Ending Homelessness is a Priority

Senate considers 2012 funding this week
House flat funded McKinney-Vento

Call Congress!The Senate is widely expected to release and vote on its version of the FY2012 Budget, possibly as soon as this week. They are finalizing the bill – so let’s use this opportunity to convince our senators how Critical it is to provide a significant increase in funding for HUD’s McKinney-Vento programs in FY 2012.

The final McKinney funding level will be a compromise based largely on the House’s bill (which does not have an increase) and the Senate’s bill. So, the stakes are high for us to get a substantial McKinney increase from the Senate.

Adequate funding of funding to end homelessness is a critical policy issue. According to Steve Berg in NAEH’s blog:


The talk in Washington now when it comes to spending is about making hard choices and prioritizing the federal government’s activities. Doing more to support ending homelessness has all the makings of a priority for policymakers. These key programs:

  1. Support people who need help – people who have been hit hardest by the bad economy;
  2. Promote interventions that work, bringing solutions to this problem;
  3. Encourage leadership that comes from the local level, with the federal government as a partner;
  4. Increase cost-effectiveness – no one should believe that leaving homeless people on the street will save taxpayers money; and
  5. Have a history of bipartisan support.


Increasing homelessness funding by $300 million would mean that over 200,000 Americans will be housed instead of homeless, filling in for homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing programs that are running out of money and funding cost-effective permanent supportive housing. Not doing that means that they will be homeless. That’s simple, and a priority. The cost is inconsequential compared to the entire federal budget, but lifesaving and immeasurable for the people on the street.

What can I do to help?

  1. Call Senator Frank Lautenberg at 202-224-3224 and Senator Robert Menendez at 202-224-4744. Ask to speak to the people who handle housing issues.
  2. Explain how critical HUD’s McKinney-Vento programs are for your community. Click here for sample talking points as a guide.
  3. Ask if their bosses will express their support for providing a significant increase in funding for HUD’s McKinney-Vento programs to their colleagues on the HUD Appropriations Subcommittee.

Send us an email to update us on their feedback or if you need help!