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National Alliance to End Homelessness

Newsletters | October 17, 2006

October 17, 2006    

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

Take Your Legislator to Work Day


The National Alliance to End Homelessness invites you to partner with us to bring federal elected officials on tours of your homeless assistance programs this fall and winter. We would like to educate members of Congress immediately following the election and prior to the beginning of the 110th Congress on the impact that federal homelessness policy has on homeless people and the local programs that serve them.

Scores of advocates have examples of how visiting local homeless assistance programs, meeting homeless and formerly homeless people, and understanding strategies that end homelessness has persuaded a member of Congress to become an advocate for (or even a champion of) federal policy that will prevent and end homelessness. Starting the invitation process early is key to scheduling a site visit. Please contact Sarah Kahn at 202-942-8259 or to participate in our site visit initiative. You can also visit “Building Relationships with your Members of Congress” for a guide on conducting successful site visits and a sample invitation.



On October 6, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released a series of grants to provide treatment to persons who are homeless and suffering from substance use, mental disorders, or both. Funding was distributed among twenty-one states and forty-four individual programs. The first twenty-three grants are funded at up to $400,000 for 5 years and are designed for programs looking to expand and strengthen treatment services. The additional twenty-one are one-year supplemental grants to help current SAMHSA grantees enhance services and ensure that individuals experiencing chronic homelessness obtain mental health and substance abuse treatment, case management services and other recovery-oriented services with linkages to housing and housing supports.

In the Media: "The Road to Ending Homelessness"

The Southwest Journal, of Southwest Minneapolis, recently printed a special report on “The Road to Ending Homelessness.” The 14 page feature included individual profiles of homeless people, a personal piece on a one night stay in an emergency shelter, an examination of the cost effectiveness of homelessness programs, a single mom’s success story in helping her family overcome homelessness, and a piece evaluating the local ten year plan. Currently in Hennepin County, approximately 3,000 men, women, and children are in shelters and about 400 are on the streets each night. These numbers prompted the creation of Minneapolis and Hennepin County’s Ten Year Plan. The ten year plan is “ambitious” as Sarah McKenzie, editor of “The Road to End Homelessness,” noted. The plan has six goals: prevent homelessness, provide coordinated outreach, develop housing opportunities, improve service delivery, build capacity for self-support, and implement system improvements. This report also includes a photo gallery of images taken during this project.

Audio Conference: Texas Youth Transition Centers

Youth aging out of foster care are at high risk of homelessness. In Texas, the state Department of Family and Protective Services – Family Focus division of Child Protective Services is working to expand and improve services offered to older youth in foster care and preparing to age out of care. One tool they are using is Community Based Transition Centers. The Transition Centers are one-stop centers that offer access to affordable housing, livable wage jobs, educational advancement, and numerous other services that target young adults as they transition out of foster care. These centers are community collaborations stemming from government, public, and private partnerships. They are designed to further strengthen the system of services and supports for transitioning youth, helping them achieve self-sufficiency.

This audio conference, on October 12, featured representatives from three Texas Transition Centers. Terri Hipps of the Baptist Child and Family Services PAL Youth Center in San Antonio spoke about how the collaborations that occur between all of the centers allows for more continuity in working with youth even if they have to move between regions. Pam Walker, in Houston, discussed the unique partnerships between the US Department of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services and Education at the Houston Alumni and Youth (HAY) Center made possible by a grant from the DOL. Lastly, Jennifer Grant from the Transition Resource Action Center (TRAC) in Dallas explained their multi-tiered Housing Program that starts with short-term intake housing, progresses to longer-term apartment sharing with other youth, and ends with youth securing their own apartment with the help of the program. All of the speakers spoke to the importance of providing services to the youth at one place because of transportation problems and helping youth understand the types of resources that are available to them before and after they leave foster care. This audio conference will be availbale in mp3 format within a month and will be located in the

The next installment of the Leadership to End Homelessness Audio Conference Series, “Housing is Health Care,” will be held on November 9 at 3 pm EST. The Leadership to End Homelessness Audio Conference Series is sponsored by the Sara Lee Foundation.

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

Henry Cisneros
Take a five minute break from whatever you are doing to hear about emerging issues, new research, and personal stories from experts and leaders in homelessness and housing policy. Today's expert is Henry Cisneros, Chairman of CityView and National Alliance to End Homelessness Board Member.

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