The members of the expert panel were:Martha Burt, Urban InstituteDennis Culhane, University of PennsylvaniaMeredith Deming, Bradenton County Coalition on HomelessnessCharlene Flaherty, Corporation for Supportive HousingPaul Koegel, RAND CorporationJames O’Connell, Boston Health Care for the Homeless ProgramAnn O’Hara, Technical Assistance CollaborativeDebra Rog, WestatNan Roman, National Alliance to End HomelessnessPhyllis Wolfe, Phyllis Wolfe and Associates, Inc.Teams of authors consisting of leading researchers and practitioners were commissioned to prepare 10papers for discussion at the Symposium, held March 1–2, 2007 in Washington, D.C. To supplement these10 papers, the HHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sponsoredtwo additional papers: an eleventh paper focusing on rural homelessness and a twelfth paper written by an“emerging researcher” (i.e., chosen from among individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnicgroups, individuals with disabilities, or individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds) in order to increasediversity on a national or institutional basis in the field of homelessness research. The emergingresearcher was competitively selected from a pool of current doctoral candidates and recent doctoralgraduates to prepare a paper and presentation for the Symposium. At the Symposium, the paper authorspresented their papers, and Symposium participants, comprising over 200 researchers, service providers,consumers and policymakers, provided feedback to the authors. The final drafts of the 12 papers arepresented in this compendium.
Lessons of the Past Decade and Future Directions
While the papers commissioned for the 2007 Symposium cover a wide range of topics, two broad themesillustrate how the fields of homelessness research and practice have evolved since the 1998 Symposium.
The emergence and strengthening of new and existing collaborative efforts to address homelessness at all levels of government and among local providers and consumers is a distinguishing feature of thelast decade of homeless assistance.
This trend toward systems change and integration contributes to amore holistic view of interventions to mitigate and, ultimately, end homelessness. Examples include thegrowth and enhancement of continuums of care as organizing structures for combating homelessness, thedevelopment of Policy Academies as a tool for prioritizing and coordinating state efforts, the creation of local 10-year plans to end homelessness, and the engagement of mainstream service resources such asMedicaid to expand the services provided through homeless assistance programs. Such collaborativeefforts often have other positive results, including attracting new stakeholders that had not previouslybeen involved in homeless assistance networks, as well as increasing resources to fund services andproduce housing. Given the fierce competition for the limited supply of low-cost housing for those who
2007 National Symposium on Homelessness Researchvi