Strategic Plan 2006 - 2010

The idea that homelessness is something that can be ended began a few years ago, based on a framework that if we can prevent homelessness in the first place, and shorten the experience of it when it does occur, we can ultimately end homelessness as we know it. The federal government has embraced the goal of ending chronic homelessness in ten years in the United States. Chronic homelessness refers to being on the street or in a shelter for a year or longer, or repeatedly over the course of a few years.

Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and over 200 other cities and counties have adopted or begun work on a Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness in their communities. In suburban Cook County, homeless advocates have also begun the process of laying out a strategy to end homelessness.

The main planning body for homeless efforts in the area changed its name in mid-2004 from the “Task Force on Homelessness” to the Alliance to End Homelessness in Suburban Cook County. When the Task Force created its strategic plan for 2003-2005, the group explored the idea of what it would take to end homelessness in our county. In the three years that followed, the Task Force achieved several of its goals identified in that strategic plan, including incorporating as a nonprofit organization, hiring a full-time executive director and staff, and changing its name to reflect its new purpose.

On November 1, 2005, the Alliance convened a strategic planning workshop to set out its goals for the coming five years and identify strategies we believe can ultimately end homelessness in our suburban communities. This report summarizes those ideas.