Matthew Doherty Appointed USICH Executive Director and More Updates from our Council Meeting

United States Interagency Council on Homelessness - No on should experience homelessness. No one should be without a safe, stable place to call home.

April 16, 2015
The Time to Seize Historic Opportunities is Now

A message from Matthew Doherty, USICH Executive Director
It is truly an honor to have this opportunity to serve as Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) and to help carry forward the great work of this agency and of my predecessors. It is also a distinct privilege to work with the fantastic team of staff we have at USICH, both the team working here in DC and our Regional Coordinators working out in the field. Finally, I am humbled by the many sacrifices that my husband, Dean Thorp, is making so that I can step into this role.

USICH's work is successful because of our strong partnerships with other Federal agencies and their incredibly committed leaders and staff, and because of the collaborative efforts of dedicated people working in states and local communities. Together, we are at a critical point in our efforts to prevent and end homelessness in the United States; we've made unprecedented progress and can point to substantial accomplishments under all of the objectives within Opening Doors, but clearly there remains much more work to be done. While we have seen significant reductions in the numbers of people experiencing homelessness documented through the annual Point-in-Time (PIT) count, the fact that the 2014 PIT count identified 578,424 people experiencing the crisis of homelessness, and other data such as from HUD's Worst Case Housing Needs report, serve as a staunch reminder that housing affordability, housing instability, and homelessness continue to be national challenges--challenges that we must and can successfully address. 

As described in Opening Doors, our focus is on ending homelessness for all populations, and we must seize this historic opportunity to expand housing for every child, youth, family, and individual struggling to achieve stability within our communities. 

April 2015 Council Meeting Update

Ending Veteran Homelessness, Addressing Families' Service Needs through Mainstream Programs
On April 14, U.S. Department of Labor and USICH Chair Secretary Thomas Perez convened the members of the Council for a special quarterly meeting at the White House. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, along with other senior Administration officials, joined the meeting to discuss the Council's efforts to achieve an end to homelessness in America. Mr. McDonough reflected on his participation in the San Francisco Point-in-Time (PIT) Count, "There are a lot of things I'll remember from serving in this Administration, but participating in the count is one I'll always attach a great amount of importance to; we should not tolerate homelessness in this country." His participation on the PIT Count earlier this year, and his participation at the meeting demonstrates the Administration's full commitment to ending homelessness among Veterans and for all Americans. "This is a hard, but not impossible, problem we can solve, proof point in the work you're doing," Mr. McDonough later said to the Council.  

Following this conversation with Mr. McDonough, Secretary Perez announced the selection of Matthew Doherty as the permanent Executive Director of USICH, noting USICH's critical role "giving us the platform to break down silos, put our resources together to provide vulnerable people with the help they need to exit homelessness and hold ourselves accountable to keeping this issue on the front burner." 

In his first act as Executive Director, Matthew presented to the Council current progress on the implementation of Opening Doors. "Council agencies have made steady progress with implementation," Matthew observed, "But as we approach the timelines for achieving our goals, we must accelerate efforts and achieve greater progress on all of the plan's objectives." Matthew called on agencies to redouble efforts to end youth homelessness in particular, and noted that accelerating efforts to end youth homelessness will be at the top of the Council's priorities over the next several months.

Tomorrow: SAMHSA's National Advisory Council Meeting


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Tomorrow: SAMHSA's National Advisory Council Meeting
Friday, April 17, 2015 | 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Discussions will include:
  • Reflections on the Joint National Advisory Councils meeting
  • An update from the SAMHSA Administrator
  • A discussion on health information technology and delivery system reform.
The meeting is being held onsite at SAMHSA.
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