Archive for May 21st, 2010

21st May
written by naehblog

We’re welcoming two new staff members at the Alliance this week: Kim Walker is our new Capacity Building Associate and Kate Seif is our new Assistant to the President. We’re excited to have their experience and enthusiasm in our office!

We had a visit this week from Sarah, John and James, three intrepid college students from North Carolina who are biking across the country to research Housing First initiatives and raise money for housing in their own community. We’ll be following them on their blog – and you should too.

We’re still waiting on the Federal Plan to End Homelessness, but in the meantime, check out the Homeless Law blog’s post “Five Reasons I’m Looking Forward to the Federal Plan.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities sets the record straight about the Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Contingency Fund, in response to claims on the YouCut website. (Pssst: The Emergency Contingency Fund is part of HR 4123, which is being discussed in the House today. if you haven’t called your Members of Congress about HR4123, do it now!)

We’ve mentioned Street Roots’ photo project, where they asked their vendors what matters most and this week, they posted this cool word cloud. What jumps out at you?

Love this editorial in the Salt Lake Tribune about how to end homelessness. They’re speaking our language:

How do you eliminate chronic homelessness? The problem seems so complex that the obvious solution is often overlooked. If you want to take people off the streets and put them on the road to a better life, you start by putting a permanent roof over their heads.

And then’s there our social media survey, part of our ongoing discussion about how to work together online to end homelessness. We want to hear from you!

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21st May
written by naehblog

Today, our Vice President of Programs and Policy Steve Berg went up to the Hill to attend a joint hearing including the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development. The joint hearing examined the nation’s progress in ending veterans homelessness.

Currently, there are about 131,000 veterans experiencing homelessness in the United States, representing about one-fifth of the entire homeless population on any given night. Veterans often experience homeless as a result of post-war distress, including emotional or physical trauma which can manifest in diseases, including substance abuse and addiction.

In our last Veterans Update, we presented the challenges to women veterans as a new emerging component of this issue. As women continue to make up a greater percentage of the armed forces, we take greater note of their particular vulnerability to and experience with homelessness. There is also a growing body of evidence that indicates that female veterans have a higher risk of homelessness as compared to their male counterparts – some speculate that this may have to do with a greater incidence of sever housing cost burden, lower incomes, higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, among others contributors.

In recent months, both Secretary Shinseki of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and President Obama have come out strongly with intentions to reduce and end veterans homelessness in the United States. Secretary Shinseki has publicly announced the VA’s intent to end veterans homelessness in five years; in his proposed fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget, President Obama includes a 50 percent increase in funding for veterans homelessness programs.

We at the Alliance are hoping that this surge in support – evidenced by the hearing, the budget, the announcements coming out of the VA – are an indication that there will be real political support to end homelessness among our nation’s veterans. We look forward to working with both Congressional leaders and the Administration to ensure that those who have offered themselves in the service of the country will never face homelessness. Because, as Secretary Shinseki says in his video address on the issue, “there’s still no reason why a single veteran is living on the streets of our country.”

Well said, Mr. Secretary.