Guilford County, NC Partnering to End Chronic Homelessness

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Guilford County, NC, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Established on 6/4/07

Source File:


Partnering to End Chronic Homelessness in Guilford County
On June 4, 2007, Guilford County's ten year plan, Partnering to End Chronic Homelessness in Guilford County, was unveiled to the public. The result of a comprehensive and focused effort by the community, the Guilford County Task Force to End Homelessness was convened to improve the quality of life for all residents of Guilford County by ending chronic homelessness and reducing all types of homelessness by 2016. The taskforce developed Guilford County’s ten year plan, which has two major objectives Housing and Supportive Services directed around the housing first approach.

  • Housing Objective: Provide a variety of supportive housing for chronically homeless persons, targeting the least restrictive model under which the client can be successful and enabling the client to move within the levels as indicated by their circumstances.
  • Prevention And Supportive Services Objective: Provide prevention and supportive services to prevent persons from becoming chronically homeless and to enable those who are chronically homeless to move to and remain in a stable housing situation and maximize their self-sufficiency. (Supportive Services – Services such as case management, medical or psychological counseling and supervision, child care, transportation, and job training provided for the purpose of facilitating a person’s stability and independence.)
  • Housing First: A Housing First approach to homelessness differs from the traditional shelter-based response of homelessness by focusing on the root causes of homelessness rather a reactionary response. A Housing First approach attempts to 1) prevent homelessness when possible and 2) provide permanent supportive housing to those who are homeless. A Housing First approach bypasses the traditional shelter-based model and moves a person who is homeless directly to permanent supportive housing.

Definitions Utilized:

Homeless (HUD definition)
The term “homeless” means a person sleeping in a place not meant for human habitation (e.g., living on the streets, or residing in an emergency shelter, or transitional housing.

Chronic Homeless (HUD definition)
A "chronically homeless" person is defined as "an unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling condition who has either been continuously homeless for a year or more, or has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.

Elements of the 10-Year Planning Process

Guiding Principles:
The Guilford County Task Force to End Homelessness resolves to ensure:

  • Collaborative planning processes
  • Research and data driven approaches
  • Performance and outcomes orientated approaches (baseline and benchmarks)
  • Budget and resource oriented accountability
  • Cost/benefit data supported processes

Task Force Process:
The Guilford County process to create a 10 year plan was comprised of five steps:

  • Designate a Task Force and Working Committees to lead community planning efforts
  • Define the problem (research specific local data on numbers, community needs and issues, and costs)
  • Identify and evaluate alternatives and best practices to solve the problem
  • Select alternatives and develop action steps
  • Implement the plan