This morning, we made a big hullaballoo about the House Appropriations Committee’s decision to allocate $2.2 billion to McKinney-Vento programs. Departing from long-standing tradition, the House Appropriations Committee decided to increase funding levels to $2.2 billion – $145 million more than proposed by both the House T-HUD subcommittee and President Obama.
While the federal budget process could hardly be described as riveting, this particular action is truly unique. Rarely do the Appropriations Committees on either the Senate or House side depart from the recommendations of their subcommittees. And – of all the programs and initiatives and projects the Appropriations Committee considered (and there are a lot – members decided to give just the McKinney-Vento programs an extra monetary boost.
What does this mean? If nothing else, it means they’re paying attention – to YOU.
The Alliance has a small but mighty advocacy force – an elite group of superadvocates who work with our mobilization team to engage in year-long, ongoing, regular campaigns to inform, educate, and persuade federal lawmakers. It’s not glamorous – and it’s not always easy – but calls, emails, in-person visits, and persistence is what it takes to make changes like the one we saw today in the House Appropriations Committee.
And it’s not just action – it’s informed action. The Alliance arms our friends and colleagues with data-driven, evidence based information. From the policy we support, to the best practices we propose, to the statistics we present – we make sure that advocates have the facts when they meet with local, state, and federal leaders. Over time, this builds the reputation and credibility of our partners – establishing them as reliable and prudent actors in the homelessness and housing fields.
Moreover, our partners are willing to collaborate and compromise. Homelessness has long been a bipartisan issue with leaders on either side of the aisle – from Senator Kit Bond to Representative Maxine Waters. Ending homelessness is socially responsible, economically prudent, and improves the lives and livelihoods of all Americans. A thorough understanding of the issue from all angles – as well as an enthusiasm to make real progress – has moved this issue forward.
All this to say, we couldn’t do any of the work we do without the fervent support and relentless work of our advocates! Thank you so much for your letters, calls, energy and – most importantly – your commitment to ending homelessness.
For more information about our mobilization team or to get involved with ongoing Alliance advocacy efforts, please contact us.