Ending Homelessness Today — Alliance Announcements
This #GivingTuesday, Give A Gift to End Homelessness
December 02, 2014
As you probably know by now, today is Giving Tuesday. Everyone has heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but now we have a new day meant to transform how people think about, talk about, and participate in the giving season. After running around on Black Friday and taking advantage of the Cyber Monday deals, Giving Tuesday provides a chance to give back.
For the last two years, Giving Tuesday has challenged individuals and communities to make the world a better place through generosity. By using the Giving Tuesday hashtag #GivingTuesday, organizations across the country are spreading their message and raising funds for their programs.
Today we ask you to join the movement and take a second to ask yourself, "How can I make the world a better place?" Want to support our work? This year, our board has shown their support by matching all donations made today. Any size gift helps and, today only, you can double your impact!
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Happy Thanksgiving from the Alliance
November 27, 2014
Today is Thanksgiving, and it is time to spend the day with our families and loved ones, a time for giving thanks for all that we have. It has been a busy year for us, and here at the Alliance we are incredibly thankful for the thousands of partners across the country who are working with us to end homelessness in America.
We are thankful for the thousands of practitioners and volunteers who are working on the front lines in homeless programs, homeless shelters, and housing providers to end and prevent homelessness, people who are providing services directly to homeless people. And we are thankful to our staff members and others working at the national level on developing innovative solutions.
We are thankful for the great progress that communities around the country have made toward ending homelessness, particularly among veterans, which has declined nationally by 10.5 percent since 2013. And we are inspired by the progress of cities like New York and New Orleans, which have achieved reductions of more than 50 percent in veteran homelessness since 2011.
We hope you have the opportunity to spend time with your families this Thanksgiving, and we urge you to keep in your hearts the plight of the most vulnerable of among us, the 580,000 youth, veterans, families, and individuals who will spend the holiday, either alone or with their families, in a shelter or on the street.
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Happy Veterans Day from the Alliance!
November 11, 2014
On this Veterans Day, it’s a good time to take a moment to consider how far we have come and how far we still have to go in our efforts to end veteran homelessness. Since 2011, we have reduced veteran homelessness by 33 percent. Since January 2013, we have reduced it by 11 percent.
Make no mistake about it, we are proud of those numbers going down, but the goal is still to reach zero. How will we do it? This month we honored two cities, New York and New Orleans, who have achieved reductions in veteran homelessness by more than 60 percent. They’re doing something (actually, a lot of things) right. We took a look at their homeless systems, and here’s what we found.
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This Could be Our Last Chance to Advocate for Increased Homeless Assistance Funding in FY 2015
November 07, 2014
With the mid-term elections now behind us, members of the 113th Congress are set to return to Washington, DC next Wednesday, Nov.12 to begin their lame-duck session. During this legislative session, this class of Congress, which is on track to be the least productive in modern history, will have many unresolved issues left to address.
One looming item on their agenda will be finalizing a fiscal year (FY) 2015 funding bill to fund the government past Dec. 11, the date our current continuing resolution, or stopgap funding measure, will run out. If you are an advocate for ending homelessness, here’s why you should care about this bill: our ability to end chronic homelessness by the end of 2016, and make significant reductions among other homeless populations, depends on Congress including a $301 million increase (to $2.406 billion) to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program.
The increase, which President Obama requested in his budget proposal, would fund $37,000 units of permanent supportive housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness and put us on track to end chronic homelessness by the end of 2016. If you care about reaching that goal and changing the lives of thousands of vulnerable and disabled people (and if you’re reading this, we’re hoping you do), Congress needs to hear from you that this increase must be included in the final FY 2015 funding bill.
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New York City, New Orleans Reduce Veteran Homelessness by more than 50 Percent in Three Years
November 03, 2014
In the last three years, communities across the country, among them New York City and New Orleans, have cut their numbers of veterans experiencing homelessness by more than 50 percent. Now, as part of our Never Another Homeless Veteran campaign, we’re spotlighting these communities that are leading the fight to end veteran homelessness in America.
According to numbers released last week by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the number of veterans experiencing homelessness on a given night in America has declined by 11 percent since 2013, and 33 percent since 2009. During the January 2014 Point-in-Time Count, volunteers counted 49,933 veterans out of a total of 578,424 people experiencing homelessness (or 9 percent).
We at the Alliance want to highlight this progress because it shows what communities can do. (Imagine how many changesd lives those numbers represent!) That’s why this week at our 2014 Awards Ceremony we’re honoring 14 of the 67 communities that have achieved a more than 50 percent reduction in veteran homelessness, with especial recognition for two of them: New Orleans and New York City.
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New Data Show Homelessness has Declined 11 Percent since 2007
October 31, 2014
Required by Congress, HUD’s PIT Count is the only national survey that counts everyone who is staying in a shelter or other homeless programs, as well as people who are unsheltered. Its methodology is fairly consistent over time, allowing an assessment of whether the number of homeless people is growing or shrinking each year. Though it does not count every single homeless person, nor does it assess the number of people who are at high risk of homelessness because they have unstable or unacceptable housing, it is the only way that we can determine approximately how many people are homeless, the characteristics of our homeless population, and how homeless Americans are using shelters.
The 2014 PIT Count data show that numbers of homeless people is moving in the right direction.
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Alliance to Honor Communities for Reducing Veteran Homelessness
October 23, 2014
On November 5, the Alliance will celebrate the progress we have made in the fight to end homelessness with our 2014 Annual Awards Ceremony, “Communities to Watch: Ending Veteran Homelessness.” This year marks the second year in our Never Another Homeless Veteran Campaign. As such, we will be honoring 20 communities that have decreased veteran homelessness by 50 percent or more in the past three years.
In 2009, President Obama announced the federal government's goal of ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. Since then, stakeholders on the national and local levels have been pushing hard to reach this ambitious goal. With the bipartisan support of Congress, communities across the country have implemented and expanded programs that provide homeless veterans and their families with crucial interventions like rental assistance and intensive case management.
As a nation, we have made incredible progress. Since 2011, we have reduced the number of veterans who experience homelessness on a given night by 26 percent. During the same period, the largest metropolitan area in the U.S., New York City, reduced veteran homelessness by almost 65 percent. (That’s more than 3,000 fewer homeless veterans.) And New Orleans achieved an astonishing 76.5 percent decrease in veteran homeless.
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Call Congress to End Homelessness: There’s Still Time!
September 15, 2014
Last week, the Alliance hosted a National Call In Week and encouraged homeless advocates and anyone else who cares about ending homelessness to call their members of Congress. If you didn’t get a chance to call, you still have time! We are extending our call in period through this Wednesday, September 17. This is a fantastic opportunity to do something that will take only a few minutes of your time and has the potential to affect the lives of thousands of people.
We need your help convincing Congress to grant the Obama administration’s requested $2.406 billion funding level for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program in the final fiscal year (FY) 2015 funding legislation. While Congress is likely to pass the final FY 2015 funding legislation later this year, key appropriators are currently doing preliminary work on it before many of them return home to campaign for the November elections. With further negotiation ahead of them before funding levels are finalized, now is a great time to influence the funding process!
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Today We Remember
September 11, 2014
Today, on the anniversary of 9/11 and the day after the President announced continued military action in the Middle East, it is appropriate that we reflect upon those who serve in our military and the sacrifices they make to keep us safe. During the conflicts that followed that national tragedy and those that came before, they have paid the price for our safety and, for what they have done to protect America, we owe them.
That debt has come due. Veteran homelessness is down by 33 percent since 2010, but this September 11 nearly 50,000 of our nation’s veterans will be homeless. Not long ago many more veterans than that were homeless, and we have made progress. Nevertheless, we still have a lot of work ahead of us. The Obama Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs have committed to ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. It will take all of us working together to reach that ambitious goal. But we can do it, and when we do, we will show that it is possible to end homelessness in America for everyone.
If you believe, as we do, in a future where there is Never Another Homeless Veteran, here are a few small steps you can take to support the mission.
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Dear Advocates: Here is How You Can Make a Difference This November
September 10, 2014
The midterm elections are almost here, and that means you and every other U.S. citizen will soon have a chance to vote not only for your interests, but for the interests of the less fortunate. If you care about homelessness, if you care about availability of affordable housing, if you care about income equality, then you should care about who fills the 435 seats in the House, 36 seats in the Senate, and the countless state and local positions that are up for grabs this Election Day, Tuesday, November 4.
For advocates of people experiencing homelessness and other low-income advocates like you, a great deal is at stake. Programs that serve homeless and low-income people cannot succeed without the support of lawmakers. So it is crucial that we back lawmakers who we know are likely to build bipartisan political will for programs that serve the most vulnerable people in America. That will mean the difference between thousands of people being housed, or thousands living on the streets.
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Call on Congress to End Homelessness! Here’s How
September 04, 2014
After a bit of a lull while Congress was out of town on August recess, the Alliance and our partners are now gearing up for a big advocacy push with a National Call In Week for McKinney funding. Next week, we want to make sure that members of Congress hear loud and clear that homeless assistance programs must be a priority in fiscal year (FY) 2015!
Prior to the recess, Congress did some work on federal funding, but they did not finalize any spending bills. The House passed seven out of the 12 funding bills, including the HUD funding bill that funds many affordable housing and homeless assistance programs, but no funding bills made it through the full Senate. This means that both chambers still have a great deal of negotiation ahead of them in the upcoming months to wrap up this appropriations cycle.
Right now, we anticipate that congressional offices will complete much of their behind-the-scenes work on determining final FY 2015 funding levels for programs this month, before their focus inevitably shifts to the election. That’s why, when members of Congress return to session next week, one of the first things they must hear about is the importance of increasing funding for homeless assistance programs.
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Alliance President Keynote Remarks, 2014 National Conference on Ending Homelessness
August 13, 2014
These are the keynote remarks delivered by Alliance President and CEO Nan Roman on the first day of our 2014 National Conference on Ending Homelessness, July 29, 2014.
Thank you all so much for being here today. We have a full conference ahead of us, thanks to our unbelievable roster of keynote speakers, including First Lady Michelle Obama, Senator Cory Booker, and HUD Secretary Julián Castro. We have three transformative ideas from three innovative plenary speakers who are changing business as usual in their respective fields. We have nearly 300 workshop speakers ranging from federal officials and people who are or have been homeless, to local policy makers and the most talented housing and services providers and national organization leaders in the country. We have a little time to celebrate those of you who got over 100,000 of the nation’s most vulnerable people off the streets and out of shelters, and into housing with the services they need. I mean of course the fantastic work of all the communities that participated in the 100,000 Homes Campaign!
But most importantly, we have all of you: over 1,600 activists, advocates, learners and teachers with thousands of years of cumulative experience; thousands of questions about what you can do better, extra, different, and smarter; and thousands of answers. You have taken your extraordinarily valuable time and resources to come here to learn, share, and get to know each other. Thank you for being here. Thank you from the bottoms of our hearts, for everything you do.
In taking stock of where we stand on homelessness – what is going on in communities and in Washington and how we might be able to move forward – there are a few things that I want to reflect upon with you today.
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Here’s Video of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Speech from our 2014 National Conference
August 11, 2014
During our last conference, we had a phenomenal lineup of speakers: the new Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, and of course First Lady Michelle Obama herself.
We were so honored to host such respected and influential national figures, and so heartened that they would stand with us in our commitment to end homelessness.
Even before conference was over, attendees and other people following the conference over social media were already clamoring for us to make video of the speakers’ remarks available online. So that’s what exactly what we’re doing this month.
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Here are 4 Great Videos that Played at our 2014 National Conference
August 04, 2014
Yep. That just happened. The First Lady spoke at our 2014 National Conference on Ending Homelessness. Wow.
Here at the Alliance, we’re all still recovering from the Conference. Every year we mount two conferences, and each one is a mammoth undertaking for our staff and requires the involvement of a small army of volunteers, speakers, and interns and temporary staff, without whose contributions we simply would be unable to manage it. And we’re always extremely grateful for the help. This time around was no different.
Last week’s conference was by far the largest and most complicated event we’ve ever pulled off. We’d like to extend a big thank you to everyone who was involved, including, of course, our eminent keynote speakers: Senator Cory Booker, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, and of course the First Lady herself.
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National Conference: Day 1
July 29, 2014
It’s finally here! Today marks the official start of the 2014 National Conference on Ending Homelessness. We’re all set for an exciting day here in D.C. As we continue to register participants and prepare for the first set of workshops, here are a few examples of all that we have planned for today:
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The Conference is Almost Upon Us! #NAEH14
July 28, 2014
Everyone here at the Alliance is #soexcited for the 2014 National Conference on Ending Homelessness. As usual, we’ll be posting regular updates online throughout the conference so that both attendees and our friends who are farther away can stay informed on everything that’s going on.
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Homelessness Research: What We Know and What We Need to Know
July 15, 2014
In preparation for writing about the Alliance’s recently released Research Agenda for Ending Homelessness today, I thought about the data and research we have on homelessness available to us today in comparison to the data and research that was available only a decade ago, much of which is still some of the most influential research to date.
I was reminded of the well-worn cliché, “In my day, we wore newspapers on our feet and walked up hill both directions to school.” And it occurred to me that that cliché could easily serve as an accurate metaphor for what research in homelessness field looked like not even 15 years ago.
In 1999, Homelessness: Programs and the People They Serve was released. This groundbreaking report was based on the 1996 National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients, the first national study conducted on homelessness since a study by Urban Institute in 1987.
Contrast that with the state of homeless research today, when each year the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) releases the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress in two volumes, with one volume covering national trends and Point-in-Time Counts for every Continuum of Care (CoC), and the other volume providing detailed demographic data on the sheltered population.
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Here’s What You Can Expect from the Veterans Track of Our DC Conference
July 10, 2014
Our increasingly popular National Conference on Ending Homelessness is coming up in a few weeks, and this year we’re including some fantastic content on addressing veteran homelessness. The veterans workshop track (see the conference agenda here) will cover a variety of topics, from working with your local VA Medical Centers, utilizing HUD-VASH, making the most of your SSVF grants, and of course, how we are going to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015.
There are numerous initiatives taking place around veteran homelessness, including the 25 Cities initiative, the Mayors Challenge, and others. At the Conference, our workshops and discussions will focus on how you can make the most of these initiatives in your communities, but we’ll also be discussing how to move the needle on veteran homelessness even if your community isn’t involved in these initiatives.
In fact, in addition to our workshop content, we’ll be holding a BYOB (Bring Your Own Breakfast, of course) discussion around what your community should be doing to address veteran homelessness and bring the number down to zero. The discussion with Alliance and VA staff will be a casual “rap session” on some concrete steps you can take when you get home and what opportunities are coming up to take advantage of federal funds.
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We’re Screening a Documentary about Skid Row
July 09, 2014
Chances are when you hear the words “Skid Row,” you immediately associate them with poverty and homelessness. And for good reason: over the last few decades, the 50 blocks in downtown Los Angeles that make up Skid Row have become infamous for their huge concentration of impoverished and transient populations.
In a very real sense, Skid Row is a home for chronically homeless individuals, many of whom live lives under desperate circumstances, marked by drug addiction, mental illness, and poverty. If you’re attending our 2014 National Conference on Ending Homelessness this month, you will have a chance to hear their stories during our screening of the documentary, “Lost Angels: Skid Row Is My Home.”
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Attention Advocates: Here’s Your Chance to Talk to Congress!
June 24, 2014
Every July the Alliance holds Capitol Hill Day in conjunction with our National Conference on Ending Homelessness here in Washington, DC. The event allows conference participants to take advantage of their time in the nation’s capital to meet with their Senators, Representatives, and their staffers.
Last year, Hill Day participants attended nearly 300 meetings with congressional offices from 45 states! Face-to-face time with Members of Congress and their staff is one of the most important ways to take part in federal advocacy by educating members of Congress and to inform them about what’s happening on the ground back in their districts. These meetings are a critical component to ensuring we have the resources (i.e. federal funding) necessary to address homelessness!
By participating in these meetings, you can work to build or establish relationships with your congressional offices, educate your members of Congress on your progress in preventing and ending homelessness at home, and encourage them to support your work.
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