DuPagePads Joins 2,000 People at 2017 National Conference on Ending Homelessness
Recently, DuPagePads President & CEO and program directors visited Washington DC to attend the National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference as a result of a generous private grant.
More than 2,000 service providers, government leaders and advocates from across the country gathered to collaborate and learn from each other.
As a result of this conference, DuPagePads leadership left with enthusiasm and new ideas to enhance the agency’s housing programs and support services.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose sole purpose is to end homelessness in the United States. Using research and data to find solutions to homelessness; the alliance works with federal and local partners to develop policy and resources that support those solutions; all while assisting communities to implement them.
Over the course of three days, conference attendees heard keynote speeches from Alliance President & CEO Nan Roman, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, and the Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
DuPagePads staff attended numerous workshops covering a variety of topics including Rapid Rehousing models and integrating employment solutions along with case management.
DuPagePads President & CEO Carol Simler said of the conference, “It was such a great experience taking the Program Directors, many of whom were experiencing Washington DC for the first time. While we are ahead of the curve compared to other agencies around the country, we left with ideas of ways we can continue to improve our existing programs.”
Reflections from our Program Directors:
“I appreciate the great opportunity to go to Washington DC to represent DuPagePads.
We know that Interim (Overnight) Housing is a stepping stone in a person’s life and we want to continue to reduce the amount of time people are homeless, so that people do not enter a ‘psychological jail’ mindset, as one presenter put it. I was reenergized after hearing from the speakers, especially Maxine Waters who really believes in the people we serve. after hearing her address,” Will Salmon, Interim (Overnight) Housing Director
“The conference was really empowering to be a part of a sort of ‘gathering of minds’ coming together, focusing on the same purpose – ending homelessness.
I took away the importance of using our voice to advocate for the families and individuals we serve. In our current environment, Medicaid is at risk and DuPage is an expensive county to live in. It is crucial that we advocate for Medicaid and affordable housing options,” Jennifer Coyer, Client Service Center Director
“It was an incredible experience to be around so many people with the same goal: ending homelessness.
Workshops I attended focused on helping clients obtain employment, even when they are on disability or living in Supportive Housing. If clients are able to work, we can help them move out of Supportive Housing towards self-sufficiency and open up an apartment for someone who is chronically homeless,” Lutisha Jefferson, Career Employment Solutions Director
“Attending the conference was very empowering. It not only gave confirmation of the innovative programs we already have in place, but attending the workshops gave me new ideas on how to move our Supportive Housing tenants towards independence,” Annika Pangan, Supportive Housing Director