Get Your U.S. Rep to Support Homeless Assistance Funding! Here’s How.

written by Kate Seif
April 5, 2013

After what can only be called an epic journey, fiscal year (FY) 2013 is over and Congress has moved full steam ahead into FY 2014. After the release of their Budget Resolutions (non-binding outlines of how the federal budget should look this year and in the near future – both the House and Senate came out with very different visions), the House and Senate are now working on the specifics of funding programs for various programs, including HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants.

As such, Members of Congress are currently circulating Dear Colleague letters. Dear Colleague letters, also known as “sign-on letters,” are usually sponsored by one to three Members of Congress and contain a message for specific people in Congress – in this case, the Chair and Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee or an Appropriations Subcommittee.  The message usually refers to increasing or maintaining funding levels for specific programs for the upcoming fiscal year. The sponsors circulate the letter among their colleagues in either the House or Senate (in this case, both letters are in the House) to gather signatures.

Right now, Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) is circulating a letter in support of providing robust funding for HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants in FY 2014.

Dear Colleague Letters are an easy way for a Member to show support and convey that support to their colleagues and constituents.  The sign-on letters are also a great opportunity to connect with your Members’ offices and ask them to support these funding priorities.

If you would like to see your representative’s name on this letter supporting increased funding for our nation’s most vulnerable people, reach out to them and let them know! Contact the housing staffer in your U.S. Representatives’ offices and inform them that the letter is being circulated and that you, as their constituent, would like to see them sign on! The deadline for Members to sign on is next Tuesday, April 9 – so act TODAY!

You can find a sample letter/email you can send to them to express your request here. Then, let me know who you contacted! You can learn more about the action steps to take here