Sending Office: Honorable Alcee L. Hastings
Sent By:
Tony.Matthews@mail.house.gov

LAST CALL: Deadline:  Tuesday, March 13, 2018, COB

**This is a programmatic request that will require two separate submissions to
the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development**

 

Dear Colleague,

Please join us in requesting that the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee include language that prioritizes ending homelessness among families and expanding access to critical services for homeless
Americans in its Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations Bill Report.

Since Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness was launched, homelessness among certain populations of Americans has been significantly reduced. While this accomplishment should be celebrated, the fact remains that far
too many of our citizens remain homeless. According to the most recent data, nearly half of those without permanent shelter are families.

Local communities are best able to determine the housing and service needs of the different homeless populations in their communities. Because of this, we must ensure that HUD works with local communities to make strategic decisions based on local assessments
of need. Additionally, we must ensure that proven services and approaches to combating homelessness are available across all federal, state, and local levels. By prioritizing the expansion of these services where needed, we can better equip communities to
effectively get homeless Americans off the streets and into shelter.

We therefore ask you to join us in sending the below letter encouraging the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee to include report language to better equip local communities to respond to the needs
of their homeless populations. If you have questions or would like to sign onto the letter, please contact Tony Matthews in Rep. Hastings’ office (5-1313), Tony.Matthews@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

Alcee L. Hastings                                                                   Eddie Bernice Johnson

Member of Congress                                                               Member of Congress

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Dear Chairman Diaz-Balart and Ranking Member Price:

As you begin work on the Fiscal Year 2019 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Bill, we ask that you include report language highlighting the need to fairly balance priorities as our nation works to end homelessness.

Since Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness
was launched, homelessness among certain populations of Americans has been significantly reduced. The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), the umbrella organization charged with advancing Federal collaboration and coordination among
a number of Federal agencies, has had success in getting the chronically homeless and homeless veterans off the streets, as well as assisting those on the verge of losing their homes.

According to the most recent data available, nearly half of those currently living without permanent shelter are families. As we continue the important work of sheltering veterans, the chronically homeless, and assisting those with mental health
or substance abuse illnesses, it is critical that we do not lose sight of the sizable number of American families also coping with homelessness, and empower local communities to address the needs of their homeless populations. Therefore, we request the Committee
include the following language in its Fiscal Year 2019 report:

The Committee recognizes that local communities are best able to determine the housing and service needs of different local homeless populations, including youth, families, veterans, persons with disabilities, and others, and
may wish to do more to address the needs of these populations. Therefore, the Committee encourages HUD to consider communities’ pressing local priorities and assessments of need, balanced with the importance of moving forward on the nationwide plan to end
homelessness anticipated in the HEARTH Act.

            In addition, we recognize the importance of utilizing Trauma-Informed Care and other services in assisting the homeless population. Trauma-Informed Care specifically – a treatment framework that involves understanding, recognizing, and responding
to the effects of trauma while providing housing services – has proven to be a valuable approach for combating homelessness. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, between 55 percent and 99 percent of women
in substance use treatment, as well as 85 percent to 95 percent of women in the public mental health system, report a history of trauma. In many communities, approaching homelessness services through this lens has had significant beneficial impacts. Therefore,
we also request the Committee include the following language in its Fiscal Year 2019 report:

The Committee recognizes the value of trauma-informed care and housing services and supports expanding the availability of these services to families, families with children, and individuals that are currently or on the verge
of being homeless. Therefore, the Committee directs the Interagency Council on Homelessness to report to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations within 180 days of enactment on what steps can be taken to improve access to services across all federal,
state, and local homeless services, outreach, and prevention programs.

            We deeply appreciate your past support for homelessness services and respectfully encourage you to ensure that the above language is included in the Subcommittee’s Report.

 

Sincerely,

 

Alcee L. Hastings                                                            Eddie Bernice Johnson

Member of Congress                                                       Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues
Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Civil Rights, Education
icon eDC logo e-Dear Colleague version 2.0