The mission of the Consumer Advisory Council is to provide a formal mechanism for individuals or persons in families who have experienced homelessness to convey input and policy recommendations on local efforts to prevent and end homelessness. The CAC will ensure that all levels of plan implementation, evaluation, and revision incorporate the expertise of people who experience homelessness. The CAC is charged with providing feedback to the Governing Board and Housing Options Interagency Work Group on policy and strategies in the execution of the Implementation Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.
Roles, Responsibilities and Functions
- Identify problems in the current systems of housing and services that are particularly important to correct.
- Provide advice and recommendations for improvements to homelessness programs and services.
- Educate policy makers and legislators on how laws and regulations affect homeless people and what changes could help people move out of homelessness.
- Give input to the various bodies in the Fairfax-Falls Church Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness in 10 years on what strategies will be most effective, from a homeless person’s perspective, on ending homelessness.
- Educate the community as whole about the experience of homelessness.
- Suggest ways that community members can participate in activities to learn more about homelessness.
- Advocate for system reform and necessary funding at the federal, state, local, and community levels in support of the Implementation Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.
The Consumer Advisory Council will be accountable to the Governing Board.
The Council will consist of individuals and families with children who are currently or formerly homeless in the Fairfax-Falls Church community, and people who are at risk of becoming homeless due to extreme low income or disability. CAC membership is structured so that it is represents the broad array of people who experience homelessness in Fairfax County – by region, age, ethnicity, gender, and family composition. Members will be recruited through local housing and human services providers. They do not serve as representatives of these providers but rather provide insight and recommendations based on their own knowledge and opinions.
The Council may be chaired by any member as selected by the total membership of the CAC in accordance with a process to be set forth in bylaws of the CAC. The CAC will meet as necessary, but no less frequently than quarterly. Staff support for the CAC will be provided by the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness.