McKinney-Vento: Now, Time for the Senate

written by naehblog
April 15, 2010

It’s been awhile since we’ve talked about the McKinney-Vento Appropriations campaign on this blog, but our advocacy team has been hard at work behind the scenes to make sure homelessness assistance providers have the funding they need.

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance programs is the largest portion of the federal government’s investment in ending homelessness. McKinney-Vento (for short) funds critical federal and state programs, and – maybe most importantly – provides financial assistance to the local programs in your own neighborhoods. This funding couldn’t be more important to our community’s most vulnerable citizens – especially now.

What we need is $2.4 billion: $2.4 billion will help keep all those funding streams alive and kicking, while making the changes outlined in the HEARTH Act.

So we’re asking you to reach out again! PLEASE call your senator today and urge them to sign the “Dear Colleague” letter asking the Senate T-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee to include $2.4 billion for the McKinney-Vento programs in FY 2011.

The deadline is April 22!

Here’s what you can do:
Call the congressional switchboard: 202-224-3121.

Ask for your senator.
If you don’t know who that is, you can find out here. Did your senator sign-on last year? Find out here.

Ask for the staffer who works on housing issues.
It’s helpful to start something like, “Hi, I’m Jane. I live in STATE and I’d like to speak with the staff member who works on housing issues.” 

Here’s what you can say:

Thank them for their support and/or ask if you can follow up with them tomorrow.

  • I am calling to ask if the senator will support a funding level of $2.4 billion for HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011. Specifically, I would like the senator to sign a Congressional sign-on letter regarding this funding level, which is being circulated by Senators Jack Reed, Charles Schumer, and Olympia Snowe. McKinney-Vento programs are the primary federal funding source for local efforts to reduce homelessness and help people move back into permanent housing. These programs work. Before the recession, these programs helped reduce homelessness by 11 percent between 2005 and 2008 across the country.
  • Last year, your boss helped Congress pass the HEARTH Act – the first time the program has been reauthorized in nearly two decades. It will provide more resources for important programs – particularly those that focus on preventing homelessness – but a one-time large increase in funding is needed to pay for those changes in FY 2011.
  • It is critical that Congress provides a funding level of $2.4 billion for the program in order to fully implement the HEARTH Act while continuing to provide our community with the necessary resources to make progress toward ending homelessness.

For more information about our ongoing campaign, visit the McKinney Appropriations Campaign website.