Statement on Former US Interagency Council on Homelessness Executive Director, Matthew Doherty

November 18, 2019 — Washington, D.C. – The National Alliance to End Homelessness was extremely disappointed to learn last Friday that Matthew Doherty had resigned his position as Executive Director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) under pressure from the Administration. 

Over the course of his four-and-a-half-year tenure, Doherty provided exceptional leadership and strategic vision which resulted in much-improved federal approaches to the problem of homelessness. As the leader of the only federal agency with the sole responsibility of ending homelessness, he worked across 19 federal agencies and departments to ensure that their programs and investments supported the most effective, efficient, and impactful interventions. His efforts ensured that all federal homelessness work was well coordinated and responsive to community needs.

Doherty and his team also worked with state and local governments to discover and share what was working in communities nationwide, assist them in accessing federal resources, and get their feedback on how to improve federal assistance.  His work was never ideological or political. It was practical, based on evidence, and focused on outcomes. Lowering barriers to assistance, prioritizing Housing First approaches, and promoting partnerships and innovation – these were some of the things he focused on.   

“Matthew’s leadership, partnership, and professionalism set the standard for his role,” said Nan Roman, President and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. “It is with great personal sadness — sadness I know is shared by the Alliance staff and those working on and experiencing homelessness across the nation – that I see Matthew leave this post where he did so much for so many.”

The National Alliance to End Homelessness urges the Administration, as it considers Doherty’s successor, to seek candidates who have a thorough knowledge of homelessness and its solutions, familiarity with the research, and practical experience working with communities to solve the problem.  Homelessness should not be a political issue, but a bipartisan effort.  It should not be an ideological issue, but one addressed with evidence and knowledge of what works.  This was the approach Matthew Doherty took.  He will be missed.