Ending Homelessness Today — Advocacy and Action Alerts
HUD appropriations are finished, now what about HHS?
December 01, 2011
On November 18, President Obama signed into law federal funding for the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Transportation, Commerce, Justice, and Agriculture. Along with this funding, he signed another stopgap funding measure to fund the rest of the government until December 16, thus allowing Congress more time to work on the remaining appropriations bills.
So what are those remaining bills and what’s happening with them? In particular, coming off the back of homeless youth awareness month, what’s happening with Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) funding (within the Department of Health and Human Services – HHS)? In recent years, funding for HHS has been a sticking point in finalizing appropriations due to its size and complexity. HHS couches programs as varied as the Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and Head Start, to name just a few. And these are just a small subset of programs serving low-income or disadvantaged people. The sheer size and complexity of the funding bill means Members of Congress often haggle over a range of provisions.
In particular the Labor, HHS, and Education (Labor-H) bill is stalled due to its inclusion of funding for certain portions of the Affordable Care Act, the health care overhaul legislation of 2009. Due to its unpopularity with certain portions of Congress, the bill has become an even bigger sticking point. So much so, in fact, that the House Appropriations Labor-H Subcommittee has not yet taken it up (2 months into the fiscal year), and it is not scheduled to do so.
Unfortunately, amidst these large, multi-billion (billion with a b) dollar programs is RHYA, which was funded at $116 million (million, with an m) in fiscal year (FY) 2011. With the “controversy” surrounding the larger bill, RHYA is left in a lurch, so to speak. A highly-effective and well-rated (by the Office of Management and Budget) program helping some of our nation’s most vulnerable people, homeless youth, remains stalled in the face of mounting pressure to reduce the nation’s deficit and overturn certain legislation.
RHYA, like all other Labor-H programs, has been funding through a stopgap funding measure since October 1, which is set to expire on December 16, though Congress can certainly, and is likely to, extend that. It remains unclear when its FY 2012 funding level will be finalized; with recent reports indicating it may not be until after the new year.
With all these difficulties surrounding Labor-H funding, what can you – an advocate, a provider, a formerly homeless youth, a concerned citizen – do? Stay informed, know when to act, and work with us to make an impact for this much-needed and under-funded program. Together, we can be a voice for the many young people experiencing homelessness throughout our nation.... Read More »
The State of HUD Funding
November 03, 2011
Today’s post comes to us from Amanda Benton (née Krusemark), director of grassroots mobilizing at the Alliance.
Over the last couple of months, the Alliance has been working with the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) to secure the greatest possible amount of overall funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in fiscal year (FY) 2012.
The HUD budget funds programs that offer affordable housing to needy families, assist homeless people into stable living situations, provide block grants to improve communities, among others. The HUD budget has and continues to provide assistance to the lowest-income and most vulnerable Americans who have been hit hardest by our recent economic downturn - and this includes homeless and at-risk veterans as well as their families.
On Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill to provide $37 billion in new funding in FY 2012 for HUD – about 10 percent less than last year. The HUD Appropriations Subcommittee in the House has proposed similar legislation that would cut funding for HUD programs by 7.3 percent. Key senators are already meeting with their colleagues in the House to work out a final, compromise piece of legislation.
Under the spending caps set by the deficit reduction deal passed in August, funding for non-security discretionary spending (as opposed to mandatory spending, like Medicaid) should decline by an average of about five percent relative to last year; in other words, both current House and Senate proposals would hit the H... Read More »
Tell the Super-Committee to Protect Medicaid
October 13, 2011
Last week, we told you about the Super-Committee and why we need to ask them to protect homeless assistance programs. Last month, we told you what the Super-Committee needs to know about ending homelessness. Today (and tomorrow), we need you to pass that message along to the members of the Super-Committee.
Specifically, we’re talking about Medicaid. The Medicaid Coalition, led by Families USA, will be having call-in days today, Thursday, October 13 and tomorrow, Friday, October 14. We’re asking you to call the Members on the Super-Committee and urge them to reject any cuts to Medicaid. Medicaid is a critically important part of the social safety net that protects homeless and other vulnerable people.
Why tomorrow? Because tomorrow is the deadline for congressional committees that work on Medicaid to relay their expert recommendations to the Super-Committee. All committees that work on Medicaid – on both the House and Senate sides – have the opportunity to send the Super-Committee their thoughts on how the Super-Committee should approach Medicaid tomorrow.
This is another great chance to contact your Members of Congress, build upon your emerging relationship with lawmakers, and make a difference in the lives of those suffering most in this economic climate. Reaching out to your Members on this issue is an important step in letting congressional leadership know that homelessness programs like Medicaid, TANF, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants and other low-income housing and homelessness programs are key to stabilizing millions of families a... Read More »
Update on HUD Funding
September 09, 2011
Yesterday, Congress held its first vote on a proposal to fund programs within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), including homeless assistance programs, for the upcoming fiscal year, FY 2012. This process, called the appropriations process, is one of the most critical times for advocates to get involved and reach out to their Members of Congress to educate them on the important programs funded through this yearly process.
The draft legislation, passed by the House HUD Appropriations Subcommittee yesterday, would provide the same amount of funding for HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants in FY 2012 as in FY 2011. Unfortunately, as many of our readers know, this is disappointing because a significant increase in funding is needed to address the needs of the growing population of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and to implement the HEARTH Act.
However, there was definitely some good news! The legislation would provide $75 million for new vouchers under the joint HUD – Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program, as the Alliance had advocated!
The original draft of the legislation, released on Wednesday, removed all funding for the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), which is key to coordinating the federal government’s response to homelessness. Fortunately, the subcommittee adopted an amendment, proposed by Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) to provide about $3 million in funding for USICH. It is likely that the Senate will also provide funding for USICH, allowing them to co... Read More »
Advocacy How-To: Emailing Your Member's Office
June 16, 2011
Our “Advocacy How-To” series provides tips, tools, and strategies to conduct your own advocacy and get involved in Alliance advocacy campaigns. Today’s post is from Federal Policy Intern, Swaroop Vitta.
Last week, we saw how easy it is to find your Members of Congress, the committees they sit on, and the appropriate staff members to contact. This week and next, we’ll talk about how to go about contacting your Members’ offices. There are a few ways to do this, but we recommend either calling or emailing their offices – “snail mail” can take weeks to get through Capitol Hill security.
Today, we will talk about emailing the office.
Because it makes the most sense to contact the staff person who handles your issue (like housing) directly, the most effective way to reach them is usually to get their direct email address, rather than the general email address listed on the Member’s website.
Many congressional offices will not give out email addresses for their staff members, but the Alliance can help you figure out the email address if you know the staff person’s name. To get this information, either:
Call the congressional office directly, or
Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected with your Member’s office.
Once you reach the office, ask who handles your issue area. For example, if you will be emailing your Member about housing issues, ask for the staff member in charge of ho... Read More »
Advocacy How-To: How Do I Contact Members of Congress?
June 09, 2011
Our "Advocacy How-To" series provides tips, tools, and strategies to conduct your own advocacy and get involved in Alliance advocacy campaigns. Today’s post is from our Director of Policy Outreach, Amanda Krusemark.
So, you want to get involved in federal advocacy. But who, exactly, should you contact? Which Members of Congress are most important? Who should you talk to in their offices? Today, we’re going to answer these questions.
Members of Congress are most interested in hearing from their own constituents, so you should generally only contact Members who represent your community.
If you’re not sure who your representatives are, visit www.house.gov and type your zip code into the box labeled “FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE.”
You can find your senators at www.senate.gov. Just choose your state from the box labeled “Find Your Senators.”
Once you know who represents you in Congress, you might wonder which Member (or Members) is most important for your cause.
Congress does most of its legislative work through committees so you should find out on which committees your Members of Congress sit. (Members’ websites usually have this information, or we can help.) Depending on the issue, there are several committees that could be important. For example, the most important committee for funding HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants is the Appropriations Committee.
Representatives and senators in charge of these key committees (the Chair and Ranking Member) are the most important, followed by commi... Read More »
Support the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Programs!
April 28, 2011
Today, we’re proud and excited to launch our FY 2012 McKinney-Vento Campaign!
The McKinney Vento programs may have received a small increase in the fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget, but this small increase is simply not enough – especially in a time when so many Americans are still struggling to get back on their financial feet.
What: McKinney-Vento FY 2012 Campaign
When: Starting Today!
Where: In your community
How: Check out the campaign web page and start contacting your members of Congress!
Why: The McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance programs are the federal government’s largest investment and homeless assistance.
In 2009, Congress passed theHEARTH Act. The HEARTH Act will update and streamline the McKinney-Vento programs and makes them much better, focusing on prevention, rapid re-housing, and all the other strategies that we know end homelessness. We need a one-time big boost in funding to implement the changes.
We didn’t get that big boost in FY 2011 - we have to get it in FY 2012. We are asking Congress to fund McKinney-Vento programs at $2.4 billion in FY 2012.
If need more information, you’re interested in getting involved, or decide to contact your Members of Congress, just shoot us a quick email to let us know!... Read More »
Congressional Briefing on Homeless Children, Youth, and Families
March 29, 2011
Tomorrow, the Congressional Caucus on Homelessness is holding a briefing on “Homeless Children, Youth, and Families.”
During the briefing, panelists will discuss the profound impact that homelessness wields on children and youth, as well as their parents. In addition to the loss of safe, stable housing, homelessness can cause a sense of displacement, trauma, and stress. This can corrupt positive child development, health, and school participation and create life-long costs to children and parents.
The briefing will reference the 60 Minutes segment on homeless children that cast some media attention on the problem. The briefing will also examine the growing epidemic of homeless children and families as well as model programs, strategies, and initiatives to keep children in school and to secure stable housing.
Invited speakers include:
Diane Nilan, Founder and President, HEAR US, Naperville, IL
Barbara Duffield, Policy Director, National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, Washington, DC
Beth McCullough, Home and School Liaison, Adrian School District, Adrian, Michigan
Lori Criss, Chief Operating Officer, Amethyst Inc, Columbus, Ohio
Michelle Flynn, Associate Executive Director of Programs, The Road Home, Salt Lake City, Utah.
For more information about family and youth homelessness, please visit the Alliance website. If you’re interested in the Congressional Caucus on Homelessness or would like to attend the briefing, please contact the Alliance advocacy team.... Read More »
A Primer on the Budget
March 17, 2011
In case you haven’t heard, Congress has been struggling with the budget. The 2011 federal fiscal year started on October 1 – almost six months ago – and Congress is still haggling over the FY 2011 budget. It’s come to a point where the country is really just working week by week – from stop-gap funding measure to stop-gap funding measure – because our nation’s leaders can’t decide on how much money to spend (and not spend) for the next six months.
So what happens now?
Right now, House, Senate, and White House negotiators are trying to work out a compromise on a "top-line" number, the overall amount they will be able to spend, for all federal discretionary programs. Once they can reach an agreement, the House and Senate will fill in the program-specific details.
Here’s why you care: we want make sure that Congress allocates enough money to homeless assistance programs – and especially to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants so that we can fully and effectively implement the provisions in the HEARTH Act. And there’s lots more to care about too – programs that help veterans like HUD-VASH vouchers, section 8, the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act programs, and a bunch of other programs that are essential to the fight to end homelessness.
We know these programs work. A lack of funding would put a dead stop to our momentum from the last several years, so it’s up to all of us to make sure Members of C... Read More »
Call your senator today!
December 15, 2010
Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee released a draft proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2011 appropriations, which includes funding for many homeless assistance programs.
The Senate proposal includes the following:
$2.2 billion for McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants ($145 million more than the House propsed and $335 million more than last year);
$125.7 million for Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs ($10 million more than the House proposal and last year’s funding level);
$85 million for 10,000 vouchers under the proposed new Housing and Services for Homeless Persons Demonstration;
$75 million for 10,000 new HUD-VA Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers; and
$159.4 million for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) programs targeted toward people experiencing homelessness ($17 million more than the House proposal and last year’s funding levels).
In short: this is great news for the homeless assistance programs we want to support!
The Senate is expected to vote on this package this week - possibly as soon as tomorrow, so we need your help!
What You Can Do:
Call your senators TODAY. In case you can’t find it online, you can find congressional office phone numbers by calling the switchboard at 202-224-3121.
Ask to speak to the person who works on housing and tell the housing staff person to urge his/her boss to support the funding levels for the homelessness assistance programs listed above.
Email any responses to Kate Seif (or call: 202-942-8281).
You know the story: Congress is trying to figure out how to al... Read More »
Ending Youth Homelessness with the Alliance Site Visit Campaign
November 23, 2010
Today’s guest post comes to us from Alliance Advocacy intern Jeremy Nichols.
As you already know (because we wrote about it last month), The Alliance’s Advocacy team has been asking you guys to get involved in the Youth Site Visit Campaign.
And thanks to you, we’re rolling right along! So far, 16 communities have committed to conducting site visits, from places like Maryland, Illinois, California, and Pennsylvania. The amount of time and dedication put in by our partners in the field has been amazing and it’s been a real pleasure to be a part of the campaign!
In case you forgot what the Youth Site Visit Campaign was all about, here’s a little refresher: over the holiday season, homelessness assistance providers have asked Members of Congress to come out and get a first-hand look at all of the good their programs are doing for at-risk youth in the community
Often just outside the scope of media attention, youth homelessness is a serious problem in the United States, with an estimate of 50,000 youth living on the streets.
What can we do to fix this? First, we need to increase awareness and get key decision-makers to understand that this a much larger issue than many people initially think. And that’s where you come in.
With the Youth Site Visit Campaign, we hope to:Raise awareness among Members of Congress about the issue of youth homelessnessStrengthen local relationships with Member... Read More »
But what about the children?
November 08, 2010
Okay, so I really mean what about the youth.
Today, we hosted our first in a series of webinars about youth homelessness.
Here's the thing about youth homelessness: we know just enough to know that we hardly know anything at all.
We know a little: RHYA shows us that there are young people out there looking for help. Data from the juvenile justice and the foster care systems show us that young people are exiting those systems and ending up homeless. Research from institutions like Chapin Hall outline the relationship between youth homelessness and child welfare.
We know that there's a problem.
But we're grappling with pieces of the puzzle. And if we at the Alliance have learned anything at all, it's that we must fully understand a problem in order to really get serious about solving it.
So we're asking you guys to start with the data. On our webinar today, Barbara Poppe from the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and Nan Roman, the Alliance's own president, emphasized the importance of including youth in the 2011 community point-in-time counts. The first step to solving a problem, we've concluded, is to determine the scope of the problem.
As a critical observer in the field, I can testify that I've been hearing stories from advocates and reporters alike asking if there's any evidence to back up anecdotal data about an increase in homeless youth and specifically about the vulnerability of those... Read More »
Friday News Roundup: Are we really okay with that? Edition
November 05, 2010
News stories from across the country this week seemed to point to a growing epidemic of youth homelessness.
In New Hampshire a letter to the editor (aptly) titled “In Claremont, 1 in 10 kids is homeless - Is New Hampshire really okay with that?” called for more funding for youth programs. Headed out west, in Green Bay, WI another piece reports a 20 percent increase over last year in the number of school-aged kids experiencing homelessness.
How can we let this happen? I think most people agree that youth homelessness is a problem that just plain shouldn’t exist.
It’s time to take action. Unfortunately, there is just not enough data on youth homelessness - and we can’t solve a problem unless we fully understand it.
Luckily (!) we’re here to help! The Alliance president, Nan Roman, along with executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness will hold a webinar on Monday, November 8 at 2 p.m. ET going over strategies to acquire an accurate homeless youth count. We know they’re out there, we know we can help, and now it’s time to figure out how. Join us for our webinar on Monday – register here.
Another buzz topic this week was the prevalence of homelessness in rural areas. Folks in rural North Carolina and North Dakota are proclaiming “Homelessness is here.” The prevalence of rural homelessness can come as a surprise, even to those in the communities themselves. Homelessn... Read More »
It's Election Day - Go Vote!
November 02, 2010
It’s election day, people.
When Congress comes back – whatever the election results – the men and women we elect will be facing appropriations season; they’ll be trying to determine how much money to spend on which programs. Ask any staffer on the Hill and they can tell you it’s always a rigorous and deliberate process – and passing a budget is one of the most important things that Congress does all year.
And that’s not all. We at the Alliance set policy priorities every year that we work toward with Congress and the Administration.
Right this very second, we're working hard on the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act and - as always - the McKinney-Vento. But this year, we also aim to:
Increase access to permanent, affordable housing for extremely low-income families by funding new Section 8 Housing Choice vouchers and supporting the capitalization of the National Housing Trust Fund.
Increase the capacity of the VA and HUD to prevent and end veterans homelessness by enacting S. 1547, the Zero Tolerance for Homeless Veterans Act and supporting funding for additional HUD-VASH vouchers.
End youth homelessness through supportive housing, rental assistance, and services specific to unaccompanied youth by supporting a baseline youth count in 2011 community homeless counts and increasing funding of the Family Unification Program
And really, that’s not all. Remember the whole federal plan to end homelessness that the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness released last June? Remember the youth homel... Read More »
Youth Site Visit Campaign: Educating our leaders about youth homelessness (over turkey)
October 12, 2010
Today's guest post comes from Jeremy Nichols - advocacy intern at the Alliance.
If you stop by the Alliance and pop your head in to see what the Advocacy staff is working on, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll hear rumblings about our Youth Site Visit Campaign.
What’s the Youth Site Visit Campaign, you ask? Good question! We’re asking homeless assistance providers around the country to invite their Member(s) of Congress to visit their programs over the Thanksgiving recess. (site visit, get it?)
With the Youth Site Visit Campaign, we hope to:
Raise awareness among Members of Congress about the issue of youth homelessness
Strengthen local relationships with Members of Congress from across the country
Encourage Congress to increase funding for Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs.
Youth homelessness is an issue that’s always bubbled just beneath the surface of headline news. Just today, there were two articles – one from Tampa, FL and the other from Pittsburgh, PA - about the troublesome incidence of youth homelessness.
It’s a serious if underreported problem: homeless youth are at higher risk than their adult counterparts of abuse, exploitation, violence, and crime. And if that weren’t enough, we’re really bad at finding them, counting them, and helping them out. Youth tend to fly under the radar of local and federal assistance programs, evade outreach efforts, and slip through the cracks of the system. Even when young people... Read More »
Friday News Roundup: Check the Facts
October 01, 2010
I am going to start off with the good news first because I know the East coast has had a rough week! We at the Alliance got a little recognition today for our work helping the The Lincoln Homeless Coalition revamp the way they serve homeless families. Which, faithful reader, you already know all about from this blog. So kudos to our CAP team! (Want the CAP team in your community? Check out the website.)
Working at the Alliance may make me biased but I was convinced even more this week about the importance of homelessness research. In order to effectively solve a problem, we must first fully understand it. And the research can be hard to swallow - like this report from Toronto - which indicates that homeless youth, particularly lesbian and bisexual women and young people of color, are overwhelmingly victims of crime. Why on earth would anyone victimize a homeless kid?
But with every cloud comes a silver lining. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) has urged members of the Senate to designate these kind of violent attacks against people experiencing homelessness as hate crimes. This act, the "Hate Crimes Against the Homeless Statistics Act," would lead to stiffer penalties for perpetrators and mandate the collection of data on this problem - which hopefully will lead to better solutions. All this because of reports that violent attacks of this nature have been on the rise here in the United Stat... Read More »
TANF ECF expires today
September 30, 2010
So, here’s the update.
Today, the Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF) expires.
You’re read all about it on our blog. You know what the program does. You know that it’s an effective, affordable initiative that not only gets results but helps thousands of vulnerable Americans by providing financial assistance and creating jobs (and if you don’t, check out this post).
So it’s a low down dirty shame that the U.S. Senate has decided to let this program fold. Worse still that as a result of the expiration, 240,000 people could lose their jobs tomorrow, even today. Articles in both Mother Jones and Campus Progress explain the consequences of the end of this program, including the effect it’ll have on people in poverty, vulnerable families, and 99ers.
It’s worth noting here that there are some senators who stepped up to the plate. Senator John Kerry (D- MA) tried to circulate a sign-on letter urging his colleagues to support an extension of the program. Senator Dick Durbin (D – IL) also noted that the program had been critical in his state of Illinois.
And we can’t underestimate the gratitude that we owe you – for calling on your senators to ask them to support this important program.
But you win some, you lose some. And at the end of the day, this social safety net program will expire leaving thousands of Americans with even... Read More »
Social Media and Social Change
September 28, 2010
Yesterday, my colleague Anna and I attended a workshop hosted by Ogilvy on the role of social media in government, “OGILVY 360 DI GOV 2.0 EXCHANGE: How Social Media Tools are Shaping Government, the 2010 Elections and Issue Campaigns.”
(Long, I know).
I’ve been to a number of workshops that discuss the ways different sectors can use social media: how to use social media for nonprofits, how to use social media for companies, how to use social media for yourself, and on and on and on.
For me, the central debate in these workshops is not the different way that the tools can be utilized (because really, that’s what these social media applications are, right? New communications tools?) but the principles guiding their use. Is the central goal of social media tools is to engage the public by giving them more access?
Put another way, I find myself asking “is more information better than less information?”
For me, the answer to the question is yes. When confronted by different philosophies of communications, I always hear C.J. Cregg’s (Allison Janney played White House Press Secretary turned Chief of Staff C.J. Cregg in the epic teleivion series, West Wing) immortal words ringing in my ears, “information breeds confidence; silence breeds fear.”
(And sometimes frustration.)
It’s the way it’s been here at the Alliance. As we cautiously make our way into the online universe – taking up only what we know we can manage – we... Read More »
LAST CHANCE for TANF ECF
September 22, 2010
Seriously, this is your LAST CHANCE.
We’ve been beating the issue – we know – but TANF Emergency Contingency Fund (TANF ECF) will expire in 8 days. And there’s just no time to dawdle!
Urge Congress to save TANF ECF by calling your senator now.
Call your senators and ask to speak to the person who works on welfare issues. Don’t know the number? Call the congressional switchboard to find out: 202-224-3121.
When the staffer who works on welfare issues picks up, ask him or her to urge their boss (read: the senator) to call Senate leaders and tell them that they support extending TANF ECF.
If you can, report back! We want to hear what happened – what they said, what they promised, if they had any objections. Learning about your efforts can help us make a more concerted try with ours. Call (202-942-2856), email, or drop us a note here or on Facebook.
Remember: The ECF was created as part of the Recovery Act, intended to help states support the increasing number of people receiving TANF due to the recession. Since it passed, the program has:
provided cash assistance to low-income families;
provided short-term rent assistance to families experiencing a housing crisis; and
created 250,000 subsidized employment opportunities nationally, many of which will end on September 30 if Congress does not act to extend the funding.
For more information, check out a great piece from the Center on Budget and Policy ... Read More »
Friday News Roundup: Poverty, housing, and photos
September 17, 2010
Welcome to the Friday news roundup!
So headlining the news this week (or at least yesterday) are the poverty numbers. No surprises: poverty, uninsured, up in 2009.
The nation's official poverty rate in 2009 was 14.3 percent, up from 13.2 percent in 2008. The number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 46.3 million in 2008 to 50.7 million in 2009, or an increase from 15.4 percent to 16.7 percent of the total population. You can check out the full report on the census website.
What’s that mean? Well, from our perspective, it means that there are more people at risk of experiencing homelessness. If you remember our brief on ”sustainable cost burden”, you know that more than half of poor families spend more than half their monthly income for housing (this is often termed “severe housing cost burden.”) You might also remember that severe housing cost burden is up among individuals and families doubled up.
With need so high, this is exactly the wrong time to be rising the elimination of TANF ECF. This job-creating service to the most vulnerable families is in danger of expiring at the end of the month. We’ve written about it before and there are daily stories cropping up the program’s importance. It seems that the program may be seeing rays of hope - but that doesn’t mean you should rest on your laurels. If you haven’t already (and you better have!) call your senator today.
An interesting report shows that housin... Read More »