Coalition of Housing and Homeless Organizations
History, Mission Statement and What We Do
The Coalition of Homeless and Housing Organizations was conceived in 1990 by non-profit service providers who served the homeless and low income citizens of the District of Columbia. These providers had a common goal to advocate for the unmet needs of homeless and vulnerable populations. The initial meetings were held at the former office of the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington. The convener at that time was the Rev. Clark Lobenstine. For a number of years, meetings were held at the Downtown BID and then at the Federal City Shelter. Since 2007, meetings have been held at N Street Village.
Since 1990, COHHO continued to be an effective voice for the homeless and underserved in the city. Since January 2015, COHHO has put its time and energies into the District’s Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH) processes. For information about the ICH, see www.ich.dc.gov. COHHO may choose to resume COHHO meetings based on need and interest. We continue to “meet” via email listserv.
COHHO is a diverse membership group of non-profit organizations and homeless individuals who have a common goal of ending homelessness. COHHO seeks to improve housing and supportive services for all homeless and nearly homeless people in the District.
COHHO members recognize that the solutions to homelessness are complex and require multiple strategies and interventions. Therefore, the members of COHHO are dedicated to creating an organization which:
- remains diverse in its composition
- is action-oriented
- provides a stable forum for all organizations concerned about homelessness to express their opinions and share information with their colleagues, and
- builds on commonalities among the members but respects differences.
What We Do
COHHO works on the following as needed:
- Access to free, nutritious food
- Access to mental health services
- Discharge planning from institutions
- District Budget for affordable housing and homeless services
- Domestic violence resources and referrals
- Emergency preparedness
- Annual Reports on Alerts and Shelter Usage
- Annual and Weekly Reports
- Data Analysis
- Input for the ICH Winter Plan
- Permanent supportive housing
- Point in Time enumerations and reports
- Shelter capacity, sites, and conditions
- Transportation issues (WMATA and vans)
- U.S. Census
- Veterans’ housing and services
- Voter registration
COHHO’s monthly meetings are forums for experts’ presentations on cutting-edge issues, discussion of proposed solutions, information exchange, and Workgroup decision-making. As a body, COHHO writes position papers and letters to policy-makers. COHHO members testify at the City Council and meet with decision-makers.