About the California Interagency Council on Homelessness
Mission of the Council
The California Interagency Council on Homelessness (Cal ICH) was created by SB 1380 in 2017 as the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to oversee the implementation of Housing First policies, guidelines, and regulations to reduce the prevalence and duration of homelessness in California.
In 2021, Governor Newsom signed AB 1220 into law, which renamed and restructured the Council to continue California’s forward momentum towards the state’s broader vision for greater statewide leadership and coordination around its response to the homelessness crisis. The Council's mission is to develop policies and identify resources, benefits, and services to prevent and work toward ending homelessness in California.
Through the Action Plan, Cal ICH pursues a vision for the Council and the state’s work to prevent and end homelessness focused on purposeful, action-oriented coordination and alignment among state departments. The Plan was developed through input and collaboration with over 60 community entities, public agencies, nonprofits, and other experts. It is through this input that the 5 action areas and the goals were developed. The council’s Action Plan orients the state’s efforts to drive purposeful, meaningful, and measurable progress toward preventing and ending homelessness in California, motivated by a vision of a future in which homelessness in California is: rare, because it is prevented whenever possible; brief, ended quickly whenever it does occur, through a focus on Housing First approaches and housing outcomes; and a one-time experience, ended successfully the first time, so that no Californians experience homelessness repeatedly.
In March 2021, the Council adopted the Action Plan for Preventing and Ending Homelessness, with the expectation that the plan would be updated every year to reflect current priorities. In September 2022, the council adopted an updated Action Plan for Preventing and Ending Homelessness. Council Staff develops a progress report each year. The report is a comprehensive collection of the state’s efforts toward preventing and ending homelessness in the fiscal year.
The Council, co-chaired by the Secretaries of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency and California Health and Human Services Agency, is a committee comprising director-level representatives from 18 state departments and agencies, with two individuals representing community organizations appointed by the state Legislature.
The Council regularly seeks guidance from an advisory committee that reflects the racial and gender diversity of people experiencing homelessness, and may also invite stakeholders, individuals who have experienced homelessness, members of philanthropic communities, and experts to participate in meetings or provide information to the Council as needed.
In 2021, Assembly Bill 1220 created an Advisory Committee to the California Interagency Council on Homelessness. Members are appointed by Cal ICH Council Co-Chairs and have specific experiences or expertise in homelessness, including a survivor of gender-based violence who formerly experienced homelessness, representatives of local agencies or organizations that participate in the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Continuum of Care Program, stakeholders with expertise in solutions to homelessness and best practices from other states, representatives of committees on African Americans, youth, and survivors of gender-based violence, a current or formerly homeless person who lives in California, and a current or formerly homeless youth who lives in California.
The council shall meet with the Advisory Committee at least twice a year, and a representative of the Advisory Committee shall participate in Quarterly Council Meetings.
The California Interagency Council on Homelessness (Cal ICH) seeks to strengthen partnerships with individuals with lived experiences of homelessness through the formation of this Lived Experience Advisory Board (LEAB). LEAB members serve to inform a broad range of decisions of the Council and member departments to ensure systems, programs, and decisions are deeply informed by individuals with lived experience of homelessness. The Cal ICH LEAB works in coordination with the Advisory Committee and Cal ICH Working Groups.
Individuals with lived experiences of accessing homelessness services is required to assure that policymakers and providers learn of problems and solutions from those with firsthand experiences. Cal ICH is committed to partnering with individuals of diverse lived experiences and centering racial justice and equity in the work of the LEAB.
- The Cal ICH LEAB will begin to meet monthly in Fall 2023.
- There are 11 members on the LEAB, including members from across the state.
- CAL ICH Lived Experience Advisory Board members are reimbursed for their participation in official duties.
Cal ICH has partnered with a nonproﬁt, Homebase, to support the LEAB. Homebase, The Center for Common Concerns, is a homelessness technical assistance advisor and thought partner whose mission is to support communities and agencies in building community capacity to end homelessness and reduce poverty.
Meeting information for the Cal ICH Council and Advisory Committee.
Additional Council Materials
- Letter from Executive Officer to Council Members – September 1, 2022
- Letter from Executive Officer to Council Members - January 31, 2022
- Letter from Executive Officer to Council Stakeholders - October 20, 2021
- Letter from Executive Officer to Council Members - July 19, 2021
- Letter from Secretary Castro Ramírez to Council Members - May 17, 2021
- Letter from Secretary Castro Ramírez to Council Members - January 21, 2021
- Letter from Secretary Castro Ramírez to Council Members - August 28, 2020
- Letter from Secretary Castro Ramírez to Council Members - April 17, 2020
In 2021, the California Legislature passed, and Governor Newsom signed into law AB 140, tasking the California Interagency Council on Homelessness (Cal ICH) with assessing the current landscape of programs funded, implemented, and administered by state entities across California to provide a holistic understanding of the state’s homelessness response system that can guide policy decisions as the state works to prevent and end homelessness. The final report was published in February 2023.