What is Housing First? Why does it matter?

What is Housing First? Why does it matter?



The 2012 Home For Good Summit is almost here! In addition to highlighting first year accomplishments and outlining next steps under the Action Plan, this year’s Summit will feature a panel and discussion about Housing First – an evidence based model which prioritizes the importance of stable housing.

This year’s panel will be moderated by Barbara Poppe, the Executive Director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. Barbara oversees the federal response to homelessness and has been instrumental in leading Opening Doors, the nation’s first-ever comprehensive federal plan to prevent and end homelessness. In her role as moderator, Barbara will help facilitate a conversation with individuals from philanthropy and public, private and non-profit sectors who have embraced the housing first model.

Housing First Panelists include:


  • Bill Pitkin. Bill is the Director of Domestic Programs at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and overseas the planning, implementation and evaluation of the Foundation's domestic priority areas. Bill is also responsible for leading the Foundation’s strategy to address chronic homelessness in Los Angeles.


  • Julie Rusk. Jill is the Manager of the Human Services Division for the City of Santa Monica. Her division is part of the City’s Community and Cultural Services Department which is in charge of providing and supporting social service, recreation, education and community programs that address the needs of all local residents, including the homeless population.


  • Stephanie Klasky Gamer. Stephanie is the Executive Director of L.A. Family Housing. Her organization's primary mission is to help families transition out of homelessness and poverty through a continuum of housing enriched with supportive services.  Stephanie has been instrumental in helping L.A. Family Housing shift from traditional housing readiness to a housing first model.


  • Roy Brown. Roy is the Director and Founder of Vet to Vet California and is also currently serving as Executive Director of Vet to Vet West Los Angeles, National Training Director of Vet to Vet and Director of Recovery Services at the Massachusetts-based mental health service provider Vinfen Corporation. Roy served in the U.S. Army, and as a formerly homeless veteran knows first hand the importance of a housing first approach.


  • Kerry Morrison. Kerry is an active member of the Business Task Force on Homelessness and the Executive Director of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance (HPOA), a nonprofit organization that manages the Hollywood Entertainment District (HED) Business Improvement District (BID) and the programs for the Sunset & Vine BID. The BID’s commitment to a “clean and safe” campaign, designed and managed by Morrison, has resulted in a noticeable improvement in the environment.


For more information on the Summit, including how to register click here.

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