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Friday, November 14, 2014

Support to Increase Federal Budget to End Homelessness in FY15: Contact Your Members of Congress

as shared by Housing Action Illinois

During November and early December, housing and homeless advocates around the country are making one final push to increase funding for McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants in the final fiscal year 2015 federal budget.  Our request is a $301 million increase, to $2.406 billion, that would provide housing for 37,000 people experiencing chronically homelessness across the country. If the House or Senate’s proposed funding levels ($2.105 billion and $2.145 billion, respectively) become law, the best case scenario is no new funding and the worst case scenario is budget cuts.

A funding increase is especially important for creating new Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) projects funded through local Continuum of Care networks.  PSH combines affordable housing with support services to help people living with disabilities like serious mental illness live with stability.  Supportive housing has proven to be the most successful and cost-effective solution to ending homelessness for individuals and families at risk of cycling between homelessness, emergency and institutional systems without affordable permanent housing and support services. 

Funding increases also would provide more resources for expansion of homeless prevention and rapid rehousing programs through the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) for people experiencing temporary crises.  Homeless prevention programs keep people from becoming homeless in the first place through small cash grants and supportive services.  Rapid rehousing programs minimize the amount of time people are homeless, primarily by providing short-term rental subsidies, often times for just four to six months.  
A funding level of $2.406 billion would reflect continued strong bipartisan support for ending chronic homelessness.

Please join the effort by sending a message to your House member and both of Illinois' Senators, Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk.
Our Senators will be particularly important in the decision making process, as they both server on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee.

Housing Action Illinois
11 E. Adams #1601
Chicago, IL 60603

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