Archive for December 14th, 2012
Attention readers! The Alliance’s blog has been updated. We are currently in the process of transitioning from a WordPress blog to an integrated blog on our website. The new blog has the same content, but now comes with more bells and whistles to make your experience more interactive. We also now have a favicon, the logo icon that appears when you bookmark our page in your Bookmarks Toolbar. (It’s the small touches that matter.) The new and permanent location for our blog on our website is here, so please update your bookmarks.
A few new things you will notice:
- You can now share the individual blog post via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and email. Please share broadly to your networks.
- With an easy right-hand sidebar link, subscribing to the blog has never been easier. Subscribe today and don’t miss out on daily posts.
- A Twitter feed is now included on the right-hand sidebar, so you can stay tuned to the most current Alliance Tweets, allowing you to reply, retweet, mark a tweet as your favorite, and tweet to us!
- When you search the Alliance Library, you will now find blog posts too, and you can still filter posts by specific categories.
- The blog is now fully integrated into our website, located under the News and Events tab, with the same look and feel.
- We have moved our blog-roll, which lists the blogs of our partners in the field, from the page footer to a more visible spot on the right-hand sidebar
- We are working out our archiving function, but you can currently navigate older blogs using the page numbers and arrows located on the bottom of the page.
Needless to say, we are still working out a few kinks that are typical with content migrations, some more noticeable than others. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be going back and fixing older blog posts, which now appear without some of the original spacing and paragraph breaks, and other minor issues we have noticed. We appreciate your patience as we tackle these fixes.
As always, you can count on the Alliance blog to feature the same authoritative content on the homeless assistance field, with guest posts from such important voices as the Director of the Office of HUD’s Special Needs Assistance Programs, Ann Oliva.
And we will continue to provide moving personal stories, commentary on the latest developments in homelessness, helpful advice for advocates and practitioners in the field, and important information about the Alliance’s own activities and events.
As we approach the fiscal cliff, there is a common misperception that, since Congress exempted all programs administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from sequestration in the Budget Control Act of 2011, programs that assist low-income and homeless veterans are safe from spending cuts. That’s not quite true.
Low-income and homeless veterans receive a lot of assistance from HUD funded programs as well as from VA, which means cuts to domestic discretionary spending under sequestration would have serious consequences for the most vulnerable of them. This budgetary impasse has the potential to undo our historic progress toward ending veteran homelessness (a 17.2 percent reduction since 2009).
On Thursday, December 6, the Alliance and its partners took this message to the senate, at a congressional hearing, “Discretionary Budget Cuts: Impact on Veterans,” which was hosted by the Homeless Veterans National Advocacy Working Group.
We were joined by Jonathan Harwitz, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Programs, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), who you can see in this video explaining how important the interagency collaboration between HUD and VA has been to reducing the number of homeless veterans, (down 7 percent from last year) and how cuts to discretionary domestic spending threaten their efforts.
Also on the panel was Michael DeHart, the Housing Coordinator for Community Connections, a HUD-funded assistance services provider that serves veterans. He spoke about the clients that his program serves, and elaborated on the real human cost of the spending cuts.
A client of Community Connections and a formerly homeless, Shauna Curley, bravely shared her moving story, and described how DeHart’s program helped her and her children get back on their feet.
Lastly, Doug Rice, a Senior Policy Analyst from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, spoke about the realities of the budgetary impasse, describing where the spending cuts will be made and explaining that a deal to avert sequestration might also to spending cuts that could hurt low-income and homeless veterans.