Thank you! To all who attended, presented, exhibited, and sponsored the 2017 NCHV Annual Conference - Yes in My Back Yard: Putting Veterans First, we were so happy to see all of you and to engage with you at this year's event.
Without your support and dedication to our shared mission and your drive for improvement, these events would not be the success that they are. We will be posting all presentation materials on the Annual Conference page of our website, as well as other products and initiatives in the near future. Photos from the event have been posted to our Facebook page (follow us on Facebook and Twitter).
Stay tuned for the latest updates, and thank you again for helping to make this year's Annual Conference a great success!
Hill Watch: FY 2018 Presidential Budget Released
Flat funding for veteran homelessness programs; proposed cuts to safety net programs
Before we get to the content of the Hill Watch, NCHV would like to thank all of you who attended the Annual Conference and in particular the Public Policy Session. We hope you left the session energized and informed, and ready to hit the Hill. For those of you who signed up as inaugural members of Operation Main Street, check your inboxes over the next few weeks for the first installment of that program! If you weren’t able to make the Conference, don’t worry; you’ll also be seeing more of our new policy initiative in the coming weeks! Now for this month’s Hill Watch:
In May, the White House released the Fiscal Year 2018 President’s Budget, which proposes funding levels for discretionary programs as well as mandatory funding. This document is an expansion of the President’s “Skinny” Budget, released several months ago at the beginning of President Trump’s term. The numbers and policies described below are currently only suggestions made by the White House; each house of Congress will make their own suggestions, and reach agreement among themselves.
All of the federal programs which we consider to be pillar programs for preventing and ending veteran homelessness were all proposed for flat funding, or in one case a slight increase in funding. These programs include the Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program (HVRP), the Grant and Per Diem (GPD) program, the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program, and the Housing and Urban Development – Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program. Specifically, the requested numbers are:
GPD: $257 million, the same amount they received this fiscal year,
SSVF: $320 million, also the same amount they received this fiscal year, but $80 million less than NCHV believes the program needs to reauthorize the expiring 2015 surge grants,
HVRP: $45 million, matching the amount it received this fiscal year,
HUD-VASH case management: $543 million, an increase of $47 million over this year’s numbers. This increase provides case management funding for the additional vouchers appropriated in fiscal year 2017, and
No additional HUD-VASH vouchers funded by the HUD Department were requested, though all current HUD-VASH vouchers, including Tribal HUD-VASH vouchers will remain in circulation.
Just recently the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee released their first draft of the MilCon/VA FY 2018 bill; it matches the President’s requested funding levels at VA. NCHV remains committed to expanding and protecting these important programs so that we continue to make progress on ending veteran homelessness across the country.
NCHV supports the increased case management funding for the HUD-VASH program, and the robust funding of the GPD program. However, NCHV does not support the flat funding of HVRP, the underfunding of the SSVF program, or the lack of new HUD-VASH vouchers. NCHV calls on Congress to build upon the good aspects of this proposal and continue to invest in the veterans who make America great.
In addition to the pillar programs above, the President’s Budget also called for the elimination of programs like the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME). NCHV firmly opposes any such cut that would hamper the creation or rehabilitation of affordable housing. Affordable housing is absolutely critical to ending any type of homelessness. The President’s Budget also called for the passage of the House of Representative’s American Health Care Act, which NCHV expressed concerns about here.
Also worth highlighting are proposed changes to entitlement programs including Medicaid, SNAP, and SSDI. The proposed changes to these programs include limitation of eligibility, reductions in spending and delegation of authority to the States, return to work initiatives and work requirements. The vague descriptions of some of these proposals, and the variety of responses States could have to these policies, make direct prediction of effects difficult. Short term results are clear, however. If enacted, these policies would lead to near term gaps in funding for critical programs upon which many veterans rely. SNAP alone serves roughly 1.7 million veteran families a year, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Even in programs that escape funding shortages, the proposed tightening of eligibility and introduction of work requirements may make it more difficult or impossible for homeless or at-risk veterans to access these critical programs.
NCHV will continue to keep you updated as the negotiations over funding and these entitlement programs progresses.
Celebrate the Fourth by Helping Veterans Regain Independence
NCHV social media campaign for July 4
Next week, the nation celebrates its independence. NCHV will be launching a social media campaign to raise awareness and funds for the work we do to end veteran homelessness. Check out our Facebook and Twitterpages in the coming days for more!
Focusing on the Truths in Our Work to End Veteran Homelessness
Remarks from Matthew Doherty, USICH Executive Director, at the NCHV Veterans Access to Housing Summit
Quiz: Communities that Have Ended Veteran Homelessness
For those of you still operating in a different time zone, thought I’d kick the morning off with a bit of a quiz. The quiz is about how many communities have been confirmed as having effectively ended veteran homelessness. How many people think it is about 10 communities? How many think it is about 20 communities? How about 40? It’s actually more than 50 communities now, plus the entire states of Virginia, Connecticut, and Delaware. Not all of those communities have publicly announced their achievements yet, so it was a bit of a trick question. As importantly, there are now communities in 27 different states that have effectively ended veteran homelessness. How many of you come from communities that are on the list?
Things that I Know Are True About the Work Ahead
As I was preparing for today, I was realizing that we’re coming together at a time of uncertainty – and that things have felt uncertain for quite a while. For me, I find it helpful during times of uncertainty to focus on things that I know are true about the work we are doing together. Because even in uncertain times, there are things that don’t change, that remain true.
Key players from San Diego’s Homeless Court Program will provide participants with a review of the history and the development of homeless court at Stand Down, answer questions from observers, and discuss what resources are needed to replicate the program in their communities. Participants will also tour the full Stand Down program which features Child Support Court, civil legal aid services, and dozens of non-legal services.
REGISTRATION: No registration fees. This training event is free, but participants must pre-register. Registration will be limited to the first 15 registrants. All registrations must be made in advance.
The deadline for registrations is July 5, 2017. Registration will be limited to the first 15 registrants, so please register as early as possible.
Participants are required to provide their own travel and hotel arrangements. Participants will not be reimbursed for travel.
For more information and to download the registration form, click here.
HOTEL INFORMATION: Hotel rooms have not been secured. Stand Down is held at San Diego High School’s athletic field located on the southeast corner of Park Boulevard and Interstate 5. The nearest hotels are located in downtown San Diego and Balboa Park.
The Denver Foundation has designed a new Community Grants in Basic Human Needs that will focus on improving the lives of those experiencing hunger, homelessness, domestic violence, and lack of access to basic medical care. The Denver Foundation awards grants in the seven-county Metro Denver only. For application information, click here.
The Oak Foundation's Housing and Homelessness Program focuses on preventing homelessness by funding sustainable solutions that improve the economic and social wellbeing of marginalized youth, adults and families. The Foundation has three priorities: promoting economic self-sufficiency; increasing the availability and supply of affordable housing; and preventing homelessness. The Oak Foundation will fund homeless programs in the Boston, New York, and Philadelphia areas. For the application procedure, click here.
This eNewsletter is funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.
For the latest news, resources and grant information, visit our website at www.nchv.org.
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
1730 M Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
202-546-1969 or toll-free 1-800-VET-HELP