Shutdown Continues, Homeless Programs Unaffected for Now
The partial government shutdown has remained in effect for a week, with no certain end date in sight. Last Wednesday, October 2, congressional leaders met with President Obama at the White House to negotiate an end to the shutdown, but no compromises were made on either side. The shutdown is a result of Congress' failure to reach an agreement on fiscal year (FY) 2014 spending levels by the start of the fiscal year last Tuesday, October 1.
It appears that there is enough bipartisan support pass a "clean" continuing resolution (CR) that would extend post-sequestration FY 2013 levels without additional amendments related to the Affordable Care Act. However, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has thus far resisted bringing a clean CR to the floor for a vote, despite 22 House Republicans having announced their support for a clean CR.
It is becoming increasingly likely that a budget deal to end the shutdown will be tied to addressing the debt ceiling. Yesterday, Speaker Boehner explained that he will not introduce a clean CR until October 17, the deadline for raising the nation's debt ceiling to avoid a federal default.
The shutdown has not yet had a critical impact on homeless assistance programs, since they are currently spending FY 2012 and FY 2013 funds and are considered essential (and therefore remain in operation during a shutdown) programs. For more information on the impact of the shutdown on HUD programs, see HUD's contingency plan under "Featured News for September 27."
Survey: Advocates Call for Increased State Funding for Homeless Programs
In August, the Alliance surveyed homeless advocates about state-level advocacy efforts and the top priority areas for advocates in the coming year. According to the survey, which garnered 151 responses from advocates in 36 states, advocates are calling for increased state funding for supportive housing programs in state mental health systems and increased state funding for rapid re-housing strategies. Advocates also want improved Medicaid coverage for behavioral health services and increased access to benefits for people experiencing homelessness.
Not all of the focus is on funding, however. A majority of respondents call for improved coordination among state agencies that serve people experiencing homelessness. Homeless advocates who took the survey are seasoned partners in state efforts, with 73 percent responding that they are involved with statewide coalitions. Smaller percentages of the respondents have had recent contacts with state legislators and governors' staff - 64 percent and 47 percent respectively.
The Alliance needs your help keeping track of what is going on in your state. Share your insights with the Alliance by emailing the Alliance at email@example.com or the Alliance's Policy Outreach Coordinator, Kate Seif, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Job Opportunity: National Homelessness Project Coordinator
The Alliance is seeking a full-time Project Coordinator to lead a new project that will create a solid policy and practice framework for rapid re-housing. Rapid re-housing is an emerging intervention that quickly houses homeless veterans, families, and individuals and links them with services. The Coordinator will be responsible for organizing other Alliance staff activity in pursuit of project goals. The Alliance is seeking candidates with a Bachelor's Degree, plus at least five years relevant experience. Graduate degree in a field related to homelessness work is a plus.
The Alliance is seeking applicants for a meeting and events internship. The intern will work closely with the Alliance's Director of Meetings and Events on all of the planning components of the Alliance's annual National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness. The position calls for 15 to 20 hours a week and will run from early November to early March.
Applicants are expected to have an interest in meeting and event planning, as well as relevant experience, excellent writing and communication skills, excellent organizational skills, and an ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously. A familiarity with CiviCRM database management is a plus. Resumes, cover letters, and a short writing sample can be sent to D'Arcy Klingle at email@example.com.