Hundreds Took the Message of Ending Homelessness to Capitol Hill

written by Kate Seif
August 15, 2013

Last month, nearly 1,600 people traveled from all over the country to Washington, DC for the Alliance’s National Conference on Ending Homelessness. That’s already pretty big news, but what’s more is that approximately one-in-four of those registrants participated in Capitol Hill Day. A wide array of key stakeholders on homelessness visited their Members of Congress on Capitol Hill to update them on local progress in ending homelessness and to urge them to make providing sufficient funding for homeless assistance programs a federal priority.

Based on our State Captains’ report backs from more than 300 meetings (which, in case you were wondering, is a record!) we’ve compiled a 2013 Capitol Hill Day Report and Summary. The report highlights the major successes of this year’s Capitol Hill Day. For starters, more than 415 participants (what’s that? You guessed it: it’s another record!) went on more than 300 meetings.  

Of the 300 congressional meetings, more than 75 of those meetings were held with a Member of Congress himself/herself. In those hundreds of meetings, advocates made the case for six key federal policy priorities, which you can learn more about here.

This year, Capitol Hill Day was perfectly timed to allow participants to have maximum impact on the federal funding (appropriations) process. Both the House and Senate were working directly on HUD funding bills, with votes on key amendments and the full legislation scheduled for just days following Capitol Hill Day. This meant the hundreds of meetings that took place, and the many conversations around the need for federal resources, were aptly timed to have the biggest immediate impact on these decisions.

The best part of Capitol Hill Day, as always, is that, in addition to the immediate successes outlined in this report, we haven’t even seen the full impact of these 300 meetings. These meetings and conversations are an important first step in the process of developing relationships and educating Members and their staff on the importance of federal programs targeted toward preventing and ending homelessness. These meetings help constituents begin a dialogue with their congressional offices in order to keep the conversation and education going well beyond Capitol Hill Day.

The success of this year’s Capitol Hill Day wouldn’t have been possible without participants from around the country coming together. The effort of each person, and particularly the volunteer State Captains who spent countless hours organizing each state’s efforts, allowed this year’s Capitol Hill Day to be one of the most successful yet. I can’t wait to see how we all top ourselves again next year!

Thanks again to all our wonderful advocates and for yet another fantastic Capitol Hill Day! To check out “Hill Day in Tweets,” check out our blog, where you will find lots of great pictures and messages from throughout the day!