MONTGOMERY, AL “Preventing and ending homelessness in Alabama will be impossible without collaboration by government agencies, the private sector, nonprofit organizations, and faith-based and community partners,” stated Alabama Governor Bob Riley, who this week welcomed United States Interagency Council on Homelessness Executive Director Philip Mangano for the convening of the Alabama Governor’s Statewide Interagency Council on Homelessness. Governor Riley and Director Mangano met in the Governor’s office prior to the convening of the Council meeting and noted the progress Alabama has made in advancing the Governor’s goals in planning and partnership. Governor Riley and Director Mangano are pictured here.
“Governor Riley has been well-served by his Council, not only in moving forward with a 10-Year Plan for the state, but now in the release of a document that establishes a statewide baseline that quantifies the magnitude of the problem,” indicated Director Mangano. “And the good news is that reductions in street and chronic homelessness are already being seen in Alabama cities.”
The State Council issued an innovative statewide data report this week under the leadership of Council Chair Sydney Hoffman, who is also Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, a report that was called for by the Council’s action plan, which identified a “pressing need” for accurate statewide baseline data. Ms. Hoffman is pictured here presenting the State Report to Director Mangano during the Council meeting at the State House.
The new report includes both quantitative and qualitative data on adults, including veterans, and youth and child homelessness from point-in-time homeless population and subpopulations data; data from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau’s Runaway and Homeless Youth Management Information System (RHYMIS); school year 2005- 2006 data on homeless children and youth reported by the Alabama State Department of Education to the United States Department of Education; and data from focus groups with currently or previously homeless individuals across the state conducted by AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) members from the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (GFBCI) and individual stories of homelessness collected by VISTAs from the GFBCI.
In June 2006, the Council submitted its Blueprint Towards a Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness in Alabama to Governor Riley. The Plan cites ” fiscal optimization, evaluation of available services, public awareness, increasing access to permanent housing, and developing comprehensive and accessible statewide data on homelessness as keys to creating a successful foundation upon which progress to eradicate homelessness can be built. Alabama’s Plan recognizes the importance of using the Housing First model.