Date: 01 Apr 2009

Collaborative Initiative to Help End Chronic Homelessness: Introduction

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The Collaborative Initiative to Help End Chronic Homelessness was a coordinated effort by the US Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Veterans Affairs (VA), and the US Interagency Council on Homelessness to house and provide comprehensive supportive services to individuals with serious psychiatric, substance use, health, and related disabilities who were experiencing long-term chronic homelessness. Eleven communities received 3-year grants from HHS and VA (2003–2006) and up to 5-year grants from HUD (2003–2008) to implement the initiative. This article provides background on chronic homelessness, describes the federal collaboration to comprehensively address chronic homelessness, and introduces the seven articles in this special issue that describe the findings and lessons learned from the participating communities in addressing chronic homelessness. Collectively, these articles offer insight into the challenges and benefits of providing housing and services to individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.