Ending Homelessness Today
The official blog of the National Alliance to End Homelessness
New NHC President and CEO Maureen Friar on the past, present and future of affordable housing
March 30, 2010
Today's guest post is from Maureen Friar, the new President and CEO of the National Housing Conference. We asked her some of the most pressing questions in the field. Here's what she said:Where do we – as a national community – stand on the issue of affordable housing? Where should we go from here? Our country still faces a huge affordable housing problem. Housing is not affordable for many segments of our society, including low-income households and working families. In addition, when the cost of transportation is combined with the cost of housing, households are finding it even harder to make ends meet. With the recent downturn in economy, collapse of the financial markets, and the overextension of credit, the number of foreclosures continues to rise, affecting millions in our communities. According to our research affiliate the Center on Housing Policy’s newest Paycheck to Paycheck study, between 2008 and 2009, home prices rose or held steady in 90 (44 percent) out of 207 metropolitan areas. Over the same time period, the income needed to purchase a median-priced home decreased in 193 of these metro areas (93 percent). As well known to NAEH, we have made great strides in ending chronic homelessness, but many still are without a home. People are also living in substandard housing and families often are doubled- and tripled- up, which adds to the affordable housing crisis.We must work with the Administration and Congress as one national community to implement measures to halt foreclosures, increase and expand new and affordable housing options, and fund the Housing Trust Fund. We must also continue to attack homelessness, which is the most visible sign of our housing crisis. It is essential that we raise our voices together to highlight the need for safe, decent and affordable housing for all Americans.What is the most important innovation or development in the field of affordable housing that you’ve seen in the last decade?I have seen extraordinary commitment and increased capacity from the nonprofit community to develop quality multifamily housing projects that integrate private and public financing. These developments, financed with private equity, primarily through the Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit, show that public private partnerships are effective and create solutions that work for our neighborhoods.There are wonderful examples across the country – in rural, urban, and suburban settings. They incorporate mixed financing, as well as green and sustainable initiatives, and ultimately create high quality, affordable housing that is viable in the long-term. I also applaud the housing solutions that help successfully integrate people with disabilities and special needs into neighborhoods and affordable housing developments. As a result, we are moving away from housing people in isolated communities and making a variety of options available like never before.What are a few of your most important policy priorities for the year?NHC’s policy priorities for this year include, first and foremost, preventing foreclosures and stabilizing impacted neighborhoods. This includes developing better tools and improving the implementation of federal policies to stem foreclosures. We have been particularly active on this front through the NHC-sponsored National Foreclosure Prevention and Neighborhood Stabilization Task Force.In addition, NHC is focused on helping low- to moderate-income working families meet their housing challenges through rental preservation, employer-assisted housing and workforce housing. NHC also plans to help improve the coordination of housing, transportation and energy. Specifically, through NHC’s advocacy at the local, state and national levels we hope to create incentives to preserve and expand the availability of housing that is permanently a... Read More »
Why the rise in NYC's homeless population?
March 29, 2010
In January, New York City counted 3,111 people experiencing homelessness. That's 783 more - or 30 percent more - than last year's count. Some background: In 2005, New York City conducted their first Homeless Outreach Population Estimate – known popularly as their HOPE count. That year, the city counted 48,155 homeless people. In 2006, that number shot up to 55,507 – but has decreased steadily since then. New York City took some innovative strides to help the residents of their city experiencing homelessness, including implementing a unique “right to shelter” mandate, offering all homeless residents a place to sleep. As of 2008, the city’s homeless population was at 50,261.Could the increase be the result of difficult economic conditions? That's what Robert Hess, NYC Homeless Services Commissioner, suggested at a press conference last week, but we'll know more when other cities share their information and we’re able to compare and contrast the increases and decreases in homeless populations nationwide. Some other groups in NYC think the increase has less to do with the economic climate and more to do to with city policy. The Coalition for the Homeless wrote on their blog this week: "Overall, these newly released numbers continue to add to the crisis of homelessness in New York City. The numbers show that DHS's decision to close 6 drop-in centers over the past year has been a complete disaster for the street homeless population, who continue to need specialized services."A couple of other important factors to consider:• The rate of h... Read More »
Friday News Roundup: new HUD study, plus healthcare and homelessness
March 26, 2010
This week, HUD released a study that supports this argument we’ve been making for years: emergency shelter is actually more expensive for society than providing permanent housing. Along those lines, the latest in our series of seriously neat interactive tools, which we launched this week, illustrates the cost savings to communities with permanent supportive housing. You can read more on the new HUD study on Change.org's End Homelessness blog or in USA Today. As this week began, a historic piece of healthcare legislation was passed in the House and signed by President Obama. While kinks get worked out and the fight continues, we’re focusing on how reform will impact people experiencing homelessness. On Monday, we talked about why healthcare matters in the fight against homelessness and in the Huffington Post, Deborah De Santis of the Corporation for Supportive Housing made a convincing case:The administration's proposal includes expanding Medicaid to everyone who earns below 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Currently, permanent supportive housing projects across the country are constantly trying to find funding to pay for mental health services, substance abuse treatment, primary health care and intensive case management services. Expanded Medicaid insurance coverage will allow supportive housing providers to focus on providing services, rather than chasing after funding.The full article is definitely worth a read. Speaking of healthcare, the Street Roots blog published a stellar interview with Jim O’Connell, one of the founding physician... Read More »
Guest Blog: Shelter Partnership launches a brand new blog!
March 25, 2010
We're happy to share the latest addition to the homelessness blogosphere. Today's guest post is by Dhakshike Wickrema at Shelter Partnership. In an attempt to expand our role as a community resource on homelessness in LA County, Shelter Partnership just started a new blog! We hope that it will get the word out to those looking to learn more about homelessness policy and programs in LA County and City. Our goal is to inform not only the general public, but also homeless service providers and public agency staff so that they can stay abreast of important policy decisions and programmatic changes that may affect their clients.Thus far we have covered topics such as the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, LA County’s initiative to provide rental subsidies to 10,000 recipients of General Relief (Assistance) and a program that links homeless older adults to subsidized housing. The contributors to our blog will include Ruth Schwartz, our Executive Director, and the planning/technical assistance staff, Nicky Viola, Steve Renahan and Dhakshike Wickrema. Established in 1985, Shelter Partnership is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to alleviating, preventing and ending homelessness in Los Angeles County. We carry out our mission in several ways: providing policy and planning advice and technical assistance to community-based organizations and public agencies and conducting research and publishing analytical studies to inform public policy regarding homelessness. We also operate a warehouse where large-scale donations of merchandise are stored and redistributed t... Read More »
How Housing Helps: The key to ending chronic homelessness
March 24, 2010
Yesterday, the Alliance, along with the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) and some of our other partners, hosted a congressional briefing on chronic homelessness. We hosted Nan Roman (the president of the Alliance) representatives from permanent supportive housing programs from Worcester, MA and Seattle, WA, and Katrina van Valkenberg from CSH. Turnout was great, with about 30 to 40 staffers from Congressional offices, and the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Health and Human Services (HHS). The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness made an appearance as well. It was a terrific event with an appearance by Senator Richard Burr from North Carolina, who gave some very thoughtful remarks on chronic homelessness and what the federal government could to do further invest in ending the problem. Nan opened with a description of chronic homelessness and the progress we've made so far – there were nearly 30 percent fewer people experiencing chronic homelessness in 2008 than there were in 2005.Paul Lambros with Plymouth Housing Group, a large permanent supportive housing provider in Seattle, talked about their efforts to serve medically fragile homeless individuals. They've had incredible success housing people with long homeless histories and improving their health and well-being, resulting in dramatic reductions in the need for emergency room care and hospitalization. Worcester, Massachusetts was well represented by Tom Gregory, who directs the cities supportive housing. Between January 2009 and January 2010, they reduced chronic homelessness by 38 percent! That's in one year! Not only that, but b... Read More »
New to the Alliance crew: Welcome Anthony Stasi!
March 23, 2010
Anthony first worked on housing policy at the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) in New York City, where he was a Senior Policy Analyst in the Policy and Planning Department for two years."I got very involved very quickly at DHS," says Anthony. He knew what he really wanted to do was analyze policy, so for him, "DHS was a good fit."He dug right in. In addition to serving as co-chair of NYC's Continuum of Care, he dealt with issues related to implementation of the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Program (HPRP) and the McKinney Vento Homelessness Assistance program.He's continuing his work on continuums of care (CoCs) with Alliance Senior Policy Analyst Norm Suchar, focusing on communicating HEARTH Act changes to CoCs."I’m looking forward to getting more familiar with CoC system in Washington and to learning more about the legislative process," says Anthony.Before arriving in DC, Anthony was also an adjunct professor of public policy at St. John's University, where he found he really enjoyed teaching. "When I was teaching at St. Johns, they suggested I get my PhD in order to make it a career," he says.Which leads us to today: Anthony came to DC to pursue his PhD at Catholic University of America, and his research focuses on - surprise! - continuums of care. In particular, he plans to focus on their effects on homeless populations with special needs. ... Read More »
Getting back on track: Ending chronic homelessness
March 22, 2010
Although people often argue that ending homelessness is impossible, the truth is we've already made real progress. Consider chronic homelessness: between 2005 and 2007, the number of people experiencing chronic homeless dropped by 30 percent - 30 percent! - and this population tends to have serious, often debilitating disabilities. Since then, progress has slowed and the economy has stalled. But in that time, we've learned a lot about what works. And now is the time to finish what we started.At our Congressional Briefing on Ending Chronic Homelessness tomorrow (Tuesday, March 23) at 10 a.m., we'll advise and educate Congressional staff, local and national stakeholders, and others about chronic homelessness: what it is, how we fight it, and what the federal government can do about it. Alliance president Nan Roman and Katrina van Valkenburgh of the Corporation for Supportive Housing will be joined by Thomas Gregory of the Office of the City Manager in Worcester, MA, and Paul Lambros of the Plymouth Housing Group in Seattle, WA. Plus, a DC resident and former client at Pathways to Housing – a DC homeless services program – will share his story.Moving forward will require a serious federal investment, particularly through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance programs. President Obama's FY2011 budget recommendations also include an exciting collaboration program between HUD and the Department of Health and Human Services. This integrated approach - housing + supportive services - is one of the key strategies to helping people out of homelessness.Our latest res... Read More »
Why healthcare reform matters in the fight against homelessness
March 22, 2010
Yesterday marked an important moment in American legislative history. Last night (so late it was almost early this morning), the U.S. House of Representatives passed health care reform legislation. The hotly-contested legislation endured fierce debate up to the very end, and the final bill passed without any Republican support. While it may not be readily apparent, the health care reform bill has a significant effects on the homeless population. Among many other things, this legislation expands Medicaid eligibility to include people with incomes of up to 133 percent of the poverty level, covering nearly all people experiencing homelessness. Moreover, the legislation will also provide approximately $10 billion for community health centers for Fiscal Years (FY) 2011 through 2015. Typically, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) allocates 8.7 percent of total community health center funding toward the Health Care for the Homeless program, which can be used to provide services to people in permanent supportive housing. The health care legislation also expands early childhood home visitation programs, which provide parent education, child development, and support services to low-income, at-risk young children and their families. President Obama has said he plans to sign the legislation on Tuesday, March 23.P.S. We made the video above last summer, when the healthcare reform debate was just heating up, but it still does a pretty adequate job of wrapping up how the two are related and why health care reform matters to homelessness. Let us know what... Read More »
Taking the lead in Athens, GA
March 19, 2010
In our effort to end homelessness through a wide-angle lens - focusing on federal policy, best practices, capacity building, and the like - sometimes we lose sight of the human impact of our work. Even on the streets of DC, where the impact of poverty and homelessness is often in plain view, it can be a struggle to put two-and-two together. So it was a refreshing reminder when a colleague of mine from the National Housing Conference (NHC) showed me some on-the-ground efforts from her alma mater, the University of Georgia. There, students are shedding light on homelessness in their community by hosting an event called "Southern Hospitality: A Recipe for Ending Homelessness in Athens." The event will bring together students, faculty, and staff to learn about homelessness and the effects of poverty and housing in the college town and focus on solutions and methods to curb, prevent and end homelessness in the city. They put together a little teaser video to attract participants: In big cities and in small towns alike, it can be easy to forget about homelessness or to dismiss the issue as an insurmountable, inevitable part of modern society. But efforts like the one hosted by UGA - and yours and ours, too! - remind us why our work matters. If you're in Athens or can swing on by to show your support, please do! Or you can always check out the local efforts: the Georgia... Read More »
Friday News Roundup: Female vets, aging, and urban plunges
March 19, 2010
This was the week the media focused on female veterans experiencing homelessness, an issue we've had our eye on for some time. We're encouraged by examples of assistance programs that serve women who have served, like Malachi House in VA, US Vets in CA and the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans.Thanks to all who called Congress this week to ask for an increase in McKinney-Vento funding! Stay tuned to this blog to stay involved in this campaign.Over at the National Housing Center’s Open House blog, Alayna Waldrum of the U.S. Association for Homes and Services for the Aging guest blogged in defense of the Section 202 capital advance development program that was cut in Obama’s FY2011 budget proposal. We’re also thinking about how to house the aging population, and we’ll be coming out with a publication in the coming weeks.In Portland, Street Roots argued for a reframing of the issues of homelessness from a public health perspective.Diane Nilan was loud and clear on Change.org this week when she echoed an argument we’ve been making as well: If the HPRP program is going to work, assistance providers need more money. She writesAlthough the $1.5 billion in federal stimulus funds called Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, should help some renters stay in their apartments and move some families from homeless situations back into housing, it's too little money and distribution networks need to be ramp... Read More »
MAC-V: Serving homeless women veterans and their families
March 17, 2010
"Female Gulf War veteran with one minor child; had utility shutoff; landlord had served eviction notice; MACV assisted and she is stable today.”“Veteran spouse and 5 children were living in a dilapidated old trailer with walls caving in; assisted them into new housing.”“32 year old single, Iraqi female veteran with 2 children; unexpected medical costs of illness of her daughter; was facing utility shutoff; is now stable.”These are dispatches from the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV), a nonprofit organization assisting women veterans and their families. Kathleen Vitalis, the energetic leading force of MACV, who has been at the helm of the organization for nine years, offered these glimpses into her work.The plight of women veterans facing homelessness isn’t a new concept here at the Alliance. Not long ago, VP of Policy & Programs Steve Berg offered CNN some thoughts about the depth and gravity of the situation. And as the challenges facing female veterans continues to make play in the headlines and the Veterans Administration works toward ending homelessness among veterans in five years, we look to Kathleen and MACV to get a sense of the realty of the situation. The work of MACV prevented the three women described above from joining the 6,500 female veterans who are currently experiencing homelessness in the U.S. Two elements seem to set MACV – and their success – apart from more traditional homelessness assistance programs:At MACV, programs serve not just individuals, but their families ... Read More »
Nan! at the National Housing Conference Budget Forum
March 16, 2010
Okay, so this is a little late in coming - the NHC Budget Conference was on Friday, March 12 - but I'm hoping you'll find this informative nonetheless. The NHC Budget Forum was, per usual, an extraordinarily well-run event. This year, NHC hosted Raphael Bostic of the Department of Housing and Urban Development as the keynote speaker. Panelists, covering the different parts of the HUD budget, included Jonathan Horowitz of HUD, Sheila Crowley of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Sarah Wartell of the Center for American Progress, and our own Nan Roman. Her testimony (about 10 minutes) on the proposed McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance programs and other federal homelessness investments right here. Opening and closing remarks were offered by the new incoming executive director of the NHC, Maureen Friar. Outgoing executive director and innovative leader in the housing and homelessness fields Conrad Egan was recognized by all the panelists, speakers and several invitees at the forum. Check out the great blogpost (with pictures and video!) about the forum on the NHC Conference blog, Open House. You can also see great pictures on their Flickr account. If you're feeling REALLY die-hard, you can check out the Raphael Bostic's entire PowerPoint presentation on President Obama's proposed FY2011 HUD budget here (courtesy of NHC. Raphael Bostic: Overview of HUD FY 2011 Budget ProposalView more presentations from National Housing Conference & the Center for Housing Policy.... Read More »
Call Congress today to increase funding for services to the homeless: Do it now!
March 16, 2010
Do your part to ensure homeless assistance programs have adequate funding! Take the next step in our McKinney-Vento Appropriations campaign by calling your Congressional Representative right now.Tomorrow is the last day YOUR federal Representative can sign the McKinney-Vento Appropriations Congressional Sign-On Letter. The letter – already being circulated in Congress - requests that McKinney-Vento programs receive $2.4 billion for the 2011 fiscal year.As you already know, McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance programs are the cornerstone of the federal investment in preventing and ending homelessness – funding federal efforts, state plans, and providing financial assistance to your own, local programs. We need the estimated $2.4 billion to keep those local programs working and make the changes outlined in the HEARTH Act.So here’s what you do:1) Call the Congressional Switchboard at (202)224-3121.2) Ask for your Representative.If you don't know who that is, you can find out here.35 Representatives are already signatories, and you can find out if yours is one by clicking here. (If your Congressperson has already signed on, call to say thanks!)3) Ask for the staffer who works on housing issues.4) Here's what you can say:I am calling to ask if your boss will support a funding level of $2.4 billion for HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program in FY 2011. Specifically, I would like Representative (______) to sign a Congressional sign-on letter regarding this funding request, which is being circulated by Representatives Moore (D-WI) and Davis (R-KY).HUD's McKinney program is the primary... Read More »
Friday News Roundup: news from the Alliance, followup on the revised poverty measure, and more
March 12, 2010
If you were walking down the streets of NYC this week, you might have run into a digital "homeless person" along with a message asking you to donate to Pathways to Housing's programs. It's a pretty innovative use of technology, but will it work? Not only for raising money, but inspiring compassion? Check out the video and let us know what you think...Here at the Alliance, we released the fourth part in our Geography of Homelessness Series this week. You can check out the major findings and download the whole report here.We're also gearing up for our 2010 Annual Awards Ceremony. Register here! Recipients include Unity of Greater New Orleans, and if you've been following our blog, you know we're big fans of Signs of Life, where their outreach team reflects on their daily work.Following last week's announcement that the federal government is revising the poverty measure, Change.org and Politico posted analyses of the move. There's consensus on one point: it was a long time coming, and a welcome sign that this administration wants to work on solving poverty.The Funders Together blog continues to highlight solutions-oriented projects and developments from across the U.S. Read the good news from Ohio and Oklahoma.More on the newly poor came out this week, both from the Twin Cities and from the perspective a formerly homeless person on Stone Soup Station. Finally, there's a fantastic piece on the Street ... Read More »
Action to End Homelessness in Australia
March 11, 2010
Last year, our president - Nan Roman - traveled to Australia to learn about different strategies and approaches to ending homelessness there - and offered insight into the best practices we've uncovered here.One of the people she met was Stephen Nash, leader of an NGO called HomeGround Services, which provides housing assistance services, crisis and outreach support, as well as health-oriented programs: many of the supportive services that are critical to ending homelessness.Here, he offers the Alliance a guest post about how Australians are working together on solutions to homelessness. Enjoy!by Stephen Nash, CEO, HomeGround ServicesDespite Australia’s national wealth and general high standard of living, homelessness is a persistent problem throughout the country. A severe shortage of affordable housing, including both public and community housing; record low private rental vacancies; access barriers for complex needs groups; and a delayed uptake of new approaches like supportive housing and housing first are contributing to the problem. Increasing numbers of children, families, Indigenous people, older people and newly arrived migrants are experiencing various kinds of homelessness.In late 2008 the newly-elected federal government of Kevin Rudd took a significant step towards ending homelessness in Australia with its release of the first national white paper on homelessness: The Road Home. This provided much needed national leadership on an issue that does not often feature prominently in national political priorities.The Road Home created measurable national targets along the road to ending h... Read More »
News Alert: USICH extends comment period on FEDERAL PLAN TO END HOMELESSNESS
March 09, 2010
A quick news update: the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) extends the public comment period on the FEDERAL PLAN TO END HOMELESSNESS.Barbara Poppe, Executive Director of USICH offers her thoughts, goals, and perspective in a blogpost on the Department of Housing and UrbanDevelopment (HUD) wesite.Make sure to read the post, and make sure to visit the and offer your thoughts and votes!Thanks!... Read More »
A Take Five Excerpt: SF Mayor Gavin Newsom on HPRP
March 09, 2010
Have you seen the latest in our Take Five Q&A series? It's featuring Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco, where they've created 1, 679 units of permanent supportive housing in the last 6 years. What's below is excerpt of our Take Five piece, and you can read more about SF's work to end homelessness on his blog and here.
What is the newest issue emerging in homelessness policy?
Homelessness among families and children is increasing. We have seen greater demand for our homeless services by families throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Our ability to address this spike in demand has been strengthened as a result of the Obama Administration's $1.5 billion for the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP).
Using local and HPRP funds we have prevented 1,612 households from becoming homeless and/or entering the emergency shelter system. Our programs are focused on keeping families in housing by both addressing the financial burden they are experiencing, coupled with short term supportive services so they can maintain that housing for the long term.
In addition, we allocated local funds to provide short-term rental subsidies so families could circumvent the shelter system and move directly into housing with supportive services so they can secure employment and take over the rent payment of their new home. We will also continue to build both affordable housing and permanent supportive housing so that families with disabilities, and those that just need a stable home, can... Read More »
Friday News Roundup: TANF, poverty measurement, and blogs all around!
March 05, 2010
Before you read on, stop and sign this Change.org petition asking Congress to extend the TANF Emergency Fund. As the recession hits more and more families and states slash budgets, the need for federal funding for Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) becomes more and dire. This assistance is crucial for families at-risk of homelessness. For more background, read this stellar piece from Change.org's Poverty in America blog about why Congress must extend the TANF Emergency Fund.We might remember this as the week the federal government finally announced that they're revising the poverty measure. It's about time. We're definitely keeping track of developments, so stay tuned to our blog for more.From the Huffington Post to the Merrimack Valley Regional Network to End Homelessness blog, seems like the blogopshere is just getting better and better.And bigger and bigger: National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty launched a new blog, where they've been talking about the right to housing and covering the Universial Periodic Review of the U.S.'s accountability to human rights standards this past week at the UN. The New York Times blog also reported on the process. Speaking of bigger and better, the North American Street Newspaper Association has redesigned their blog and it looks awesome! Check it out here.Over at the Funders Together blog, Bill Pitkin reports back on a meeting last month in LA, where experts like our own Nan... Read More »
Feds announce plans to revise poverty measure
March 04, 2010
The federal poverty measurement hasn't changed much in the 45 years since Mollie Orshansky first created it - until now. Yesterday, the government announced that they are experimenting with a new Supplemental Poverty Measure, with a final version to be announced in the fall.During Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty in the 1960s, Orshansky developed the current criteria, which are based on household size, income and food expenses. The new measure would take into account costs like housing, medical care, child care and utilities. It has long been accepted that the poverty measure needs updating. While in Orshansky's day, food may have been the largest cost to a family, it's now dwarfed by other expenses.Moreover, a reassessment of the poverty measure is a step toward better data - one of the Alliance's key principles. In order to move towards effective solutions, we must first have a comprehensive understanding of the problem. Why is the federal poverty measurement important for services to the homeless? For one, the current measurement determines eligibility for programs - Medicaid, TANF, and food stamps, to name a few - that both help prevent homelessness and help stabilize people who experience homelessness. According to yesterday's announcement, the new criteria won't impact eligibility for these programs; instead, it will only be used by the Census Bureau to more accurately determine the rate of poverty in the U.S. Still, kudos to the Administration for their brave examination of... Read More »
Stay Involved! Next Steps for the McKinney Appropriations campaign!
March 03, 2010
So – after all that McKinney madness, you thinking you want to stay involved? Keep fighting the good fight to eliminate homelessness in our country? Do the right thing?? (I know you do!) Perfect timing: Yesterday, Representatives Moore (D-WI) and Davis (R-KY) began circulating a McKinney Appropriations Congressional Sign-on Letter in the House.So next, we’re going to start targeting House offices (the Senate side will come later). Below are some things YOU can do to keep up the great progress we’ve been making! Action Needed:Contact the housing staff person in the offices of your House members. DO IT THIS WEEK. We’ve drafted some TALKING POINTS that you can use when talking to that staffer. Goal: Get that housing staffer to ask his/her boss to:Ask when you can follow up with him/her. Report back on your progress! Contact Amanda (email@example.com) or Sarah (firstname.lastname@example.org) to share your results. We’ll keep track of the calls – just like we did the McKinney letters – and report back to YOU on our collective effortsWe can't say it enough - your work makes the difference! Nothing moves offices more than real, actual constituents calling in to voice an opinion - and your voice matters. If should you encounter questions or concerns or any other stumbling blocks, don't hesitate to give us a shout (Amanda or Sarah or me @ email@example.com). And keep up the good work!... Read More »