NJ’s Congressmembers Return to DC Next Week So Now is the Time
With the mid-term election behind us, Members of the 113th Congress will now be preparing for their returns to Washington, DC for the ‘lame duck’ session, during which there will be many unresolved issues for them to address. They are expected to return to session next Wednesday, November 12.
A key, looming item on their agenda will be to pass a final fiscal year (FY) 2015 omnibus funding bill, or another short- or long-term continuing resolution (CR), to fund the government past December 11, 2014, when our current CR will run out of funding.
A key priority is ensuring that the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants receive the Administration’s proposed $301 million increase to $2.406 billion. This funding level would allow us to end chronic homelessness by the end of 2016. Members of Congress will need to hear from YOU about how important these programs are in their states and districts. These upcoming weeks will likely be our last chance to advocate for increased funding to McKinney in FY 2015.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness has set the goal of sending at least 300 letters to Members of Congress, with a strong start on Wednesday, November 12. And we hope that you will join Monarch Housing in sending your own letters.
As part of this Letter Writing Campaign, please draft letters to ALL of NJ’s House Members of Congress as well as both of our Senators, and send them as soon as possible starting November 12! Direct them to the attention of the person who handles housing issues. Click here for a list of housing staffers in the DC offices of New Jersey’s Congressional delegation.
Encourage your colleagues to also use these House and Senate sample letters and ask them to send letters, too. You can also forward this action alert to your email networks and ask them to send letters to their Members of Congress.
And please let us know how many letters you send, and to whom! Email Kate Kelly.
What Would the $301 Million Increase Mean?
The Administration’s proposed $301 million increase to McKinney, to $2.406 billion, would fund 37,000 units of permanent supportive housing to house people experiencing chronic homelessness. In combination with efforts to reallocate existing resources, this would put us on track to meet the Administration’s goal of ending chronic homelessness by the end of 2016.
Not only will meeting this goal in time result in housing thousands of vulnerable Americans with disabilities, but it will also mean that we will be on track to shift our focus to other populations experiencing homelessness.
The need for this increase is great. NJ Counts 2014, which took place last year on January 28, 2014, found 13,900 homeless men, women and children across the state of New Jersey.
This was an overall increase of 1,898 persons, or 15.8%, compared to the 2013 count.
Email Congress today so we can end homelessness in NJ!