The Bush Administration began encouraging communities around the nation to develop 10 Year Plans to End Homelessness early in the last decade, after numerous research studies documented that the public monetary costs of long-term or chronic homelessness are much greater than the costs associated with providing permanent supportive housing to chronically homeless people.

The Council to End Homelessness in Durham, with support from United Way of the Greater Triangle, the City of Durham and Durham County, led a community wide planning process that resulted in the development of the 10 Year Results Plan to End Homelessness in Durham. The City of Durham and Durham County made an unprecedented commitment to end homelessness with the adoption of the 10 Year Results Plan to End Homelessness in 2006.

The Durham Affordable Housing Coalition staffed implementation efforts between 2007 and 2010, under a contract with the City of Durham and Durham County. Implementation was reorganized in 2011, and the initiative was renamed Opening Doors to Prevent and End Homelessness in Durham (Durham Opening Doors) to align the local plan with  Opening Doors: the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, that had been adopted in 2010.

Implementation now is coordinated through the City of Durham’s Community Development Department. An Interlocal Agreement has been adopted to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the City, County, and Durham Opening Doors’ Homeless Services Advisory Committee, the initiative’s leadership body.

The plan’s broad goal remains to reduce the time that people spend in emergency shelters from months and even years to forty-five days or less. Durham is one of over 850 cities and counties across the nation committed to ending homelessness in their community.

Reducing and ending homelessness will require ongoing involvement and participation of partner agencies and the entire community. There is something for everyone to do. Get involved with this plan so that every resident of Durham will have a place to call home.