Ask the Alliance Anything on Reddit, Wednesday, December 11
Join the Alliance on Reddit and ask us a question. Nan Roman, Alliance President and CEO, will be on Reddit.com on Wednesday, December 11, at 12 p.m. ET for a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA). A Reddit AMA is a form of online interview in which members of the Reddit online community can ask the subject of the interview any question they want.
We want you to ask us a question about homelessness, solutions to homelessness, the Alliance's work and its staff, or anything else you can think of. To participate, you will first will have to sign up for a Reddit account. For examples of other AMAs, and to create your own account to participate, visit www.reddit.com/r/IAmA. The link to register is in the upper right-hand corner of the web page.
Budget Negotiations Continue
The conference committee continues to work toward an agreement on a total spending number for fiscal year (FY) 2014 federal spending. According to numerous press reports, the committee chairs hope to reach a deal by their agreed upon deadline of Friday, December 13 that would bring the topline FY 2014 discretionary funding level to approximately $1 trillion, representing a compromise between the House's $967 billion and the Senate's $1.058 trillion proposed levels. By comparison, FY 2013 discretionary spending is approximately $988 billion. Such an agreement would involve financing a partial easing of both FY 2014 and FY 2015 sequestration cuts by raising revenue through increasing various federal fees and making cuts to some federal benefits.
However, some Republicans have expressed a lack of support for increasing user fees, while some Democrats have protested changes to federal pensions. Furthermore, it remains unclear how the easing of sequestration cuts will be distributed between defense and non-defense discretionary spending under such an agreement.
In the case that the committee fails to reach an agreement, the most likely result would be another continuing resolution, with most accounts funded at the FY 2013 levels.
The current stopgap funding measure expires January 15.
Senate Returns from Recess
The Senate reconvened from their Thanksgiving recess yesterday. Since House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has promised to adjourn the House for the holiday season this Friday, December 13, this week could potentially be a productive one for budget negotiations and other year-end business.
Committee Holds Hearing on Unemployment Benefits
Last Thursday, December 5, the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, chaired by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), held a hearing on expiring unemployment benefits. The committee encouraged Members of Congress to act to prevent more than one million Americans from losing their unemployment benefits on December 28, when unemployment benefits are set to expire, and a further 3.6 million Americans from losing benefits next year.
Since the budget committee chairs are not planning on including an extension of unemployment benefits in the pending budget agreement, Democrats will likely need to find another avenue for doing so, for instance, through bundling them with expiring provisions.
Rep. Pelosi's Remarks
Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) Remarks
Bryan Samuels to Keynote 2014 Family and Youth Conference
The Alliance is proud to announce that Bryan Samuels, executive director of Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, will deliver a keynote address at the Alliance's 2014 National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel this February 18 to 19. He will speak in the Wednesday, February 19 plenary.
Samuels has spent his career seeking to improve child welfare systems through public policy and service delivery. Prior to his current role, he was the commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Conference Reminder: Approaching deadlines
If you have not yet registered for the conference, make sure to take advantage of the regular registration rate of $500 by registering online by 3 p.m. ET on Monday, January 20. Conference attendees who register after that deadline will be charged the $625 late registration rate.
If you are homeless or formerly homeless, you may be eligible for a scholarship. The deadline to apply for a scholarships is Wednesday, December 18th. To learn more about the scholarship program, and apply online, visit the scholarships page of the conference website.
Solutions Brief: How Communities are Leveraging Health Care for PSH Capacity
The Alliance has published a new solutions brief on the Alliance website. "Changing the Terms: How Communities are Leveraging Health Care for Permanent Supportive Housing Capacity" reports on new approaches for solving chronic homelessness that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made possible. The brief describes new models for integrating housing and health care that are emerging in Chicago, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Portland. The brief also identifies challenges as well as opportunities that other communities might consider in response to the ACA.
Upcoming Webinar: NOFA Planning and Advocacy
On Tuesday, December 17, at 2 p.m. ET, the Alliance will host a webinar on the major points of the FY 2013 Continuum of Care NOFA and discuss how prospective grantees should address their community's tiering and application processes. The webinar will also feature communities that will detail their own approach to the NOFA. Speakers will also discuss how grantees can use the NOFA as an advocacy opportunity to ensure Congress provides sufficient funding for homeless programs in the future.
Last Week on Ending Homelessness Today
Is a federal budget deal in the offing?
By Steve Berg
There has been positive news in the media lately about the possibility of a "small" budget agreement. In this post, we look at the potential for such an agreement and what the implications are for efforts to end homelessness.
Organizations House 249 Families in Virginia
By Kay Moshier McDivitt
Organizations that are participating in the 100 Day Rapid Re-Housing Challenge in Virginia, the second phase of the Alliance's Virginia Learning Collaborative initiative, have officially reached the halfway point. They have housed 249 families. In this post, we look at how they did it.
Field Notes: Building Relationships with Landlords
By Anna Blasco
While rapid re-housing providers have been successful helping households with no income, criminal histories, or with mental or physical health issues, convincing landlords to rent to these tenants can be challenging. In this post, we look at one strategy to overcome this obstacle: a landlord damage insurance fund.
More on the blog