Media Release

International expert on Ending Homelessness in Sydney

8 September 2009

Nan Roman, president and CEO of the US National Alliance to End Homelessness is currently in Sydney. Today, Monday 7 September she was the keynote speaker at a forum on planning to end homelessness, co-hosted by the City of Sydney and the Nepean Campaign Against Homelessness.

On Tuesday 8 September Ms Roman will be addressing a forum co-hosted by the Mercy Foundation and the Caledonia Foundation. This forum will see philanthropic foundations based in Sydney meet for the first time to focus on the very important issue of homelessness. ‘Philanthropy Australia’ has helped bring together Sydney based foundations for this meeting.

CEO of the Mercy Foundation, Ms Felicity Reynolds, stated that “the group was very fortunate to have someone of Ms Roman’s experience and expertise to speak at the first meeting. Nan has been a strong advocate to end homelessness in the USA and she was worked with a lot of philanthropic foundations”.

Ms Roman has been visiting Australia to speak at a number of conferences and roundtable events and to meet with political, community and philanthropic leaders to support Australian efforts to reduce and ultimately end homelessness in this country. Ms Roman has a deep understanding of international approaches and which have proven most effective in delivering concrete reductions in homeless numbers, including Housing First, supportive housing, outcomes focused systems reform and city-based 10 year plans to end homelessness.

As head of the Alliance, Ms Roman works with over 9,000 non-profit, public sector and corporate partners in the United States towards the goal of ending homelessness, Ms Roman works closely with city/state governments, the US Congress and the Obama Administration. The Alliance has advocated for, and achieved, major advances and improvements in policy, priorities and national coordination. Successes in the last year include reductions in homelessness in Denver, Portland and Chicago as well as the successful housing of more than 11,000 formerly homeless adults with disabilities.

Ms Roman has already made presentations in Brisbane and Melbourne. Sydney is the final stop on her short visit to Australia. She has provided her perspective on the emerging policy approach of President Obama and addressed the current state of homelessness in Australia, recent government responses, lessons from international efforts in over 300 cities, the role of philanthropy in ending homelessness, and the importance of diverse partnerships, innovation, evidence and coordination as drivers of sustainable housing outcomes.

More information about Nan Roman and the Alliance can be found at: www.endhomelessness.org. To request an interview with Nan Roman or for more information, please contact Felicity Reynolds on 0438 771 518.