A comprehensive plan for HHS on chronic homelessness should demonstrate parallels to the HHS strategic plan to permit its possible consolidation into the HHS strategic plan. Therefore, the Work Group has used the components of the HHS strategic plan — mission, goals, objectives, and strategies — to structure its recommendations.
The mission and goals are readily derived from the overall charge and the three component charges noted above. Within each of the three goals, the Work Group formulated objectives — statements that are unique to each goal and articulate what the Department might try to accomplish. They have been stated with a long-term focus, but could be modified based on experience or policy.
For each set of goals and objectives, strategies that implement the goal and its objectives have also been listed. These strategies have a shorter time frame: It is generally the Work Group's expectation that they would be focused on during the next two years.
While the time frame for these strategies may be short term, the actions they reflect are founded on the relatively well-defined repertoire of responses that the Department and its programs must work within. The Department's repertoire is summarized in the themes noted in the insert. One of more or these themes characterizes each of the strategies for action stated in the next chapter.
Recurring Themes for Opportunities Where HHS May Take Action:
- Application processes, waivers, or conditions for HHS funding — Capitalizing on the work processes by which awards and entitlement programs are granted, such as application instructions, opportunities to request waivers from standard operations, or conditions that must be met to receive funding.
- Tools, technical assistance, and training — Developing and delivering guidance such as curricula, blueprints, or best practices in the form of materials, training events, and technical assistance interventions such as site visits or specialized consultations.
- Administrative flexibility — Examining opportunities for relief or flexibility in administrative practices that may be creating impediments for eligible persons to participate in an HHS assistance program.
- Organizational realignment — Considering structural changes that would improve the administration of programs.
Action steps typically constitute the next component of a plan. However, since each of these strategies will need to be considered by the divisions of the Department that are responsible for the relevant program, action steps are not offered in this report. The final level of the plan presents examples. For each strategy, brief examples of how the strategy might be implemented have been developed. The examples apply either to specific operating divisions within HHS or may have broader Departmental application. The examples are illustrative; their viability under Department authority or regulation has not yet been vetted.
As the strategies are explored by the divisions that make up HHS, the examples may fall away or undergo substantial modification. Actions by Department and its components will be based on careful consideration of each of the following:
- Resources, staffing, and program applicability
- Time frame for accomplishment
- Cost to the State or grantee
- Internal consistency
- The best sequence for implementation