Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee released a draft proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2011 appropriations, which includes funding for many homeless assistance programs.
- $2.2 billion for McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants ($145 million more than the House propsed and $335 million more than last year);
- $125.7 million for Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs ($10 million more than the House proposal and last year’s funding level);
- $85 million for 10,000 vouchers under the proposed new Housing and Services for Homeless Persons Demonstration;
- $75 million for 10,000 new HUD-VA Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers; and
- $159.4 million for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) programs targeted toward people experiencing homelessness ($17 million more than the House proposal and last year’s funding levels).
In short: this is great news for the homeless assistance programs we want to support!
The Senate is expected to vote on this package this week – possibly as soon as tomorrow, so we need your help!
What You Can Do:
- Call your senators TODAY. In case you can’t find it online, you can find congressional office phone numbers by calling the switchboard at 202-224-3121.
- Ask to speak to the person who works on housing and tell the housing staff person to urge his/her boss to support the funding levels for the homelessness assistance programs listed above.
- Email any responses to Kate Seif (or call: 202-942-8281).
You know the story: Congress is trying to figure out how to allocate federal dollars – it’s commonly known as “appropriations”. It’s a legislative battle every year – and we’ve asked for your help before. We’ve asked you to support McKinney-Vento funding, assistance to homeless veterans, extension of the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund, and lots of other really important programs.
And right now is exactly the time when we can make a difference. Congress must complete the appropriations process by Saturday, Dec. 18 – it’s when the government technically runs out of money.
So act fast! This is our moment. And, of course, thanks for all your help!