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17th December
written by Catherine An

It’s a mixed bag, today, guys. And I just found out – not half an hour ago.

The good news: The VA has announced that funds are available for prevention and rapid re-housing for homeless veterans. This is the first Notice of Fund Availability (NOFA) for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program.

Now, you know as well as I do that the VA has been working hard this year (and last) to end veterans homelessness. Secretary Shinseki told us all about it at our Annual Conference in July, he issued a great video about it online, and made a public commitment to end veterans homelessness in five years. This move – preventing veteran homeless and utilizing rapid re-housing strategies – is a step in the right direction. You can check out the official language in the Federal Register.

The not-so-good news: The Senate omnibus appropriations bill fell apart. This legislation, which would’ve funded the federal government for FY 2011 and allocated appropriate resources to homeless assistance programs, was gaining traction only yesterday but later in the evening – dead in the water. Instead, Congress will pass a short-term continuing resolution until they can reach a decision about appropriations (likely early next year). For more information, check out our Advocacy Alerts.

The informative: Los Angeles is back in the news about their plan to end chronic and veteran homelessness. Their ambitious plan embraces some of the best practices known to curb and end homelessness and we wish them the best of luck as they move forward to implement the plan.

Steve Berg, our VP of Programs and Policy, explains the federal homeless assistance programsto theAtlanta Journal Constitution’s PolitiFact column. A Republican legislator noted that redundancy in homeless assistance programs, to which Steve countered that there’s a reason why each program exists. That and, considering homelessness still exists all across the country (just as LA), there’s clearly need for a little redundancy in these programs. Trust me, it’s more complicated than it seems.

In Seattle, Judy Lightfoot at CrossCut wrote a long-form article on the state of homelessness in King County, WA. Read it to find out more about King County’s strategies – and what Nan thinks about their progress.

Happy Friday and be well!

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