The Expert Convening is the final series of our 2020 Online Vanguard City Summit. The Expert Convening Series brings together leading experts on homelessness to talk about key issues affecting communities across the world. We want to ensure the discussion is as relevant and useful as possible, so the discussion will be focused on your questions for each topic. You can submit your questions using the link below. The deadline for submitting questions is 6 November. Even if you are not able to attend a session or plan to listen afterwards, please submit any questions you have. IGH’s Board Chair, Dame Louise Casey, will moderate and take part in each of the discussions.

This will be an entirely virtual event. Below, find information about each session alongside links to the Zoom registration.

Agenda at a Glance

  • The Intersection of Race, Caste, and Homelessness

    17 November 2020 – 9 AM (EST) – 2 PM (GMT) – 7:30 PM (IST)

  • Scaling up Housing First

    17 November 2020 – 10 AM (EST) – 3 PM (GMT) – 5 PM (EET)

  • Systems Change to End Homelessness in the Post-Pandemic City

    18 November 2020 – 3:30 PM (EST) – 8:30 PM (GMT)


The Intersection of Race, Caste, and Homelessness

Amanda Andere, Funders Together to End Homelessness | Indu Prakash Singh, CityMakers Mission International

COVID-19 has put a spotlight on the deep racial inequalities in our world and we wanted to bring this issue to the forefront during our Vanguard City Summit. This convening will allow Vanguard Cities to ask questions and think more deeply about the intersection of race, caste, and homelessness in their own communities, and discuss ways to better address the issues related to race and caste in homelessness service provision, systems, and policy.

Scaling Up Housing First

Juha Kaakinen, Y-Foundation | Sam Tsemberis, Pathways Housing First

Housing First is a homeless assistance approach that offers permanent housing with supportive services. Many Vanguard Cities are working to expand housing-led approaches to homelessness including Housing First and this convening will focus on the implementation of Housing First, deploying support services, and how cities can scale up Housing First to end homelessness in their communities.

Systems Change to End Homelessness in the Post-Pandemic City

Rosanne Haggerty, Community Solutions | Petra Salva, St. Mungo’s

Many cities have drastically changed their systems due to COVID-19. This convening will focus on strategies to keep positive changes in cities post-pandemic and also have a discussion on ending homelessness with systems thinking. The convening will focus on lessons learned during the pandemic, positive systems changes, and what the road forward looks like regarding ending homelessness in a post-COVID-19 world. We will also talk about ways communities can re-orient systems using data to advance work to end homelessness.

Amanda Andere 
Funders Together to End Homelessness

Amanda Misiko Andere has spent over fifteen years working in the nonprofit and public sector as a leader committed to racial and housing justice through advocacy for systemic change. Prior to joining Funders Together to End Homelessness as their CEO, she served as the CEO of Wider Opportunities for Women, a national advocacy organization. Currently, she serves as a board member of the United Philanthropy Forum and Equity in the Center. Amanda is a founding member and on the leadership team for the National Racial Equity Working Group on Homelessness and Housing. She also serves on the Leadership Council for the DC Partnership to End Homelessness. As a former Co-Chair of A Way Home America, Amanda is a co-conspirator in their work to end youth and young adult homelessness rooted in racial equity.

Indu Prakash Singh
CityMakers Mission International

indu prakash singh, a human rights defender, poet, author, feminist and PRA/PLA (Participatory Reflection and Action/Participatory Learning and Action/Participatory Rural Appraisal) practitioner and facilitator, is currently a consultant to a large number of development organisations. He has recently been made a member of the State Level Shelter Monitoring Committee for the Progress of Shelters for the Urban Homeless in Delhi.

indu is also a freelance consultant with IGSSS, Praxis – Institute for Participatory Practices, ActionAid India, Oxfam India, Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR), Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives (APPI), Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF) and many others. Apart from facilitating workshops, he has worked on evaluation assignments, alongside advising organisations in the development sector.

indu is also the Facilitator, CityMakers Mission International. He has worked in the social sector, on range of issues: Children, Youth, Women, the destitute, substance misuse,  the Elderly, health: leprosy/ TB/HIV-AIDS/ Mental Health/ Community Health, rural and urban deprivations/ human rights violations, environment and biodiversity, food security and many more issues, for over 30 years.

Juha Kaakinen

Juha Kaakinen is an experienced and passionate developer of innovative housing solutions to homeless people and social housing. Juha Kaakinen is Chief Executive of Y-Foundation, the biggest Finnish NGO providing housing for homeless people and social housing with a housing stock of 17 000 flats. Before, he has worked in public administration of the City of Helsinki and as a CEO of Social Development Ltd, a company devoted to developing social and health services for cities and municipalities. He has also worked as a programme leader of a national programme to end long-term homelessness, and as a researcher and a consultant. He is internationally known as an advocate of Housing First policy.

Sam Tsemberis
Pathways Housing First

Sam Tsemberis is a clinical-community psychologist who originated the “Housing First” program. He serves as CEO of the Pathways Housing First Institute and Clinical Associate Professor, at UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. Housing First, the program he launched in 1992, is an evidence-based intervention that uses a consumer choice, psychiatric rehabilitation philosophy, to engage, house, and provide treatment to individuals with long histories homelessness, mental illness, addiction, and health problems. Housing First operates from a social justice ethos to address poverty and the belief that housing is a basic human right. In several randomized control trails Housing First has consistently achieved 80% housing stability rates compared to 40% for standard housing and treatment programs. Dr. Tsemberis conducts training and provides consultation for agencies, cities, counties, and countries seeking to implement HF programs across the US, Canada, EU, Australia, and New Zealand. He has served as expert witness in state class action lawsuits advocating for social inclusion for individuals with psychiatric disabilities. He has published numerous articles, book chapters, and two books on these topics and his work has been recognized by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association (Distinguished Contribution to Independent Practice), and the Lieutenant Governor of Canada (Meritorious Service Cross).

Rosanne Haggerty
Community Solutions

Rosanne Haggerty is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Solutions. She is an internationally recognized leader in developing innovative strategies to end homelessness and strengthen communities. Community Solutions’ large-scale change initiatives include the 100,000 Homes and Built for Zero Campaigns to end chronic and veteran homelessness, and neighborhood partnerships that bring together local residents and institutions to change the conditions that produce homelessness. Earlier, she founded Common Ground Community, a pioneer in the design and development of supportive housing and research-based practices that end homelessness.

Ms. Haggerty is a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, Ashoka Senior Fellow, Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur, and the recipient of honors including the Jane Jacobs Medal for New Ideas and Activism from the Rockefeller Foundation, Cooper Hewitt/Smithsonian Design Museum’s National Design Award and Independent Sector’s John W. Gardner Leadership Award.

Petra Salva
St. Mungo’s

Petra Salva is Director of Rough Sleeping, Migrant and Westminster services at leading UK homelessness charity St Mungo’s. From working as an outreach worker on  the streets of London helping the capital’s rough sleepers, to influencing Government Policy and co-ordinating the St Mungo’s response to the global Covid-19 pandemic, Petra has dedicated her entire working career to helping the homeless.  Prior to joining St Mungo’s she led rough sleeping services for two other homelessness organisations Thames Reach and Broadway. In 2011 she became Director of the London Mayors No Second Night Out programme, and since then has been instrumental  in developing many  programs  aimed at reducing rough sleeping across London and Nationally.  In 2019 she was awarded an OBE for services to homeless people.

The Intersection of Race, Caste, and Homelessness Resources


Wongee Mia: An innovative family-centered approach to addressing Aboriginal housing needs and preventing eviction in Australia

Vallesi, S., Tighe, E., Bropho, H., Potangaroa, M., Watkins, L. (2020).

Vallesi et al. describe the Wongee Mia project, a pilot project spearheaded by the Housing First collective impact organization 50 Lives 50 Homes, centered in Perth, Western Australia. The initiative aims to establish culturally appropriate responses to the Aboriginal homelessness and address the differentiated needs of Aboriginal people who experience much higher rates of homelessness due to a history discrimination and social exclusion. The Wongee Mia project uses a participatory action research framework, using a family-centered approach to addressing homelessness and working in consultation with Aboriginal Elders who are heavily involved in the development of the project.

From: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Prevalence and Causes of Urban Homelessness Among Indigenous People: A Three-Country Scoping Review

Anderson, J. T., and Collins, D. (2014).

Anderson and Collins investigated the extent to which Indigenous people were over-represented in urban populations in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, and sought to identify the causes of this phenomenon. In each of the cities for which they were able to find reliable homelessness data, they found Indigenous people over-represented in the homelessness population, with Indigenous populations often representing a percentage in the homeless population at least five times higher than their representation in the population overall. While the authors acknowledge that social indicators related to poverty and marginalization factor into Indigenous homeless, they argue that other considerations unique to Indigenous groups, such as historical colonialism and cultural disconnect, accentuate these problems.

From: Housing Studies


Minorities and Homelessness in the United States and Europe: A Comparative Analysis

Radu, C. (2012).

This article is an investigation into the phenomenon of social exclusion among various racial and ethnic minority groups located in European countries and the United States. Radu explores the concept of ‘durable inequality’ and how “individual factors interact with structural factors such as poverty to push already marginalized people into homelessness.” This categorical social exclusion factors into the causes of homelessness for many marginalized ethnic groups, including North African migrants in France, the Roma community in Italy, and the immigrant populations in Nordic countries.

From: Inquiries Journal

United States

Racial Equity Resources

Funders Together to End Homelessness

A collection of key resources and glossaries compiled by Funders Together to End Homelessness.

Does Race Matter in Addressing Homelessness? A Review of the Literature

Jones, M. M. (2016).

This article features a broad overview of research related to the connection between race and homelessness in the U.S. The review also focuses on the potential causes of overrepresentation of Black U.S. citizens in the modern homeless population and the need to consider race when developing programs and policies that address homelessness.

From: World Medical & Health Policy

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the LIfetime Prevalence of Homelessness in the United States

Fursaro, V. A., Levy, H. G., Shaefer, H. L. (2018).

Noting the drawbacks to using point-in-time counts to gain a comprehensive view of who experiences homelessness over time, this study sought to measure racial disparities in lifetime prevalence of homelessness in the U.S. Using survey data from the National Institute on Aging’s Health and Retirement Study, the authors found that while 6.2% of the survey respondents had experienced homelessness at some point in over the course of their lives, significant racial disparities existed with 16.8% of the non-Hispanic Black population experiencing homelessness compared to 4.8% of non-Hispanic whites.

From: Demography

Discrimination at the Margins: The Intersectionality of Homelessness & Other Marginalized Groups

Lurie, K., Schuster, B., & Rankin S. (2015).

While this article discusses the intersectionality of homelessness and a number of other marginalized categories of people, the authors note that “[r]ace is the most established demographic illustrating the discriminatory impact of homelessness on marginalized groups.” The authors argue that a number of compounding factors contribute to the disproportionate representation of racial minorities in the homelessness population such as public policy decisions that have entrenched segregation and concentrated poverty; historical exclusion from federal programs that facilitated home ownership and wealth accumulation for white citizens; and discrimination in the private housing and employment market. These effects can be exacerbated when race is combined with another marginalized status such as being a previously incarcerated person or having a mental illness.

From: Digital Commons – Seattle University School of Law

Nowhere to Go: Homelessness among formerly incarcerated people

Couloute, L. (2018).

This study found that the previously incarcerated people are almost 10 times more likely to experience homelessness than the general public. Given the racial composition of the prison population in the U.S. and the disproportionate representation of Black Ameriacans in the incarcerated population, this fact has particular relevance to addressing homelessness prevention. The authors of the study found this phenomenon to be particularly pronounced among formerly incarcerated Black women, who experience a rate of sheltered homelessness nearly four times that of formerly incarcerated white men.

From: Prison Policy Initiative

Scaling Up Housing First


Initial Implementation of Housing First in Five Canadian Cities: How Do You Make the Shoe Fit, When One Size Does Not Fit All?

Keller, C., Goering, P., Hume, C., Macnaughton, E., O’Campo, P., Srang, A., Thomson, M., Vallee, C., Watson, A., Tsemberis, S. (2013).

Keller et al. describe the challenges faced and strategies used in implementing the Housing First model in different Canadian cities, outlining how those tasked with implementing the program adopted a flexible approach while still adhering to the core principles of Housing First. Topics addressed include the use of congregate and public housing (rather than scattered site housing); cultural adaptiveness (as it pertains to Aboriginal populations, immigrants, refugees, and so on); and the importance of technical assistance and the role of site coordinator in implementation.

From: American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Cost-effectiveness of Housing First Intervention with Intensive Case Management Compared with Treatment as Usual for Homeless Adults with Mental Illness: Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial

Latimer, E. A., Rabouin, D., Cao, Z., Ly, A., Powell, G. Adair, C. E., Sareen, J., Somers, J. M., Stergiopoulos, V., Pinto, A. D., Moodie, E. E. M., Veldhuizen, S. R. (2019).

This article describes a study that sought to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the At Home/Chez Soi Housing First project. The At Home/Chez Soi project operates in a number of major cities across Canada, using a scattered-site, intensive case management Housing First model. The randomized clinical trial determined that roughly half of the costs of the program were offset by reduced service usage in other areas (e.g. shelter costs, emergency department visits), lending further evidence to claims regarding Housing First’s cost-effectiveness as a homelessness intervention.

From: JAMA Network Open

Solutions: Housing First

Homeless Hub

‘Housing First’ is a recovery-oriented approach to ending homelessness that centers on quickly moving people experiencing homelessness into independent and permanent housing and then providing additional supports and services as needed. It is an approach first popularized by Sam Tsemberis and Pathways to Housing in New York in the 1990s, though there were Housing First-like programs emerging elsewhere, including Canada (HouseLink in Toronto) prior to this time. The basic underlying principle of Housing First is that people are better able to move forward with their lives if they are first housed. This is as true for people experiencing homelessness and those with mental health and addictions issues as it is for anyone. Housing is provided first and then supports are provided including physical and mental health, education, employment, substance abuse and community connections.

Housing First in Canada: Supporting Communities to End Homelessness says, “Housing is not contingent upon readiness, or on ‘compliance’ (for instance, sobriety). Rather, it is a rights-based intervention rooted in the philosophy that all people deserve housing, and that adequate housing is a precondition for recovery.”

From: Homeless Hub


Housing First Guide Europe

Pleace, N. (2017).

This guide provides an overview of Housing First, explaining how the intervention works, describing the principles on which the Housing First approach is founded, and outlining key components of Housing First programs. Despite being targeted towards a European audience, much of the Housing First information contained in the guide is applicable to a variety of social contexts.

From: Housing First Europe Hub

The Case for Housing First in the European Union: A Critical Evaluation of Concerns about Effectiveness

Pleace, N. & Bretherton J. (2013).

Pleace and Bretherton explore issues relating to the widespread adoption of Housing First and adapting it to different social contexts. The researchers propose a Housing First typological framework whereby the core operational principles and philosophy of Housing First are used to distinguish Housing First from other forms of homelessness interventions, but that is flexible enough to accommodate the variation that may exist among Housing First programs. They contend that while there is still work to be done regarding understanding the specifics of what makes Housing First effective, enough evidence exists to be confident that Housing First can be adapted to varying contexts.

From: European Journal of Homelessness


A Home of Your Own: Housing First and ending Homelessness in Finland


This book describes, as pragmatically as possible, the Finnish way of reducing homelessness, the special characteristics of the Finnish Housing First model, as well as its differences compared to the American Pathways Housing First model. For us, Housing First is a living and evolving model, an approach to doing work on eliminating homelessness. We hope that this book will be useful and brighten up the day of everyone who in their own country, in their own city, does work on eliminating homelessness and wants to make use of the Housing First model and our experiences with applying it.

From: Y-Foundation

Homelessness in 2030: Essays on Possible Futures


Homelessness in 2030 includes essays from leading researchers around the globe. The only guidance for the essays was the title, Homelessness in 2030, a word count, and an always necessary deadline. The essays arrived, but still a lot of practical work was to be done to turn the bundle of texts into this book. What came together was an inspiring and illuminating collection of visions for the future. The idea is to distill the wisdom needed to end homelessness from all the knowledge the leading researchers have gained from their extensive work.

From: Y-Foundation

United States

A Systematic Review of Outcomes Associated with Participation in Housing First Programs

Woodhall-Melnik, J. R., & Dunn, J. R. (2016).

Woodhall-Melnik and Dunn conducted a review of studies evaluating the effectiveness of Housing First programs, specifically those with quantifiable outcomes. They concluded that participation in Housing First programs was associated with higher rates of housing retention, decreased involvement with the criminal justice system, decreased shelter and emergency health services use, and quality of life improvement.

From: Housing Studies

Systems Change to End Homelessness in the Post-Pandemic City

Homelessness COVID-19 Thought Pieces and News Articles

Community Solutions - “COVID-19 and Homelessness

Haggerty, Rosanne

Now is the moment to bring everyone home. COVID-19 changed the urgency with which our country treats homelessness and our sense of what can be done. We won’t go back. 

Forbes, Interview with Rosanne Haggerty - “Will the Covid Crisis Spur Us to End Homelessness?”

Hagerty, Rosanne

The Covid pandemic is exposing cracks in numerous public systems—including health care, finance, and housing. In fact, says Rosanne Haggerty, founder of Community Solutions and a global expert on homelessness, the three are closely linked. Before Covid, homelessness was an epidemic on its own. Now, with 40 million Americans newly unemployed, a crisis looms, and Rosanne sees a historic opportunity to end homelessness once and for all. We spoke with her about the challenges and opportunities facing America, and what new mindsets are needed and possible.

The Atlantic - “What the Coronavirus Proved About Homelessness”

Serhan, Yasmeen

What the Coronavirus Proved About Homelessness — Britain’s efforts to house thousands of people amid the pandemic prove that even the most intractable problems are solvable—with enough political will.

CityLab, Bloomberg - “A Way Forward on Homelessness After Coronavirus”

Rainwater, B. & Lowery, L.

Coronavirus Exposes the Inextricable Connection Between Housing and Health –Escalated efforts to get homeless and unsheltered people off the streets during coronavirus can serve us long after the crisis is over.

COVID-19 Research on Homelessness

COVID-19 among people experiencing homelessness in England: a modelling study

Lewer D, Braithwaite I, Bullock M, Eyre M, White P, Aldridge R

The Study aimed to estimate the avoided deaths and health-care use among people experiencing homelessness during the so-called first wave of COVID-19 in England—ie, the peak of infections occurring between February and May, 2020—and the potential impact of COVID-19 on this population in the future.

System Data Resources

Built for Zero By-Name Lists

Built for Zero Canada

The information and resources here are intended to answer questions and support your community to develop and sustain a quality By-Name List on your journey to ending chronic and veteran homelessness.

SHARE Framework

Centre for Homelessness Impact

The SHARE framework sets out clear principles to inform how preventing and ending homelessness should be framed and assessed. It aims to take into account all relevant data, while also setting the highest standards for transparency and accountability when working to prevent or relieve homelessness.

System Performance Measures in Context

US Department of Housing and Urban Development

US Department of Housing and Urban Development has developed the following seven system-level performance measures to help communities gauge their progress in preventing and ending homelessness.