Twenty Successes -- Working with Philanthropy: CSH & Hilton for Almost 20 Years and Counting

Long-term partnerships with foundations can be rare, but for nearly 20 years the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has collaborated with CSH. Looking for a solution to ending homelessness among people with mental illnesses, Hilton learned about CSH and the work we were doing in New York to advance what was at the time an emerging innovation in supportive housing.

Hilton gave CSH its first grant in 1992 and to date, has awarded CSH with nearly $35 million in grants and program-related investments to work on spreading this innovation around the country. Hilton also supported CSH in establishing Peer-to-Peer Exchanges, which enable government and providers to connect to their colleagues in other parts of the country, and learn emerging and best practices.

The most recent milestone of our partnership is Hilton’s investment in Home For Good in Los Angeles, of which $15 million is invested in CSH -- $6 million in program-related investments to support pre-development loan funds and a $9 million grant over three years to engage other stakeholders, and provide training and technical assistance. This plan to end chronic and veteran homelessness in Los Angeles is a testament to the fortitude of our partnership. Hilton was instrumental in gathering the support of government, business and city leaders behind this plan.

Steven Hilton, President and CEO of the Hilton Foundation recalls: "In 1992, while researching the issue of homelessness, I found an interesting new organization called the Corporation for Supportive Housing.  I met with Julie Sandorf, CSH’s founder and first President, who shared with me the concept of supportive housing.  It was a simple, but very compelling idea, addressing some of the root causes of homelessness in a dignified and respectful way.  I’m proud to look back on nearly two decades of partnership and to see the organization’s evolution.  What started as a radical new idea has gained widespread acceptance.  Today, the concept of permanent supportive housing is publicly endorsed by politicians and business leaders and the general consensus in the foundation world is that this is a cost-effective solution that works.

An article in "Health Affairs" highlighted the CSH and Hilton partnership and concluded the following: Foundations are often criticized for their short attention spans and inability to stick with funding the toughest social problems. Homelessness among the mentally ill is considered among the most intransigent of social issues. This article explores the role of permanent supportive housing in reducing homelessness among the mentally ill, the role of the Corporation for Supportive Housing in developing, authenticating and disseminating the model, and the long-term funding relationship with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation that has facilitated this trajectory. It tells the story of how long-term funding, when used strategically, is making inroads into this serious mental health problem.

We couldn’t agree more. CSH appreciates this relationship and the relationship with all of our supporters.


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