Dear Colleague Sign-On Letters: NEW DEADLINES!

National Alliance to End Homelessness - Advocacy Update
March 18, 2015

House and Senate Sign-On Letters Circulate: NEW DEADLINES!
As a reminder, THIS week we are holding our Letter Writing Campaign! We need advocates to email letters to their Members of Congress asking them to sign on to one of two Dear Colleague letters circulating.

Last week, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Senator Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), and Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), began asking their colleagues in the House and Senate to join "Dear Colleague" Member sign-on letters in support of HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants.The House letter calls for strongly supporting McKinney and the Senate letter calls for providing $2.480 billion for McKinney in (FY) 2016 - the same amount requested by the President in his Budget Proposal. The Senate letter also calls for providing $21.1 billion for Section 8 Tenant-Based Rental Assistance in FY 2016.  

Please note the NEW deadline for the House letter is TOMORROW Thursday, March 19 and the NEW deadline for the Senate letter is Friday, March 20. We need to get as many representatives' and senators' signatures as possible on these letters, and we need YOUR help!
What You Can Do:

To see if your representative or senator has already joined the letter, click here for the House letter and here for the Senate letter (these lists will be updated regularly). You can also see if your Members joined similar letters last spring for FY 2015 funding by clicking here for the Senate and here for the House.  
  1. As part of out Letter Writing Campaign, send a letter to your Members AS SOON AS POSSIBLE and ask them to join the Dear Colleague letters.  
  2. Urge them to have their boss join the Merkley/Gillibrand and Moore letters by March 19 (for the House) and March 20 (for the Senate).  
    1. They can join the House letter by March 19 by contacting Sean Gard in Rep. Moore's office at
    2. They can join the Senate letter by March 20 by contacting Elizabeth Eichelberg in Sen. Merkley's office at
    3. If you don't have time to send a letter by today for Representatives and tomorrow for Senators, call your Members' offices to let them know that you would like them to sign on to the appropriate Dear Colleague letter.
  3. If they say they cannot join the letter, ask if they will submit a "programmatic request" in support of providing $2.480 billion for HUD's McKinney-Vento program and $21.1 billion to Section 8 in FY 2016.
  4. Spread the word about the campaign by sending an action alert to your network! Urge them to write or call their Members!
  5. Let us know which office(s) you contacted by contacting Jaime Colman at or Julie Klein at 

More Information:
The Dear Colleague sign-on letters are an easy way for Members of Congress to express their support for HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants and Section 8 Tenant-Based Rental Assistance programs to their colleagues on the Appropriations Committees. We need to make sure we match last year's efforts to ensure that Appropriators know that providing sufficient funding for the Homeless Assistance Grants and Section 8 Tenant-Based Rental Assistance programs remains a top priority for many Members. In an increasingly tight budget environment, we must ensure these letters have significant support.  

We have a goal of sending 500 letters to congressional offices, and we have a LONG way to go to get there. Please take the chance to contact your Members TODAY and urge them to sign on!

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

Jaime Colman
Policy Outreach Associate

Julie Klein
Policy Outreach Associate