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National Alliance to End Homelessness

Newsletters | November 15, 2006

November 14, 2006    

    POLICY  \|  DATA + RESEARCH  \|  TOOL + TRAINING  \|  NEWS + MEDIA Forward Editor: Samantha Batko    
   
 
Spotlight On...

Hilton Foundation Launches National Initiative to Help Homeless Mothers and Children

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The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is undertaking a five- year initiative to improve housing, health, and development of young homeless and at-risk children by enhancing services and integrating service systems in Los Angeles, CA and Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. Strategies and measures proven to be effective through this pilot program will be shared nationally as a roadmap to improve services for homeless children and their families.

The National Center on Family Homelessness, in collaboration with the Child Welfare League of America and the National Alliance to End Homelessness, will act as the Coordinating Center for the initiative. The “Strengthening At-Risk and Homeless Young Mothers and Children Initiative” has two main components: providing direct services for homeless children and mothers, and supporting capacity building and training for local agencies that serve homeless families. By supporting innovative collaborations, the initiative seeks to improve integration of housing/homelessness systems and child development/welfare systems locally, and to develop effective models that can be implemented to improve services nationally.

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This week, November 12-18, is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness. The goal of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is to not only bring greater awareness of the problems of hunger and homelessness, but also to promote a national response to the problem. Communities are encouraged to host events, such as “One Night Without a Home,” that help dispel the myths that homelessness is someone else’s problem and help communities see that ending homelessness is possible and important.



The Fannie Mae Foundation has awarded Connecticut’s Supportive Housing Pilots Initiative (SHPI) their Innovations in Affordable Housing Award. This award recognizes creative and effective uses of government in housing policy and the creation of affordable housing. The Initiative was, in large part, a response to the growing number of homeless in the state. The Office of Policy and Management (OPM), with the help of the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) developed and launched SHPI with the goal of expanding the availability of supportive housing and increasing the number of nonprofits involved in the provision of supportive housing in Connecticut. Using a unique collaboration of five different state departments (Mental Health, Social Services, Economic and Community Development, CT Housing Finance Authority, and OPM), for both funding and responsibility, Connecticut has created 400 new, completed affordable housing units with 300 units still under construction. This program, while already more inclusive than federal supportive housing policy, is working on expanding the population of homeless served to help build broader support for the policy.



The Urban Institute and the Fannie Mae Foundation recently released the fourth annual “Housing in the Nation’s Capital”. This report not only analyzes the trends in housing, education and demographics but their intersection as well. Among the report’s major findings: despite an increase in the production of homeowner housing, demand still exceeds supply in the region. The District’s homeowner vacancy rate has fallen to 2 percent from 4 percent during the late 1990s. These lower vacancy rates help explain the increase in sales price in the city. Neighborhood clusters east of the Anacostia River experienced the highest rates of increase in single family sales prices between 2004 and 2005. Due in part to the large number of multifamily properties converting to condominiums, the regions rental housing stock declined in the last year. This resulted in a tighter rental market, and vacancy rates in the district dropped to 7.7 percent from 11.3 percent the previous year (for DC metro region those figures are 7.1 and 10.1 respectively). The Housing Opportunity Index, defined as the percent of households earning the median income able to purchase housing in the area, fell from approximately 75 percent in 2002 to 24 percent this year. This is attributed to a 56 percent increase in home price compared with an average rise in income of only 3 percent. A tighter rental market and significant increases in the cost of housing makes it difficult to get homeless people back into housing. Regional and District homelessness increased this year numbering 12,085 and 6,157 respectively. This study reports that the increases are due almost entirely to increases in individual homeless and not persons in families with children.


In the Media: LA Hospitals to be Sued for “Dumping”

In a November 8 article, “L.A. city attorney to sue hospitals that dump patients on skid row,” the Los Angeles Times reported that the Los Angeles city attorney’s office, in conjunction with the ACLU and the Public Counsel, had identified and planned to take legal action against ten hospitals suspected of “dumping” patients on skid row. This comes after talks to establish an agreement with hospitals that would establish clear practices in the discharging of homeless patients. Only one hospital in LA, Kaiser Permanente, has continued talks with the city attorney’s office, despite the desire of City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. The most recent incident of “dumping” occurred two weeks ago when a man was discharged from a hospital with a foot wound and had to be immediately rehospitalized after going to skid row’s Union Rescue Mission.

Upcoming Audio Conference: Housing is Health Care

On November 9, the Alliance hosted “Housing is Health Care,” a Leadership to End Homelessness Audio Conference. Ending homelessness takes coordination among a variety of public service systems. The public health system and health care for the homeless (HCH) programs in particular play a significant role. The speakers, Ted Amman from Central City Concern in Portland, OR and Elaine Fox from Health Care for the Homeless in Philadelphia, PA, described their programs explaining successes and challenges they have faced in serving homeless families and individuals. They provided participants with ideas for how to engage their local HCH programs and how to help health care providers connect with their housing counterparts. They also discussed how they have helped their clients maintain housing. This audio conference will be available in mp3 format within a month and will be located in the

The next installment of the Leadership to End Homelessness Audio Conference Series, “Exploring Rural Homelessness,” will be held on December 14 at 3 pm EST. The Leadership to End Homelessness Audio Conference Series is sponsored by the Sara Lee Foundation.

 
 
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The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonpartisan, non profit organization dedicated to solving the problem of homelessness and preventing its continued growth.

www.endhomelessness.org


 
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Fact Checker: Veterans and Homelessness

It is estimated that between 23 and 40 percent of homeless adults are veterans.



 
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