Action Alert: Call your Senator today!

written by naehblog
April 21, 2010

We need you to call your Senator today to ensure assistance providers have the funding they need to prevent and end homelessness.

Tomorrow is the last day Senators can sign on to the “Dear Colleague” letter asking the Senate T-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee to include $2.4 billion for the McKinney-Vento programs in the FY 2011 budget. In order for homelessness assistance programs across the country to continue their work and implement changes required by the HEARTH Act, $2.4 billion is critical.

Joined by the winners of the McKinney-Vento Letter-Writing Campaign (thanks for your support!), our advocacy team has been working hard to make sure McKinney-Vento programs are fully funded. Check out their lunchtime strategy session with our Director of Field Mobilization Sarah Kahn in the photo at right.

Anthony Stasi, a new addition to our staff, has also been talking to members of Congress about the importance of McKinney-Vento programs. He guest blogs about his Congressional visits below.

In the effort to influence the legislature to consider an increase in the HUD budget for fiscal year 2011, the Alliance has been actively informing members of both houses of the importance of the minimum funding necessary to keep new rapid re-housing programs running.

The current appropriation from the administration is $2.055 billion. While this is quite generous, the minimum needed to keep these programs solvent is $2.4 billion.

This is an interesting time on the Hill, as many ‘housing friendly’ members are eager to help and sign-on to letters addressed to committee chairs in order to secure these funds. Other members that might be considered ‘probables’ in this request are a little uncertain about any increases or earmarks (this is not an earmark, but members sometimes refer to it as such) in these economic times.

Offices in both houses have been extremely polite, with some more helpful than others. Even getting around the Hill is pleasant, once you get past removing belts, jackets, and clothing in order to get inside.

But as a great man once said; “the Dude abides.”

The programs that the Alliance (and many other non profits with an interest in homelessness) wants to keep running are programs that keep people from falling into homelessness, where there is a danger of individuals becoming chronically homeless. Chronically homeless people use a great deal of government services and the costs are absorbed by local communities and governments. These rapid re-housing programs save money in the long run, and that is why they are a priority to us.