On November 14, 2017, advocates across the country will flood their Members of Congress with calls to make ending homelessness a priority in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget.

On November 14, 2017, advocates across the country will flood their Members of Congress with calls to make ending homelessness a priority in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget.

Call your Members of Congress on November 14, 2017!

  • Posted on: 9 November 2017

Together, We Can Send Congress a Powerful Message Ending Homelessness Today

The Official Blog of the National Alliance to End Homelessness
Together, We Can Send Congress a Powerful Message
Written by Steve Berg November 8, 2017

Last week, the Alliance(The National Alliance to End Homelessness) outlined our ambitious plan for the fall to grab the attention of Congress and send them a powerful message: we can end homelessness, but they need to make funding it a priority. We’ve already had a great response from you all, with hundreds of messages sent to Congress in the first days of this campaign.
Now it’s time to turn up the volume.

On Tuesday, November 14, the Alliance is holding a National Call-In Day. Together with advocates from across the country, our goal is simple: flood Congressional Offices with calls, and get out the message to make ending homelessness a priority as the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget is decided.
What are we asking Congress for?

The Alliance’s priority this fall is to secure increases to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants, which fund the Continuum of Care (CoC) and Emergency Solutions Grants. These programs represent the Federal Government’s primary crisis response to homelessness.

So far, the bills in the House and Senate aren’t funded sufficiently to keep up with increasing demand. This means more people in more communities will experience homelessness.

We’re asking Congress to provide a $217 million increase for McKinney-Vento Programs. This will help communities meet rising demand, and house 40,000 more people nationwide.
Why now?

Congress must pass a new budget by December 8, or face a potential shutdown. Congressional offices are making their decisions now about which programs will receive priority in any final budget agreement. We need to make it clear, today, that homeless assistance is a priority for communities across the country, and that federal funding is essential to the efforts of these highly-effective programs.
What can you do?

There is power in numbers, so we need as many people as possible to call on November 14. The Alliance has created an easy-to-use tool for you to reach your Members of Congress. We’ve also put together a simple guide about how to organize your community. Here is what we need from you, starting today:

Download our Social Media Guide(SEE Attachments) to get examples of how to reach out to your networks.
Email your networks and ask them to put a reminder on their calendar to call their Members of Congress on November 14.
Share the alert on Facebook.
Tweet the alert on Twitter.
Call your Members of Congress on November 14, here!

NAEH logo

National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH logo)
1518 K Street NW, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20005
T: 202.638.1526 | F: 202.638.4664

Social Media Guide
On November 14, 2017, advocates across the country will flood their Members of Congress with calls to make ending homelessness a priority in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget. We need you to rally your communities to help. Here’s what you can do:
1. Email your networks and ask them to put a reminder on their calendar to call their Members of Congress on November 14.
2. Share the alert on Facebook.
3. Tweet the alert on Twitter.
4. Call your Members of Congress on November 14, (Click here to identify your member of Congress and access a call-in script)!
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
On November 14, advocates from across the county are participating in a National Call-In day to bring attention to the national fight to end homelessness. Will you put a reminder on your calendars now to call your Members of Congress on November 14?
Why now? Congress is facing a December 8 deadline to pass a budget for the Fiscal Year 2018, or face a government shutdown. This means that Congress is making funding decisions right now that will affect homelessness assistance programs. This is our chance to make sure Congress knows that this funding is vital for our community!
I urge you to participate by calling your Members of Congress on November 14. Also, please share this message with your networks. If each of you got 10 of your friends, coworkers, and fellow advocates to call on November 14, think of the impact we can make.
Set your reminder now, and get ready to call your Member of Congress. Sincerely,
[Your Name]
Facebook Posts
We know what it takes to #endhomelessness. We need Congress to provide the important federal funding necessary to do it. Will you call your Member of Congress on November 14? http://ow.ly/WUK330gpVCr
Tag five people in this post and ask them to take action to #endhomelessness by calling their Members of Congress on November 14. This is our chance to let Congress know how important federal funding is to end homelessness in your community. http://ow.ly/WUK330gpVCr
On any given night more than 500,000 people are experiencing homelessness. Tell Congress that they can help decrease that number by providing the federal funding needed to end homelessness. Call on November 14. http://ow.ly/WUK330gpVCr
Congress can help #endhomelessness. Call them on Nov 14 and ask them to make it a priority. http://ow.ly/WUK330gpVCr
How can you help #endhomelessness? Start by calling Congress on Nov 14. http://ow.ly/WUK330gpVCr
I put a reminder on my calendar to call Congress on Nov 14 to ask for their help to #endhomelessness. Will you? http://ow.ly/WUK330gpVCr
Join the @naehomelessness National Call-In Day on Nov 14 to fight for funding to #endhomelessness. http://ow.ly/WUK330gpVCr


Honoring Homeless Person’s Memorial Day - December 21st!

Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living: Honoring Homeless Person’s Memorial Day - December 21st
Recently, there has been greater attention to overt acts of violence perpetrated through mass shootings, police brutality, and growing incidents of homicide. We are shocked by these blatant acts of violence, yet there is another – more pervasive – form of violence in our communities: poverty. Unfortunately, we have become so accustomed to deep and desperate poverty; it no longer inspires the same distress as the discrete acts of violence that too often make the headlines. Of the 46 million people living in poverty in the U.S., too many suffer the ultimate consequences of our collective failure to acknowledge and address the brutal conditions of deprivation. Those who are so poor that they experience homelessness are three to four times more likely to die prematurely and have a life expectancy 30 years shorter than their housed counterparts.
On National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day (HPMD) – commemorated annually since 1990 on or about December 21, the first day of winter and longest night of the year – communities across the country come together to remember those who have died without stable housing, to reflect on the shocking inhumanity of homelessness, and to call for meaningful policy changes to ensure that no life is lived or lost in homelessness. Each HPMD event is unique to its community, but the commemorations often include reading of names, candles, prayers, personal remembrances, marches, and moments of silence.

Recently, the State of Hawaii and nine local jurisdictions declared a state of emergency around homelessness. These declarations provide us the opportunity to acknowledge that homelessness is a human-made disaster that has been at crisis levels for decades; and is one we have the tools to end if we can galvanize the political will needed for significant policy changes. Any solution to end homelessness must be grounded in greater access to affordable housing and supportive services to help individuals not only meet their basic needs, but thrive in their community.
Communities holding HPMD events should contact Katherine Cavanaugh, National Consumer Advocate, at kcavanaugh@nhchc.org with information and photos about their event so the National HCH Council can better track events nationally. Our HPMD tool kit is available with resources to help communities plan events and better advocate for needed policy changes. Today, take pause with us to remember those who have lost their lives, and recommit ourselves to addressing the root causes of homelessness. Let us clearly state together that no person should die for lack of housing.
National Health Care for the Homeless Council | P.O. Box 60427 | Nashville, TN 37206-0427 | (615) 226-2292 |www.nhchc.org

Advocacy Recommendations for Homeless Person’s Memorial Day 2017
While Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day is a solemn occasion to remember those who have passed, we recommend that local groups conducting HPMD events use these opportunities to encourage changes in their community to prevent and end homelessness so that no others should die on the streets. Consider including in public statements some or all of the following policy priorities, or add others depending on local issues currently active:
1. Housing is a fundamental need, a basic human right, and protects people from illness, violence and death.
Local, state and federal governments should invest in affordable housing for all its residents, to include those at the lowest income levels.
Adequate supports to maintain housing (through a Housing First approach) should be available to those who need them in order to prevent homelessness.
2. State and local jurisdictions should declare formal States of Emergency to create additional resources for housing and services as well as more quickly facilitate zoning changes and other administrative actions needed to end homelessness.
3. Medical illnesses often go untreated for lack of accessible, affordable health care, and result in accelerated death rates and premature mortality for people without homes.
States that have not yet expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act must do so in order to facilitate the breadth of health care services for this population (who are often uninsured).
States and the federal governments should move toward single payer health care financing – expanded and improved Medicare for all – to eliminate remaining coverage gaps and financial barriers.
4. Alcohol-related illnesses and drug overdoses are among the leading causes of death for people experiencing homelessness.
States and local communities should ensure there is adequate capacity to provide substance abuse treatment for those who need it, to include intensive, residential programs
Harm reduction programs – including ready availability of naloxone, needle exchange, and safe injection sites – should be implemented.
5. People without homes are frequent victims of violence, which is sometimes fatal.
Jurisdictions should not pass laws that criminalize homelessness because arrests and displacement do nothing to solve the problem.
Law enforcement should focus on protecting vulnerable people, rather than on enforcing ordinances intended to limit their presence in public spaces.
6. Localjurisdictionsshouldtrack,investigateandprovideannualreportsonallhomeless deaths, and use the information to improve public policies and targeted interventions.
Death certificates should identify people who die while experiencing homelessness to provide better data on the extent of these tragedies.
National Health Care for the Homeless Council | P.O. Box 60427 | Nashville, TN 37206-0427 | (615) 226-2292 |www.nhchc.org