General Background Information

New Opportunity — Apply by October 6!

PhotoVoice: Telling the Story of Homelessness through the Eyes of People Without Homes

Apply to Take Part in NHCHC's New Learning Collaborative Opportunity by October 6, 2017

The National Health Care for the Homeless Council invites health centers and organizations serving people without homes to participate in a PhotoVoice Learning Collaborative with us to share the stories of your local community, work to address stigmas and stereotypes, and engage in community dialogues around the human experience of homelessness and solutions to ending it.

Our PhotoVoice Learning Collaborative is a community initiative in which participants document their lived experiences of homelessness through photographs and journal entries, which are then displayed in community and national exhibits. These exhibits not only increase knowledge and awareness while decreasing stigma, but also empower participants to share their stories and engage attendees in collaborative dialogue around issues and policies affecting their community.

What Is My Role in the PhotoVoice Collaborative?

This year, the Council is looking for five health centers or organizations to recruit local consumers to receive training on digital storytelling and photography. The local group will then become a part of the national collaborative in sharing how we construct our art in order to effectively tell the story of homelessness, including developing exhibits for our National HCH Conference.

As with most of the work of the NHCHC, participation in the Learning Collaborative is free, but our work is most effective when everyone participates. Health centers/organizations signing up for this collabrative project will be required to participate in monthly meetings and quarterly trainings in addition to coordinating local participants taking photographs in the field.

Applications are due Friday, October 6th, 2017, by midnight CDT. If you have any questions about the Learning Collaborative or the application process, please contact Brett Poe, Research Associate.



Links to homeless resource organizations


General Information: Tools

  • Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness (Amended in 2015, United States Interagency Council on Homelessness)
    The Plan is the nation’s first comprehensive federal strategy to prevent and end homelessness. It was presented to Congress on June 22, 2010, and updated and amended in 2012 and 2015 to reflect what we have learned.
  • Key Strategies for Connecting People Experiencing Homelessness to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Benefits (2015, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) Federal work group)
    The document is intended to improve practices and collaboration among SSA field offices, VA Medical Center staff, organizations and agencies that provide services to people experiencing homelessness, and other community-based partners.
  • Addressing Tuberculosis Among People Experiencing Homelessness - Slides from 4/17/14 webinar (2014, US Interagency Council on Homelessness)
    Overview of work being done at the national and local level to prevent and address TB among people experiencing homelessness and those working with homeless populations.
  • Promising Practices for Children Experiencing Homelessness: A Look at Two States (2014, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services)
    Overview of the effects of homelessness on young children and how two states - Massachusetts and Oregon - have implemented innovative policies to improve early childhood outcomes for young children experiencing homelessness. Also contains recommendations for how states can learn from the policies established in Massachusetts and Oregon to develop their own interventions.
  • Building Partnerships to Address Family Homelessness (2013, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Administration for Children and Families)
    The percentage of families experiencing homelessness that were enrolled in Head Start rose by an average of 70.4% from 2008-2011. This booklet describes strategies for health departments and social service providers to develop partnerships with these organizations and offer resources to encourage Head Start grantees and housing service providers to work together to expand services for children experiencing or at-risk of experiencing homelessness
  • Framework to End Youth Homelessness: A Resource Text for Dialogue and Action (2013, United States Interagency Council on Homelessness)
    This paper addresses what strategies and supports should be implemented to improve the educational outcomes for children and youth, and the steps that need to be taken to assist unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness.

Online Tools

  • The electronic grants management system managed by HUD’s Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) is known as e-snaps. It supports the annual Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Application and the Annual Performance Reporting (APR).
  • The Homelessness Data Exchange (HDX) is an online data submission tool for reporting to HUD. The HDX allows Continuums of Care nationwide to submit data on the Housing Inventory Count (HIC), Point-in-Time (PIT) Count, Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR)
  • The Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) is a local information technology system used to collect client-level data and data on the provision of housing and services to homeless individuals and families and persons at risk of homelessness.
  • As a nationwide database, the Integrated Disbursement and Information System (IDIS) provides HUD with current information regarding the program activities underway across the Nation, including funding data. HUD uses this information to report to Congress and to monitor grantees.
  • The Point-in-Time (PIT) count is a count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night in January. HUD requires that Continuums of Care conduct an annual count of homeless persons who are sheltered in emergency shelter, transitional housing, and Safe Havens on a single night. Continuums of Care also must conduct a count of unsheltered homeless persons every other year (odd numbered years). Each count is planned, coordinated, and carried out locally.
  • The Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) is a HUD report to the U.S. Congress that provides nationwide estimates of homelessness, including information about the demographic characteristics of homeless persons, service use patterns, and the capacity to house homeless persons.
  • The Homelessness Analytics Initiative (HAI)—a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)—is intended to provide users with access to national, state, and local information about homelessness among the general population, homelessness among Veterans, risk and protective factors for homelessness, services and resources.
  • A state-by-state look at homeless demographics and contacts for further assistance.
  • What is the basic knowledge that every direct service provider needs to know? The Homelessness Resource Center reviews need-to-know training topics to help service providers do their jobs.
  • Ending homelessness for families and children is a priority for the nation and each community. By providing the right amount of assistance to help families obtain or regain permanent housing as quickly as possible and ensuring access to services to remain stably housed, achieving an end to family homelessness is possible.
  • A site for kids who have seen homeless people on the street and want to know who they are and how they can help them.