History of KICH

The Commonwealth of Kentucky has a long and strong history of coordinated planning efforts to prevent and end homelessness.  In 2002, Kentucky was one of eight states invited by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to participate in the Homeless Policy Academy, which provided intensive policy-building forums designed to help states develop action plans for improving access to mainstream services for people experiencing homelessness.  As a result of these academies, Governor Ernie Fletcher created the Kentucky Council on Homeless Policy (KCHP) to develop a ten-year plan to end chronic homelessness in Kentucky. In 2005, KCHP released Kentucky’s Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness (http://kyhomeless.org/Documents/10year-plantoendhomelessness2005.pdf) which was compiled with input from local government partners and the public through 12 community forums.   

Recognizing the success of this coordinated planning effort and that “effectively addressing homelessness requires collaboration among state agencies, local governments, the private sector, and service provider networks to coordinate program development, deliver essential services, and provide housing” Governor Fletcher issued Executive Order 2007-751 to create the Kentucky Interagency Council on Homelessness (KICH) forming a centralized organization to ensure that collaboration.  This led to a year-long planning process intended to develop local priorities, recommendations and action strategies for implementing Kentucky’s Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness in coordination with the cities of Louisville and Lexington, as well as the six designated Continuum of Care regions within the state of Kentucky. This culminated in the January 2009 release of Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness: Update 2009 (http://kyhomeless.org/Documents/10year-plantoendhomelessness.pdf), which updated progress made towards meeting the plan’s goals and the collaborative response to the increased demand for homeless services as a result of the economic crisis.  To ensure alignment of Kentucky’s goals with those established by USICH through Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness-2010 in 2010, the Commonwealth  released Steps Toward Ending Homelessness: 2012 Update to Kentucky’s Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness, which also updated Kentucky’s progress towards meeting established goals. http://kyhomeless.org/Documents/2012%20Steps%20Toward%20Ending%20Homelessness.pdf

In 2016, the Kentucky Legislature passed Senate Bill 225 (kich-hpp-revised-law-krs-194a-735-in-effect-2016-7-15) which  codified the establishment of KICH and allowed expansion of the Homeless Prevention Pilot Project (HPPP) as KRS 194A.735.  KRS  194A.735 (10)(a) attached KICH to the Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky for administrative purposes.  Under the law, KICH includes but is not limited to the following members:

  1. The secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services;
  2. The executive director of the Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky;
  3. The chief executive officer of the Kentucky Housing Corporation;
  4. The commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans’ Affairs;
  5. The secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet;
  6. The secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet;
  7. The secretary of the Transportation Cabinet;
  8. The executive director of the Administrative Office of the Courts;
  9. The state budget director;
  10. A representative from the Kentucky Housing Association, representing public housing authorities,
  11. An individual who has previously experienced homelessness and addiction,