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National Alliance to End Homelessness

Newsletters | September 26, 2006

September 26, 2006    

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

Los Angeles Section 8 to Expand

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“Every night in Los Angeles, there are 45,000 people sleeping on the streets. One-fourth of those are women with children who have no place to go because the shelters are full. This is a way to give them a chance.”-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

On September 18, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a $29 million expansion of LA’s Section 8 rental-subsidy program, which would house an additional 2,000 homeless people. Villaraigosa said the newly expanded Section 8 program is designed to move the homeless people in Skid Row to apartments throughout the city. Villaraigosa also announced the creation of the Skid Row Families Demonstration Project. It is a city-county partnership that plans to move 500 homeless families out of Skid Row and into housing. The city will contribute $18 million dollars to this project and the country will contribute $6 million.



Congresswoman Deborah Pryce (R-OH) is circulating a sign-on letter to leaders of the House Appropriations Committee urging support for $10.56 million in funding for services in supportive housing. The funding is included in a Senate version of a bill to fund the Department of Health and Human Services, and could be enacted later this year if there is enough support from House and Senate leaders.

HMIS: Moving Forward

Implementation of Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS) is moving forward. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), nearly 75 percent of Continuums of Care (CoCs) have HMIS. Last week, hundreds of representatives from CoCs attended the annual HMIS conference held in Denver, Colorado. Mark Johnston, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs, Community Planning, and Development at HUD opened the conference by discussing the importance of HMIS data for planning and using data to report progress to Congress. Assistant Secretary Johnston called for full HMIS participation among CoCs. HUD will also be requiring more participation in the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR).

Dr. Latanya Sweeney, an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University spoke about the intersection between technology and privacy, highlighting new technologies to protect client data. Dr. Dennis Culhane of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Jill Khadduri of Abt Associates, and Paul Dornan of HUD gave preliminary findings from the first AHAR, which is not yet released, but will be delivered to Congress soon. The conference featured numerous
workshops on implementing HMIS. Conference presentations and an HMIS fact sheet are available on the website. The conference concluded with an award ceremony that recognized the efforts of CoCs across the country.

Does Education Promote Social Mobility?

On September 19, The Brookings Institute released the latest Future of Children journal entitled “Opportunity in America.” This volume examined the relationship between education ad social mobility. The “American Dream” is that anyone can rise to the top social class if they educate themselves and work hard, but is this really true? According to this volume, education in America actually perpetuates existing inequalities rather than compensating for them.

Starting in pre-school, children in poverty and the middle income have limited access to effective education. In fact, by the time children reach kindergarten, only about 43 percent of children in households in the lowest 20 percent of family income are considered to be cognitively ready. Even past pre-school, however, inequalities still exist. Throughout elementary school and high school, children from wealthier families experience advantages, including better school quality and a significantly larger amount of money spent by their parents on their education outside of school. Additionally, low-income students find it more difficult to graduate from college, especially within four years.

Fannie Mae Foundation Housing Conference

On September 20, 2006, the Fannie Mae Foundation hosted its Annual Housing Conference at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC. The conference, “Doing Well by Doing Good: Expanding Housing Opportunities, Serving Very Low-Income Families,” brought together housing leaders from across the country from the for-profit, nonprofit, and public sectors. In the two morning sessions, several panelists—consisting of researchers, public officials, academics, developers, and advocates—discussed the housing challenges facing low-income families and explored the policies and programs necessary to overcome those challenges. During lunch, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino gave an overview of Boston’s strategies and success in providing affordable housing. In the third and final session, structured as a town hall meeting, all the panelists from the morning sessions engaged in a conversation with conference participants.

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

Approximately 41 percent of completed ten year plans outlined strategies to end family homelessness.

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