Quarterly Report: Congressional Funding Updates

National Alliance to End Homelessness - Advocacy Update
July 2, 2014

Quarterly Report: Announcements and Recap 
This Quarterly Report includes a preview of key upcoming activities for advocates through September, as well as a review of major developments from the last quarter. Specifically, this issue reviews:
  • McKinney-Vento Funding Update;
  • Veterans Funding Update;        
  • Policy Update Webinar;  
  • Capitol Hill Day 2014;  and
  • Opening Doors Comment Period.  

McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants Funding Update
Congress is continuing its work on fiscal year (FY) 2015 funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants. To recap activity to date, the Administration has proposed a funding level of $2.406 billion for McKinney in FY 2015, a fantastic $300 million increase over the FY 2014 funding level. This funding level would get us a long way toward ending chronic homelessness by the end of 2016 by providing dedicated funding for new permanent supportive housing projects.

The full House, which voted on HUD funding legislation in early June, proposed to flat fund the program for FY 2015, providing only $2.105 billion for McKinney. This funding level would not be enough to fund all Continuum of Care renewals and would result in cuts to programs and difficult tiering and prioritization decisions to be made when communities complete the NOFA. The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to provide a $40 million increase to the program. By Alliance estimates, this would possibly be enough to cover all renewals, but would provide NO funding for new projects.

Both the House and Senate's proposed funding levels are unacceptably low, and as such, the Alliance is committed to urging Members of Congress to provide the funding level proposed by the Administration. We know that securing the Administration's proposed $2.406 billion will be an uphill battle; however, when the funding process moves forward again we believe the Administration will place a renewed emphasis on securing the highest funding possible to ensure that we are able to serve as many people experiencing homelessness as possible. The Administration recently released its FY 2015 funding priorities, and McKinney is listed as one of the top programs on which they will focus. 

In addition to hearing about the importance of this program from the Administration, Members of Congress need to hear from YOU! These next few months will require a steady stream of advocacy to ensure we will not have to cut our programs. For the first time in many years, we may even have the opportunity to expand! We can no longer allow Congress to use the excuse of a difficult funding environment - we must work to move these programs forward and reach our goal of ending chronic homelessness by the end of 2016!

Veterans Homeless Assistance Programs Funding Update   
Congress has made similar progress with funding for the homeless assistance programs within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In its Budget Proposal released in February, the Administration proposed funding the VA homeless assistance programs at $1.6 billion - a $200 million increase over the FY 2015 funding level, with the additional funds targeted toward an increase in the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. This increase would help us reach our goal of ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015.  

Unfortunately, the full House voted in late April to flat fund the programs at $1.4 billion, providing NO additional funding to address homelessness among veterans. Fortunately, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted in late May to provide $1.64 billion for VA homeless assistance programs - $41 million more than the amount requested by the Administration! The Senate's funding level would include the proposed $200 million increase for SSVF and additional funding for the Grant and Per Diem program and HUD-VASH case management.

The funding levels included in the version that passed through the Senate Appropriations Committee would help us achieve our goal of ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. It is imperative that we work with our Representatives in the House to ensure that this additional funding is secured when Congress works to finalize the appropriations process. Good things are happening across the country as part of our efforts to end veteran homelessness, and we need to make sure our Members are aware of this! Take this opportunity to thank your Senators for providing the additional funding, and to work with your Representatives to secure it!

Policy and Advocacy Update Webinar  
In preparation for the 2014 Capitol Hill Day, in conjunction with the National Conference on Ending Homelessness, the Alliance's policy team is hosting a webinar on the policy priorities driving the Capitol Hill Day agenda. Staff will review these policy priorities and provide the latest legislative and political updates to ensure that Capitol Hill Day participants and other interested advocates have the newest information prior to their Hill visits. While targeted toward State Captains and those participating in Capitol Hill Day, this webinar will offer an opportunity for anyone who is interested to learn more about where things stand in the federal budget process for key homelessness and affordable housing programs. Join us on July 22 at 2:00 pm ET for the webinar. To register for the webinar, click here.  

Capitol Hill Day 2014

As the National Conference on Ending Homelessness approaches, the Alliance is preparing attendees from around the country for Capitol Hill Day, taking place on July 31. Capitol Hill Day is a day-long advocacy effort during which participants meet with their respective Members of Conference to discuss the state of homelessness in their state or district and urge them to take specific action with regards to homelessness programs.  

Capitol Hill Day is an excellent opportunity to interact with your Representatives and Senators, participate in the political process, and make your voice heard! Last year's Capitol Hill Day saw over 400 advocates attend 300 meetings which resulted in more funding for homeless programs. Members of Congress work for the interests of their constituents and, therefore, have personal and professional stake in your concerns. The Alliance expects this year's Capitol Hill Day to be one of the most effective yet and hopes that anyone who is passionate about ending homelessness in America will join us in our effort.

For more information about Capitol Hill Day 2014, please contact Grant Sims at gsims@naeh.org .  

Opening Doors Open Feedback Period
The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness is revising and updating Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness and they want to hear from YOU! They are looking for feedback from communities across the country about what we have learned in our efforts to address homelessness. Communities have until August 8, 2014 to leave their comments here

Policy Update Webinar

The Alliance works collaboratively with its local, state, and national partners to advance policies and programs that prevent and end homelessness.

Kate Seif 
Policy Outreach Coordinator 


Alliance Publishes 'Research Agenda to End Homelessness'

July 1, 2014    

ISSUES  |  POLICY  |  SOLUTIONS  |  NEWS & EVENTS Forward Editor: Emanuel Cavallaro

Spotlight On...
Alliance Publishes 'Research Agenda to End Homelessness'

The Alliance has published "A Research Agenda for Ending Homelessness," a resource intended to inform government agencies and funders about pressing unanswered research questions on homelessness and interventions designed to end homelessness. The agenda should help funders, both private and public, develop research that will help make policy and practice more effective. The Alliance's Homeless Research Institute (HRI) developed the agenda with the Alliance's Research Council, a group of leading academic and policy researchers.
The research agenda is divided into three categories:
  • The Scope and Demographics of Homelessness;
  • The Efficacy of Interventions; and
  • System Planning and Infrastructure.

Senate Banking Committee Approves HUD, FHFA Nominees
Last Wednesday, June 25, the Senate Banking Committee approved (16-6) and reported out the nominations of San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro for the position of secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Laura Wertheimer for the position of inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Both nominations now await the action of the full Senate.
Congressional Homelessness Caucus Holds Briefing on Violence against Homeless People
On Wednesday, June 25, the Congressional Homelessness Caucus and the office of Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) jointly sponsored a briefing on violence against people experiencing homelessness. The briefing was meant to raise awareness and build support for H.R. 1136, the Violence Against the Homeless Accountability Act of 2013. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) proposed the legislation, which would amend the Hate Crime Statistics Act to include crimes against the homeless in the crime data collected by the attorney general.
Congress Departs for Recess
The House departed for recess when session adjourned last Thursday, June 26, and the Senate departed yesterday, June 30 for the Fourth of July holiday. The Senate will resume session on Monday July 7, and the House will resume session on Tuesday, July 8.

Information Table Purchase Deadline
The deadline to purchase an information table is Thursday, July 10. To receive a purchase form, please email the Alliance's Conference Associate Jaime Colman.

Here's What We Hope the New HUD Secretary Will Do
By Steve Berg

Julián Castro, mayor of San Antonio, has been appointed to become the new HUD Secretary. In this post we provide a list of some of the ways we hope he will further the progress HUD has already made in reducing the number of people experiencing homelessness.
Attention Advocates: Here's Your Chance to Talk to Congress!
By Kate Seif Every July the Alliance holds Capitol Hill Day in conjunction with our National Conference on Ending Homelessness here in Washington, DC. In this post, we look at how conference attendees can take advantage of the event to meet with their member of congress or their staffers.
Attention Funders: Don't Miss the 2nd Annual Funders Institute this July
By Bevin Shagoury In this post, guest blogger Bevin Shagoury of Funders Together blogs about this year's first Funders Institute, which will take place in conjunction with the Alliance's national conference. The event is a chance for funders to learn from each other and make connections.

RE: [MARHMIS] Tracking meals - HMIS, or, other software?

Good morning. CACH just set up a program which sounds similar to the one you refer to.  We are early in the implementation so I have so real feedback for you except that Bowman confirmed that the Client Served report in ServicePoint can definitely be used to track this information. Alternately, they said you can create an ART report that will also track this information. I doubt we’ll do that.

Anyway, I can stay in touch w/ you about how this goes.  Good luck. - Deb

From: marhmis@googlegroups.com [mailto:marhmis@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Blechertas, Kelly A.
Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2014 10:26 AM
To: 'marhmis@googlegroups.com'
Subject: [MARHMIS] Tracking meals - HMIS, or, other software?

Hi everyone,

This might be slightly off-topic (or, maybe not!) but I have a faith-based organization looking for help finding a fast and efficient way to track the clients they serve meals to at their daily hot meal program. Some of these clients are in their housing programs, but some are not. We are looking at how it would work in ServicePoint, but I’d like to see if anyone else has a great recommendation for accomplishing this. This particular agency is severely understaffed and I have concerns that doing it in ServicePoint may end up being too time consuming.

Right now, they’re working off a spreadsheet of sorts. They aren’t looking for a lot of special details (we’d originally looked at scanners and cards, but that seems to be too costly for right now), but primarily would love to see a name, a picture, and the number of meals served to the individual – all in a quick enough format that someone could record it as the clients come in at mealtimes.

You can email me back privately at kablechertas@yorkcountypa.gov


Kelly Blechertas
GIS & Information Systems Administrator 
Human Services Office:
York County Human Services                     
100 West Market Street, Suite 401              
York, Pennsylvania 17401                          
P: (717) 771-9347                                       
F: (717) 771-4663

Planning Commission Office:
York County Planning Commission
28 East Market Street, 3rd Floor
York, Pennsylvania 17401
P: (717) 771-9870
F: (717) 771-9511                                   

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