80th Annual Meeting

WHEREAS, mayors are committed to preventing and ending homelessness in our nation's cities; and

WHEREAS, membership of the United States Conference of Mayors have endorsed Opening Doors: the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness in 2010 and Opening Doors Across America in 2011; and

WHEREAS, the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) is an independent federal agency composed of 19 Cabinet secretaries and agency heads whose mission is to coordinate the federal response to homelessness and to create a national partnership to reduce and end homelessness in the nation; and

WHEREAS, leadership at all levels is needed to inspire and energize Americans to commit to the vision of preventing and ending homelessness among families with children, youth, Veterans, and individuals; and

WHEREAS, ending homelessness requires collaboration and coordination at all levels of Government, together with philanthropy, businesses, and faith-based and community organizations, to determine how best to implement prevention and intervention strategies; and

WHEREAS, policies and laws that look to address street homelessness and behaviors associated with being homeless are costly and consume substantial local resources; and

WHEREAS, USICH in partnership with the Department of Justice with the support of the Department of Housing and Urban Development hosted a summit that involved community stakeholders from communities around the country which included city and county government officials, police officers, business improvement district leaders, court officials, health providers, Continuum of Care representatives, national advocates, federal partners, and men and women who have experienced homelessness who made recommendations on alternatives to laws that criminalize homelessness; and

WHEREAS, this summit produced a report “Searching Out Solutions: Constructive Alternatives to the Criminalization of Homelessness” that highlights solutions already being implemented in communities across the country and are replicable and can be relatively inexpensive to implement, which result in overall cost-savings, and have a lasting positive impact on the quality of life for individuals experiencing homelessness and the larger community; and

WHEREAS, cities are seeking smart solutions and therefore can only afford to invest in programs that work rather than spend money on activities that are unlikely to achieve the desired result; and

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors commends USICH for the development of “Searching Out Solutions”; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that U.S. Conference of Mayors affirms the value of USICH commends its initiatives to support mayors as they work to end homelessness in their cities and urges its members to review and adopt the recommendations in the report meet the needs of the larger community as a whole while also enhancing progress on efforts to end homelessness.