Nebraska's Plan to Address Homelessness

In October of 2003, a cross-section of stakeholders from Nebraska attended a Federal Policy Academy in Denver, CO. The purpose of the Academy was to assist States in developing plans to end chronic homelessness.  Nebraska’s 10-Year Plan for Increasing Access to Mainstream Services for Persons Experiencing Chronic Homelessness was unveiled in 2004 and formally adopted by the Nebraska Commission on Housing and Homelessness (NCHH).
To ensure sustained and continued implementation of the 10-Year Plan, the Commission created the Ad Hoc Committee on Ending Chronic Homelessness.  IN 2010, the Ad Hoc Committee planning revised the plan to include five overall objectives and changed its name to Completing the Journey: Nebraska’s Action Plan for People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness. 
The HEARTH Act of 2009 changed the federal definition of `chronically homeless' to the following: 

(A) IN GENERAL.—The term ‘chronically homeless’ means, with respect to an individual or family, that the individual or family—


(i) is homeless and lives or resides in a place not meant for human habitation, a safe haven, or in an emergency shelter;
(ii) has been homeless and living or residing in a place not meant for human habitation, a safe haven, or in an emergency shelter continuously for at least 1 year or on at least 4 separate occasions in the last 3 years; and
(iii) has an adult head of household (or a minor head of household if no adult is present in the household) with a diagnosable substance use disorder, serious mental illness, developmental disability [as defined in section 102 of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 15002)], post-traumatic stress disorder, cognitive impairments resulting from a brain injury, or chronic physical illness or disability, including the co-occurrence of 2 or more of those conditions.


(B) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—A person who currently lives or resides in an institutional care facility, including a jail, substance abuse or mental health treatment facility, hospital or other similar facility, and has resided there for fewer than 90 days shall be considered chronically homeless if such person met all of the requirements described in subparagraph (A) prior to entering that facility.

In 2013, NCHH consolidated the Ad Hoc and State Continuum of Care Committees and charged the group with updating Nebraska’s plan and integrating the goals with those of the federal plan to end homelessness, Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.