2012 … And that’s a wrap!

written by Kate Seif
December 20, 2012

Well, OK, not quite. We’ve still got about 11 days left in 2012 and a pesky so-called fiscal cliff to deal with. But for now, let’s set all the last-minute fervor aside and take a look back at what a great year our advocates have had!

Starting with the release of the State of Homelessness in America 2012 in January, advocates teamed up with the Alliance to get widespread media coverage. With your help, we were able to educate and informed our neighbors and local opinion leaders about our report and the important data contained within. It was a great way to start the year!

The following month, we officially launched on fiscal year (FY) 2013 federal funding campaigns with the release of the President’s FY 2013 Budget Proposal. Throughout the rest of the year, we mobilized advocates to secure increased federal resources for preventing  and ending homelessness with three campaigns – around McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants, the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, and homeless veterans. During these campaigns hundreds of people made phone calls, set up meetings, wrote letters, and arranged site-visits.

As appropriations negotiations paused at the beginning of October (with the passage of a continuing resolution set to expire in late March), advocates turned their attention to the fiscal cliff. Despite the release of the Interim Continuum of Care Rule, followed by the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for Homeless Assistance Grants, advocates continued their push to ensure that key homelessness programs aren’t lost in the broader budget picture.

Of course I would be remiss if I did not mention Capitol Hill Day 2012 in this year-end wrap up. This year’s Hill Day was a monumental success and proved to be one of our biggest yet! A record number of State Captains organized a record number of congressional meetings, and nearly one-in-four registrants for the Alliance’s national conference took part in educating Congress on the need for strong funding and support for homelessness assistance programs in their communities.

As the federal funding process continues into 2013, and the fiscal cliff, with its approximately 8 percent in cuts in the form of sequestration, hang in the balance, the results of all our efforts may not be known for some time. Despite this, I am constantly in awe of the efforts of our field, and this year is definitely no different.

So many of you take on federal advocacy as an extra part of your job, and we couldn’t be more grateful. It is truly thanks to all of you, who continue to reach out to your elected officials despite other demands on your time, that homeless assistance programs are so highly regarded on the Hill. Your efforts are invaluable and, on behalf of the Alliance and its mobilizing unit, we can’t thank you enough!

We look forward to continuing our work with you next year. In the meantime – enjoy the holidays!