Advocacy Update: Quarterly Report


Advocacy Update | April 9, 2012

National Alliance to End Homelessness - Advocacy Update
April 9, 2012

Quarterly Report: Announcements and Recap 

This Quarterly Report includes a preview of key upcoming activities for advocates, as well as a review of major developments from the last quarter. Specifically, this issue reviews:

  • Preview of Capitol Hill Day 2012;  
  • Call for media stories;
  • Update on fiscal year (FY) 2013 appropriations;   
  • Advocacy results; and 
  • Recap of the State of Homelessness media campaign.    
Preview: Capitol Hill Day 2012

During the next quarter, the Alliance will begin planning Capitol Hill Day 2012, to be held in conjunction with the Alliance's National Conference on Ending Homelessness from July 16 to 18 in Washington, DC. Each year, Capitol Hill Day provides an opportunity for conference attendees to inform federal policymakers about solutions to homelessness. Attendees are able to speak first-hand about the scope of homelessness and the successful interventions being implemented in their communities - one of the most important ways to impact federal homelessness policy.


This year, Capitol Hill Day will take place on Wednesday, July 18. Capitol Hill Day 2011 was a phenomenal success, with over 360 participants attending over 270 congressional meetings with Members of Congress from 42 states! If you are interested in serving as a State Captain this year or in participating in Capitol Hill Day, please contact Amanda Benton at!

Alliance Seeking Stories for Media Counts Map


The Alliance recently published a Media Counts Map which collects and maps media accounts and Continuum of Care (CoC) reports on increases or decreases in homelessness, as recorded in the recent January 2012 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count in communities across the country. If a media outlet or CoC in your community has released a report that shows changes in overall homelessness between January 2011 and January 2012, please send the report or story to Pete Witte, Research Associate at the Alliance. If you're interested in working with the media to publish a report on your PIT Count, we can help! Email Kate Seif at the Alliance for assistance, or check out our toolkit on engaging the media!

FY 2013 Appropriations Process Advances   

The first quarter of 2012 saw the kick-off of the fiscal year (FY) 2013 appropriations process, with a strong response from advocates. In February, the Administration released its FY 2013  Budget Proposal, which included substantial increases in funding for McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and for targeted homeless veteran programs within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Other key affordable housing and homelessness programs were held flat or cut. For more information on the President's Budget Proposal, click here.


Throughout March, the House and Senate held hearings on the President's Budget Proposal and began to identify their own priorities for the FY 2013 appropriations bills. The House passed a Budget Resolution on March 29, which laid out the overall amount available to the House Appropriations Committee at $1.028 trillion, or about 2 percent less than Congress agreed to under last year's debt deal, the Budget Control Act (BCA). The Senate has committed to using the higher cap contained in the BCA.


The House and Senate will now take these overall funding levels and divide them up among each of the appropriations subcommittees, such as the one that handles HUD funding. Then, they will begin to draft and release their FY 2013 appropriations bills, possibly starting as soon as next week. Please stay tuned to the Advocacy Update for more information on how to get involved!


Last Quarter Advocacy Results 

Following the release of the President's Budget Proposal, the Alliance called on advocates to send as many letters as possible to their Members of Congress in support of funding McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants at $2.231 billion in FY 2013. Advocates sent over 615 letters, which exceeded our goal of 500 letters by 23 percent!


During this period, several congressional sign-on letters were circulating in the House and Senate.

  • The first letter, sponsored by Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), was circulated in the House in support of providing $2.231 billion for HUD's McKinney-Vento programs in FY 2013. This letter did exceedingly well, closing with signatures from 65 representatives!
  • The  second letter, circulated by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Charles Schumer (D-NY), in support of robust funding for HUD's McKinney-Vento programs and HUD-VASH vouchers, received 28 signatures in the Senate.
  • Finally, the third letter, sponsored by Reps. Al Green (D-TX), Mike Michaud (D-ME), and Michael Grimm (R-NY), expressed support for providing $75 million for approximately 10,000 new HUD-VASH vouchers in FY 2013. It received 64 signatures.

In addition to the impressive showing on these letters, advocates got many Members to weigh in separately with their colleagues on the Appropriations Committees about the importance of providing funding increases to key homeless assistance programs.


Advocates Raise Awareness in the Media  

In January, the Alliance released a new report, State of Homelessness in America 2012. The Alliance joined with its partners across the country to leverage the report to encourage local papers to run stories about the issue of homelessness.


The response was impressive: in just the week immediately following the release of the report, you helped earn local media coverage in at least 37 different states specifically mentioning the report! Wow! 


Advocates are encouraged to continue using this report and other local data sources to urge the media to spotlight the issue of homelessness and the great work being done locally to solve the problem. 



FY 2013 McKinney Campaign


The Alliance works collaboratively with its local, state, and national partners to advance policies and programs that prevent and end homelessness.
Amanda Benton
Director of Policy Outreach 


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