Making McKinney-Vento Work for All Homeless Persons New paper outlines principles for McKinney-Vento Program policy and reauthorization. Sign on today! Over the past few years, HUD’s design of the annual Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) has increasingly undermined local control and effectively legislated through the rule-making process. Unable to successfully move the Samaritan Initiative through the 108th Congress, the Administration, via HUD and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH), has now aggressively moved to impose the emphasis on “ending chronic homelessness” on localities, rather than allow communities to determine their own priorities based on actual need. Two current pieces of McKinney-Vento reauthorization legislation- S. 1801 and H.R. 5041- propose to write much of this current policy into statute.
Numerous national, state, and local organizations have joined together to issue the following set of principles that we believe must form the basis of any reauthorization measure. Included in this coalition are faith-based and community-based human needs organizations, public school personnel, state and local child welfare agencies, health care providers, social justice advocacy coalitions, and concerned individual citizens. Collectively, our members serve or represent every segment of the homeless population – including infants and toddlers, school-age children, youth in runaway and homeless situations, families fleeing domestic violence, persons with disabilities, and low-income working individuals and families.

Immediate action needed on HUD McKinney-Vento Funding The President’s FY 2007 budget includes a proposal to add $184 million to HUD’s Homeless Assistance Grant program.

These funds would be earmarked for the “Samaritan Permanent Housing Bonus,” a currently unauthorized program that would provide permanent housing and case management services for the long-term or “chronic” homeless population – defined as ‘single adults with disabilities who have been homeless for over a year, or at least four times over a three year period.’ We urge Members of Congress to support the proposed funding increase, while opposing the manner in which it is earmarked.

Please download the entire action alert here and contact your members of Congress, asking them to support proposed funding increase but to oppose the language that would earmark these funds for the Samaritan Housing Bonus. Call the US Capitol Switchboard to be connected to your Senator or Representative: (202) 224-3121. Or, if submitting a written request it is best to fax letters to your Members. Fax numbers for House offices may be found and fax numbers for Senate offices may be found.

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