Last Friday, the Alliance gathered together to review the impact of our work in 2011. Our conversations about the year [not surprisingly] included discussions about the economy, increased poverty, and budget cuts. And yet, despite these challenges in 2011, progress was still made. I would like to take a moment to share with you – our partners, our supporters and fellow advocates – what we felt were our most impactful achievements.
HEARTH Clinics. To help communities prepare for the changes in the HEARTH Act, the Center for Capacity Building developed the HEARTH Implementation Clinic. These clinics bring together key leaders and stakeholders to assess community performance on key HEARTH performance measures, create an action plan to implement cost-effective strategies to help reduce homelessness and better meet the goals of the HEARTH Act. In 2011, the Alliance conducted 15 HEARTH Clinics in communities such as Alameda County, CA; Houston, TX; and Lancaster, PA.
Timely and Responsive Research Documents. The Homelessness Research Institute responded to need for relevant data and research analyzing the current economic climate’s effects on homelessness through documents such as State of Homelessness in America, the Economy Bytes Series and Increases in Homelessness on the Horizon.
Increased funding in FY2011. Despite budget pressures, federal homelessness funding was not reduced for Fiscal Year 2011. Due to the hard work of the Alliance and our field of grassroots advocates who educated Congress about the need for and the effectiveness of homeless assistance programs, funding for HUD homeless assistance was increased by $40 million — making it one of only two HUD program that will be able to serve more people this year.
But the work isn’t over. There is much more to be done to end homelessness in America.
In 2012, the Alliance policy team will focus on demonstrating the effects of budget cuts on programs that serve vulnerable individuals and stressing the importance of homeless assistance programs to our most economically vulnerable friends and neighbors. Our capacity building team will continue their on-the-ground work helping local communities assess and improve their prevention and rapid re-housing strategies and our research and education team will stay at the forefront of print and social media discussions making the case for housing solutions by presenting evidence-based research and data.
But we can’t do it alone – we need your support. With your help, and working together, we can our important work of ending homelessness in the United States. Working together, we can make an impact in the lives of people in need.
Donate today to support these important efforts.