Sending Office: Honorable Alcee L. Hastings
Sent By:
Jacque.Hlavin@mail.house.gov

Prioritize Ending Family Homelessness and Expanding Access to Homeless Services

 

**This is a programmatic request that will require
two separate submissions to

the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development**

 

Click Here to Sign On

 

Deadline:  Thursday, March 28, 2019 COB

 

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 2020 Appropriations Bill Report.

Since the first Federal strategy to prevent and end homelessness was launched in 2010, 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 Jacque Hlavin in Rep. Hastings’ office at 5-1313,
Jacque.Hlavin@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,       

 

Alcee L. Hastings                                                                   Eddie Bernice Johnson

Member of Congress                                                              Member of Congress

 

 

March XX, 2019

 

 

The Honorable David Price

Chairman

Subcommittee on Transportation,

Housing, and Urban Development,

and Related Agencies

Committee on Appropriations

United States Congress

2108 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Mario Diaz-Balart

Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Transportation,

Housing, and Urban Development,

and Related Agencies

Committee on Appropriations

United States Congress

404 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

 

 

Dear Chairman Price and Ranking Member Diaz-Balart:

 

            As you begin work on the Fiscal Year 2020 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 the first Federal strategy to prevent and end homelessness was launched in 2010, 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 2020 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 the populations for which they identify the greatest local gaps. Therefore, the Committee strongly encourages HUD to honor communities pressing local priorities and assessments of need.

            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 2020 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, Family Issues, HealthCare

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