History

Over the past three decades, HomeBase has advanced solutions to homelessness in many forums and with many partners.

HomeBase was founded in 1985 in response to community requests for assistance in addressing the newly emerging problem of homelessness. San Francisco Bay Area communities were at a loss as to how to best respond to this new crisis, neither understanding what was causing the influx of people living on the streets and in parks, nor knowing what to do about it. HomeBase was launched as a technical assistance resources center for Bay Area communities in their efforts to address homelessness.

From these roots, developing an infrastructure to meet emerging human needs, HomeBase has grown into a nationally recognized expert on system redesign, homelessness, and as a skilled capacity builder working with communities across the country.

Through the years we have consistently worked to:

  • Build and improve collaborations, through interagency collaboration, and peer support/learning communities
  • Strategic planning to integrate system-level responses to homelessness and allocate resources
  • Design programs and strengthen agencies with capacity building
  • Use data, evaluation, and performance measurement to drive decision making
  • Reform public policy, educate our leaders, and train those immersed in ending homelessness

Selected examples of our work follow in the timeline below.

1985
  • Publish Avenues Out of Despair: a report analyzing homelessness programs in the SF Bay Area and calling on local governments for coordinated response
  • HomeBase formed
  • Lawsuit presented to Alameda County Board of Supervisors seeking relief for homeless persons resulted in immediate settlement and launch of Multi-Sector Whole System Strategic Planning process, to develop earliest California community plan to end homelessness
  • Launch Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness and Housing, San Francisco and Bay Area-wide regional planning group
  • Engaged California Congressional delegation in support of a national omnibus bill responding to homelessness, which became the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
  • Develop Neighbors After All: Community Acceptance Strategies for Siting Housing and Services for Homeless People report and Roundtable training program
  • Develop resources Ending Homelessness: 10 Steps In Which Every Community Should Be Engaged and Employing Homeless Job Seekers: a primer for Businesses
  • Distributed Ending Homelessness in America‚Äôs Cities: Implementing a National Plan of Action to Congressional members and federal agency leaders, emerging from U.S. Conference of Mayors Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness
  • Introduced to Congress the Housing Choice and Community Investment Act, to reduce homelessness by doubling federal support for homeless assistance initiatives
  • Contributed analysis, data and framing for Priority Home! The Federal Plan to Break the Cycle of Homelessness, with supporting White House Executive Order
1995
  • Lead Bay Area Regional Initiative to Turn Homelessness Around, restructuring mainstream systems and integrating homeless specific responses regarding income, housing, services, and community
  • Create Homelessness in the Bay Area: Transform Basic Causes, Meet Human Needs report and training for Bay Area elected officials and agency leaders
  • Facilitator, Trainer and Technical Advisor to the Homeless Policy Academy Initiative funded by USDHHS in partnership with HUD, DVA, DOL, DOE, convening states to establish Interagency Councils on Homelessness, developing 10 year Strategic Plans on chronic and family homelessness
  • Develop training Mainstreaming the Response to Homelessness: Effective Use of Mainstream Resources to Prevent and End Homelessness for state and local officials ready to redesign programs
  • Generated a Roadmap for Providing Support to Homeless Families in conjunction with the ABA
  • Implement holistic program evaluation process for the San Francisco Continuum of Care, convening consumer focus groups community-wide and synthesizing program data to create written program evaluations
2005
  • Design and facilitate training conference with CSH and ICF, All the Way Home: Creating Partnerships to House Emancipated Foster and Homeless Youth
  • Begin Northern California/Central Valley Homeless Roundtable learning community and peer support network for largely rural communities
  • Facilitate for National Policy Academy on Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Disorders, and Transforming State Mental Health Systems Regional Conferences, developing state strategic plans to improve access to appropriate resources and reinforce relationships among key state leaders.
  • Develop ten year strategic plans to end to homelessness in over a dozen communities, including San Francisco, Contra Costa County, Santa Clara County, San Luis Obispo, Yolo County, and Monterey County
  • Develop training and resources to support grant management, Homelessness 101: Managing HUD Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Grant
  • Implement performance measurement analysis and reporting structure in Priority Communities, including Maricopa County (Arizona) and Southern Nevada
2015
  • Start Central California Homeless Roundtable learning community, focused on regional planning and technical support for Central Valley communities
  • Facilitate on-the-ground implementation of integrated behavioral health system of care in Contra Costa County for mental health, substance abuse, and homelessness
  • Facilitate CoC Program Start Up Trainings for recipients of CoC Program funds in CoCs across the country
  • Begin Housing-Health (H2) Care Integration Initiative funded by HUD in partnership with USICH, ASPE, HRSA, SAMHSA, CMS, convening stakeholders from homeless assistance and health care systems in over 20 states to integrate subsidized housing and health care systems
  • Develop and host Program Evaluation and Scoring Tool (PRESTO), a flexible web-based platform for analyzing the performance of homeless housing and service projects and systems of care, supporting year-round performance evaluation as well as tailored community processes for competitive Continuum of Care funding applications