WASHINGTON – The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) met today for the first time under the Obama Administration. U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki chaired the meeting, at which U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan was elected rotating Chair for the upcoming year and U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis was elected Vice Chair. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Melody Barnes, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, attended the meeting. The mission of the USICH is to coordinate the federal response to homelessness and to create a national partnership with every level of government and the private sector to address homelessness in the nation.
“It is simply unacceptable for individuals, children, families, and our nation’s Veterans to be faced with homelessness in this country,” said President Obama. “I am confident that the Interagency Council on Homelessness, under Secretary Donovan’s leadership, will have a renewed focus on coordinating efforts across federal agencies and working closely with our state, local, community-based, and faith-based partners to address these serious issues.”
“Ending the continuing tragedy of homelessness demands thoughtful and focused leadership,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “President Obama and I are committed to working through the USICH, the agencies it represents and our state, local and non-profit partners to build a thoughtful and compassionate response to this crisis. The bottom line is that through our combined efforts every man, woman and child in this nation should have access to a safe, affordable place to lay their head at night.”