What to Expect at the 2023 National Conference on Ending Homelessness

I’m looking forward to seeing 1,500 or so of you at the Alliance’s conference in Washington, D.C., coming up July 17-19. Here are a few things to look forward to, and some themes and priorities to look out for at the Alliance conference and in our current work.

Learning how to get the best results

Much of the conference content will be about the kinds of programs and approaches that reduce homelessness the most – and the most effectively. You’ll hear from experts from all over the country about the details of program operations, where to get funding, how to build cooperative relationships. The Alliance will be livestreaming the plenaries each day, so watch out for those too!

Centering people with lived experience of homelessness

The Alliance has been incorporating people with lived experience for years, and is continuing to include more voices at the upcoming conference. Feedback from people about our Oakland conference this past March showed that people with lived experience were happy to be there and got a lot out of it. We’re hoping to do even better at this conference.

Understanding the CoC NOFO

The Continuum of Care (CoC) program at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the largest single source of funding for homelessness programs. The Notice of Funding Opportunity application was just announced on July 5, with applications due September 28. Much of the content at the conference will be aligned with practices that will help communities score well on their applications.

Dealing with new challenges

There are new and emerging challenges in the homeless services field, as always. People are coming to the United States from around the world seeking asylum, but they sometimes have no place to stay and turn to local homelessness programs for help. Unscrupulous politicians have proposed criminalizing homelessness. The country is faced with a widespread affordable housing crisis. The agenda will feature responses to these and other specific challenges.

Advocating during Capitol Hill Day

We’re back to in-person advocacy at Capitol Hill Day, with meetings scheduled for most offices of Representatives and Senators. The presence of hundreds of homelessness advocates on the Hill will raise the profile of the issue, and it’s a key time for Congressional consideration of spending bills and other measures. Stop by the Advocacy Hub, near the registration desks, to learn more about how to get involved in advocacy efforts.

Having fun!

This work is hard, and we all need some decompression time. The Meet and Mingle reception Monday night will be a chance for conference attendees to talk to each other, what could be more fun than that? Monday night, we also will host a documentary film screening of Lift!, the award-wining story of the New York Theatre Ballet’s outreach program to homeless and housing insecure children in the Bronx. Tuesday there’s game night, and live-band karaoke that gives anyone a chance to sing with a professional band (you’ve heard of it if you watched the final episode of Ted Lasso)– I’ll be at that one for sure.

See you there, and please stop by and say hello!