HUD/HHS/VA Collaborative Initiative to Help End Chronic Homelessness: Preliminary Client Outcomes Report. Federal response


The major legislative impetus for federal agencies addressing the problem of homelessness, and more recently chronic homelessness, is the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act of 1987 (P.L. 100-77)  known today as the McKinney-Vento Act. The Act, and amendments added in 1988, 1990, 1992, and 1994, include provisions designed to provide primary health care and mental health care for homeless Americans, and has encouraged diverse federal agencies to develop targeted service programs over the past 20 years. To encourage federal leadership in addressing the problem of homelessness, the Act established the U.S. Interagency Council on the Homeless (now the Interagency Council on Homelessness), which is currently comprised of the heads of 13 federal cabinet departments (Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services (HHS), Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs (VA)), as well as affiliated agencies (General Services Administration, Social Security Administration, United States Postal Service, Office of Management and Budget, USA Freedom Corps, and the White House Office of Faith-based Community Initiatives) (ICH, 2006).

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