Eric Oberdorfer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-842-8600 ext. 139
A New Toolkit Helps Address Homelessness on Native American Lands
Washington, DC, Feb. 11 2013 –It is often challenging to address homelessness on Native American lands, due to the difficulty in quantifying the number of actual homeless individuals living in these communities. In order to assist tribes hoping to undertake their own homeless counts, the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) and the Center for Supportive Housing (CSH) have released a new report: Homeless Counts on Native American Lands: A Toolkit. (http://www.ruralhome.org/
While there is ‘literal’ homelessness on Native American lands, many Native Americans also live in extremely crowded conditions with family and relatives which is another, less visible, form of homelessness. According to US Census data, homes on Native American lands are three times more likely to be overcrowded than the nation as a whole. Places with small, spread-out populations, like most Native American lands, typically have few shelters or service providers forcing homeless individuals to rely on strong kinship networks to find a place to stay. Moreover, accurate homeless figures often do not exist as point-in-time counts typically do not capture individuals who are doubled-up. Issues surrounding tribal mistrust of the federal government, a lack of understanding of tribal sovereignty and diversity among Indian nations by outside entities, cultural competencies, and legal complexities associated with tribal lands create additional challenges to conducting an accurate count.
Moises Loza, HAC’s Executive Director said, “If the number of homeless people on Native lands is being underreported, an already vulnerable population will not have access to the services and support they need to combat this growing problem. HAC is proud to partner with CSH and help tribes address this issue.”
This flexible toolkit highlights steps, resources, and methods that can be used to complete an accurate homeless count on Native American lands. The report is based upon past research as well as interviews with key stakeholders in the field. The toolkit offers assistance in how to conduct outreach, plan homeless surveys, partner with other researchers and organizations, and secure funding. Two case studies that feature tribes who have undertaken their own homeless counts are also included.
Homeless Counts on Native American Lands: A Toolkit can be downloaded free from HAC’s website.
About the Housing Assistance Council (http://www.ruralhome.org/
HAC, founded in 1971, is a nonprofit corporation that supports the development of rural low-income housing nationwide. HAC provides technical housing services, loans from a revolving fund, housing program and policy assistance, research and demonstration projects, and training and information services. HAC is an equal opportunity lender.
About the Corporation for Supportive Housing (http://www.csh.org/
CSH transforms how communities use housing solutions to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people. We offer capital, expertise, information and innovation that allow our partners to use supportive housing to achieve stability, strength and success for the people in most need. CSH blends over 20 years of experience and dedication with a practical and entrepreneurial spirit, making us the source for housing solutions. CSH is an industry leader with national influence and deep connections in a growing number of local communities. We are headquartered in New York City with staff stationed in more than 20 locations around the country. Visit csh.org to learn how CSH has and can make a difference where you live.