The federal government will try a targeted approach to reducing homelessness in five major U.S. cities and the state of California. As reported by USA Today and other news outlets, President Biden's administration says it's going to send federal officials to California and to five big cities: Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Seattle, which together represent half of the country's overall homeless population.
The officials, the White House says, will be there to help cut through bureaucracy and get homeless individuals better access to federal aid in a program called "ALL INside" (get the "All In" wordplay?). This is part of an overall plan to reduce homelessness in the country 25 percent by 2025, which seems like a long time from now until you pull out a calendar and realize that's in two years!
In addition to deploying officials and teams to those cities and to California, the plan includes getting philanthropists and the private sector involved, technical support for communities trying to provide services, employment help, and vouchers from Housing and Urban Development to help get people out of homeless encampments.
The targeting of specific cities and a U.S. state is new, but the move to address homelessness isn't. The White House has been announcing steps in its broader plan since last summer, when it announced $365 million in grant funds for those vouchers.
Biden's team says it chose those areas because they already have strategies in place to address homelessness that could be even more effective with federal assistance.