Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and as we look forward to spending time with our families and loved ones, it is time for showing gratitude and giving thanks. It has been a busy year for the Alliance. Yesterday, I spent a little time speaking with some of our staff in an effort to get an idea of where the Alliance stands as we enter the holiday season. It turns out that the Alliance has a lot to be thankful for.
Lisa Stand, senior policy analyst, is thankful for the strong presence she saw at the Alliance’s Medicaid preconference in July, where attendees were energized by the recent Supreme Court Decision on the Affordable Care Act. As she works with advocates on state strategies to integrate supportive housing and health care, she’s continually heartened by how savvy and engaged they are.
André Wade, policy and program analyst, is thankful for the strong lead by the administration on youth homelessness, including USICH’s recent amendment to Opening Doors, which is focused on ending homelessness for youth by 2020. He is also thankful for new focus by HUD on the 18 to 25 transition age range for the January Point-In-Time Counts.
D’Arcy Klingle, director of meetings and events, is thankful for the 1,500 advocates, practitioners and officials who traveled from all over the country to Washington, DC, to trade best practices and learn about the most promising innovations going in the homeless assistance field today at the Alliance’s 2012 National Conference.
Ian Lisman, program and policy analyst, is thankful for the continued bipartisan support in congress for ending veteran homelessness. The VA has set the goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015, and since 2010, we have reduced the number of veterans experiencing homelessness by 20 percent.
Kate Seif, policy outreach coordinator, is thankful for all the heard-working advocates we collaborate with year-round. These advocates are doing such a tremendous job educating congress on the issue of homelessness, and that’s having a noticeable impact on policymaking and federal funding levels.
Jennifer Olney, development and administrative associate, is thankful for our generous donors and sponsors who have shown continued support for the Alliance and its mission of ending homelessness.
Norm Suchar, director for the Alliance’s center for capacity building, is thankful for all the community leaders in the Alliance’s capacity-building network. They’re bringing their time and expertise to the field of homeless assistance and fighting homelessness at the local level.
We hope you all have the opportunity to spend time with your families this Thanksgiving, and we urge you to keep in your hearts and thoughts the plight of the most vulnerable of us, who may be spending their holidays, either alone or with their families, in a shelter or on the street. As we give thanks, it is important to remember that some of us may have more to be thankful for than others.