Alliance Online News: Conference Plenary Speakers Announced

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Newsletters | July 3, 2012

July 3, 2012    

ISSUES  \|  POLICY  \|  SOLUTIONS  \|  NEWS & EVENTS Forward Editor: Anna Blasco

Spotlight On...
Conference Plenary Speakers Announced

The Alliance is pleased to announce plenary speakers for the 2012 National Conference on Ending Homelessness. On Monday, July 16, the President and CEO of the Alliance, Nan Roman, and Mark Johnston, Assistant Secretary, Acting of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will kick off the conference at the opening plenary.

On Tuesday, July 17, a plenary discussion will be led by Steve Berg, Vice President for Programs and Policy at the Alliance, and will discuss what progress has been made in ending homelessness, what our biggest challenges are, and where there are opportunities to move forward in ending homelessness. The plenary panel will be comprised of national and international though leaders on homelessness, bringing the perspective of years of experience in research, service provision, and policy.

On Wednesday, July 18, the Alliance is delighted to welcome Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to keynote the plenary session. Secretary Sebelius will discuss the federal government's plan to end homelessness for children, youth, and families, as well as those experiencing chronic homelessness, as well as the role that HHS programs will play in these plans.

More Information



Hill Update

House Passes HUD Funding Bill
Last Friday, June 29, the House passed the fiscal year (FY) 2013 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (T-HUD) appropriations bill. Representative Hanson Clarke (D-MI) proposed an amendment, which was approved by voice vote, to increase the spending level for McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants by $5 million, bringing the final funding level for the program to $2.005 billion for FY 2013. While this represents a $104 million increase, the Alliance anticipates that this would not be sufficient to cover Continuum of Care renewals and maintain existing Emergency Solutions Grants activities. For more information on the funding level, please view the new brief from the Alliance,
"Why More is Less for Homeless Assistance" or contact Amanda Benton. For more information on the funding levels for other key affordable housing programs outlined in the FY 2013 bill, please click here.

Congress on Recess
Both the House and Senate are on recess for the July 4 holiday. Both chambers will return next Monday, July 9.

The Affordable Care Act's Impact on Homelessness

The Alliance is watching and reporting on state policy responses to last week's Supreme Court ruling on health care reform. The decision largely, but not completely, upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA). For homeless assistance, the key issues going forward relate to the one provision that the Supreme Court did, in fact, strike. The ACA originally had a "carrot and stick" approach with states to implement the Medicaid expansion. The expansion would enroll 16 million more people, including most poor uninsured adults, if fully embraced by all states. Under the Supreme Court decision, the generous federal subsidies for states to expand Medicaid are still allowed. However, the federal government can no longer to threaten to withhold all Medicaid funding to states that choose not to expand their programs.

It remains to be seen whether any state will decide to forgo the additional federal funding, which is scheduled to be available starting in 2014. It also remains to be seen how the ruling will affect federal implementation strategies and timelines for the ACA. In the meantime, many states and communities have already embraced health care reform since the ACA passed in 2010. Often, homeless advocates have been at the table with Medicaid leaders, forging new strategies to integrate housing solutions with health care services to address chronic homelessness. The Alliance is paying close attention to successful new approaches and emerging best practices, especially in supportive housing. Speakers with hands-on experience and up-to-date policy knowledge will present on these topics at the 2012 National Conference on Ending Homelessness.

Policy Update Webinar

On Tuesday, July 10 at 3:00 pm ET, The Alliance will host a "Policy Update Webinar" to provide information about a variety of key federal policies related to preventing and ending homelessness. Presenters will review the latest updates and key talking points for each of the policy priorities associated with Capitol Hill Day 2012. The webinar, targeted to State Captains for Capitol Hill Day 2012, is open to all, and the Alliance encourages anyone who is interested in reviewing the latest developments in federal homelessness policy to participate. For more information about Capitol Hill Day, or the webinar please contact Maulin Shah.

Webinar on Improving the Crisis Response for Youth

On Wednesday, July 11 from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET, the Alliance will host "Improving the Crisis Response for Youth," a webinar that will focus on keeping youth off the streets and away from the dangers inherent to them, including violence, drugs, and sexual exploitation. Oftentimes, communities do not have sufficient resources to shelter all homeless youth. This webinar will focus on alternatives to physical shelter beds, including host homes, and ways to ensure that the adult crisis system is responsive to the needs of youth who are in crisis. This webinar will feature Samantha Batko, Program and Policy Analyst at the Alliance; Kristen Granatek, Manager of Technical Assistance and Program Services at the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness; and Mark Kroner, Director of the Lighthouse Training Institute out of Lighthouse Youth Services.

School Age Children without Housing

Over the course of the 2011 school year, homeless education liaisons identified more than one million children living in doubled up situations, shelters or motels, or without any shelter at all according to a new report issued by the National Center for Homeless Education. Most of the identified students resided in doubled up housing situations (72 percent) and nearly one-fifth (18 percent) resided in shelter programs. Over 50,000 children were identified as living without any shelter at all, and 55,000 of the children identified were unaccompanied by parents or guardians.

Economically Disconnected Families

A new report by the West Coast Poverty Center highlights the experiences of "economically disconnected" low-income families who receive income from neither employment nor government cash assistance, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Compared to families receiving income from employment or cash assistance, economically disconnected families were characterized by higher rates of out-of-home child placement, alcohol and drug abuse, and lower rates of parental involvement in child welfare systems. Economic disconnection was further linked to challenges inherent in the TANF system such as lack of housing, employment, or food resources, as well as pre-existing and undiagnosed mental and physical health disorders. The report suggests that cross-agency collaboration between economic services and the child-welfare system can help alleviate this growing problem.
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2012 National Conference on Ending Homelessness
July 16 - 18, 2012
Renaissance Washington DC Hotel


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