National Center for Excellence in Homeless Services at UA Partners with Schools of Social Work

It’s difficult to accurately count the number of homeless individuals and families in the U.S., but it is estimated that more than 400,000 people are living in shelters, cars, or the streets in any given night. Imagine filling Yankee Stadium every day for eight days; that’s how many are sleeping in shelters or on the street on any night in our country. Of those, more than 100,000 are considered chronically homeless.

Homeless FamilyIn 2013, an anonymous donor provided funding to launch the National Center for Excellence in Homeless Services. Its mission is to research, create, and teach best practices to cost-effectively transform the lives of all homeless children and adults. The key to the Center’s leadership and collaboration with homeless service agencies is the partnership with schools of social work which serve as regional hubs. Led through the University at Albany, the consortium of social work schools includes California State University at Long Beach, Indiana University, Hunter College, the Catholic University of America, the University of Houston, and California State University at Sacramento.

Over the past few months, homeless service agency directors have participated in the Center’s Leadership Symposia offerings in both Albany and Northern California. John Records, Co-Director of the National Center and Christian Molidor, Director of the Social Work program at CSU-Long Beach, together facilitate a Leadership Learning Community of homeless service directors in Northern California. An Affordable Care Act briefing paper is being developed to support homeless service agency directors identify new resources for services.

As a consortium of social work schools, the National Center seeks to provide trauma-informed and cross-systems solutions to the complex issues resulting in homelessness.

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