor—to map out the way we could end homelessness in our community in ten years. This plan, “A Home for Everyone: A Blueprint to End Homelessness”, was released with four primary goals: prevention; housing with support services; reforming our systems of care and engaging the community.
Workgroups assessed the current situations, researched best practices and made change and plans for a chance to bring Washtenaw County in line with these goals. Much changed since 2004 and so in 2011, the Washtenaw Housing Alliance worked with partners to take stock of all we had accomplished, to examine what more could be done in a changed landscape of a declining economy, and plan for the next three to five years. This report, “Blueprint Progress Report 2004-2011” provides a look at the community’s collective achievements in seven years. Our community has been able to respond creatively, thoughtfully, and successfully to help those who are most in need in Washtenaw County.
Today, the Washtenaw Housing Alliance is working together with all of our community partners, including service providers, government representatives, persons with lived experience, and other stakeholders to update the Blueprint to End Homelessness in 2016. We are building upon the work that has been a part of the Blueprint over the past 12 years, and newer initiatives such as Zero:2016. We have drastically changed the way in which we respond to homelessness in our community and hope that you will take the opportunity to learn more, and join us in our efforts. Remember, we can end homelessness together!
-Amanda Carlisle, Executive Director
What Needs to Be Done
WHA is currently undertaking a process to update the Blueprint to End Homelessness. Part of the revision process included holding focus groups in 2014 with community partners involved in Blueprint activities since 2004. Results from the Focus Groups are presented in this document, Blueprint Update: Focus Group Report, published in December 2014. The Report is helping to inform the Blueprint update, which will be completed in 2016.
- Provide facilities and other physical resources necessary to house and serve members of our community who are homeless, in a manner that demonstrates dignity, respect, compassion and competency.
- Build upon already successful efforts in our community.
- Design, refine, and coordinate the services and programs that address needs of members of our community who are without homes, while avoiding unnecessary duplication and expense.
- Ensure that viable and responsible agencies manage or oversee the necessary programs and services.
- Encourage the development of permanent and supportive housing that is safe, decent, accessible, and affordable.
- Establish and maintain policies and procedures that provide adequate security and protect the safety and health of tenants, clients, staff, visitors and neighbors in a manner that is generally acceptable to them.
- Sustain adequate funding to maintain facilities and services.
- Work to improve the status, public image, and understanding of people who are homeless.
- Prevent homelessness in every way possible.