The mission of the Kentucky Interagency on Homelessness is to coordinate and influence policy across Kentucky to end homelessness.
The Kentucky Interagency Council on Homelessness (KICH) is committed to engaging the state’s leadership to forge partnerships among state agencies, service providers, and advocacy groups that enable all Kentucky communities to achieve local solutions to ending homelessness. Under KRS 194A.735(10)(e), KICH functions and duties are:
- To serve as the single statewide homeless planning and policy development resource for the Commonwealth of Kentucky;
- To review, update, and recommend changes to Kentucky’s Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness and monitor its implementation;
- To serve as a state clearinghouse for information on services and housing options for the homeless population;
- To conduct other activities as appropriate and necessary; and
- To report to the Governor and General Assembly as requested.
The effects of homelessness are extensive and severe. For the individual, homelessness means more than just a loss of self-esteem; they face dramatically higher rates of infectious disease, mental health problems, physical disorders, disabilities, and premature death. They also face heightened risks of becoming incarcerated or institutionalized.
Homelessness has a dramatic impact on the community as well.
Homelessness takes a tremendous toll on family stability by hindering the ability to find and maintain jobs, hampering the learning process of children who are hungry and disoriented and causing health problems due to stress and exposure to the elements and infectious disease. The true cost of homelessness is passed to the community through higher demands on law enforcement, corrections, health care, welfare, education and other systems. This has been demonstrated in both urban and rural communities across the country.
Given the nature of Kentucky’s many rural communities, KICH also is interested in addressing the housing needs of precariously housed people. There are three forms of precariously housed: doubled-up, living in substandard housing, or at risk of imminent eviction.