Archive for January 27th, 2010

27th January
written by naehblog

The Alliance is mobilizing to put pressure on Congress to provide $2.4 billion for McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants in FY 2011. Due to changes in the HEARTH Act, it is CRITICAL that the McKinney program receives a large boost in funding this year.

Without a funding level of at least $2.4 billion—a 28 percent increase over last year’s level—there will be little to no funding provided to your community for new projects in fiscal year (FY) 2011. Yesterday’s webinar explains why more funding is so important.

Get involved! Enter the Alliance’s Letter Writing Contest: organize your friends and colleagues to write letters to Congress asking for a $2.4 billion dollar increase for the McKinney-Vento program The person who gathers the most letters will be invited to DC for a special Capitol Hill Day event! The contest runs Feb. 1 through Feb. 22.

To get on board, please email Director of Field Mobilization Sarah Kahn at On Monday, Feb 1, you will receive and email with a sample letter and action alert. You’ll also receive regular updates with information about upcoming advocacy opportunities.

Your advocacy efforts allow us to make progress on federal policy, and we are grateful for your partnership in this critical campaign.

Visit the McKinney Appropriations Campaign Webpage for campaign materials.

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27th January
written by naehblog

The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing program is making good news throughout the U.S. We’re keeping track of the media coverage on this interactive map, and we’re also highlighting some of the common themes we’ve seen in the implementation of the program. (Hat tip to fellow intern Grace Stubee for her help with this post!)

Many groups have used funding from HPRP to create a one-stop shop, or centralized point of access, for services to people experiencing homelessness. One example comes from Cowlitz County, WA, where the center is the office of Lower Columbia Community Action Program. Making services easily accessible is particularly important because many people seeking assistance through HPRP don’t know how to navigate the social services system, because they have never needed government assistance before.

Elsewhere, the one-stop shop isn’t a physical space, but folks can connect with numerous services through an HPRP hotline, which Allegheny County and the city of Pittsburgh worked together to start up.

In Columbus, OH, it’s not just about having a central location, but also a common way of doing things: “For the community and for the homeless population, there will be one point of contact, with a common language, common process and a hot line,” said Dave Davis, director of programs and planning at the shelter board.

In Las Vegas, the federal money has encouraged more than 35 social service agencies to coordinate. The county designed a three-tier network of assistance, but as the program’s name – “No Wrong Door” – indicates, staff at any of the organizations in the network will attempt to connect clients with all the programs they are eligible for.

Essentially, the aim is to “prevent participants from having to run between agencies and potentially fall through the cracks,” said Eileen Leir, regional services director for Volunteers of America, Dakotas.

In Durango, CO, one single dad reaped the benefits of coordination and centralization by his city’s agencies. Through one case manager, he was able to access not only an apartment, but Medicaid and food stamps, programs he didn’t even know existed. He’s also enrolled his son in childcare, which will allow him to return to work as a mechanic.

His is a great example of how centralized, streamlined services move people from homelessness to self-sufficiency.

Speaking of media coverage, have you read’s feature on HPRP? Alliance President Nan Roman is featured: “People need the stability of a home.” she says.

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