Thursday, July 25, 2013

Contact Your Senator Today About the McKinney-Vento Act!

Child drawing
From our friends at the People's Emergency Center

McKinney Vento is being specifically debated this week. We need you to call or mail now. If you don’t call, no one else in our region will. Really – this is serious.

Senator Toomey: (202) 224-4254
You can also reach out to his housing staff, John Crews.
Senator Casey: Phone: (202) 224-6324
You can also reach out to his housing staff, Matthew Lachman
Please Encourage Senators Toomey and Casey:

  • Support $2.381 billion for the McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Program.
  • Oppose S. 1243, Senator Coburn’s amendment that changes the law on the required match for any McKinney Vento project from using other federal funds.
    • Senator Coburn’s amendment would dismantle a brokered agreement that ended up in the HEARTH Act (HUD’s regulations on homelessness) that had significant bi-partisan agreement. HEARTH included the provision that nearly all HUD grants would require a match of 25 percent because, while HUD provided money for housing, homeless people also need other kinds of services, like help getting jobs, mental health treatment, and domestic violence counseling. Federal funds were included as an allowable match to make it realistic for local providers to meet the 25 percent requirement, and to address two concerns of Senators from both parties: that federal programs from departments other than HUD were failing to serve homeless people; and that HUD’s homeless programs should not be funding services that were outside of HUD’s expertise. This policy incentivizes agreements between HUD’s grantees and local agencies, health departments, workforce boards, and other agencies that administer HHS and Department of Labor programs. Amendment 1243 would disrupt this and undermine service providers who work hard to get funds to provide services that HUD does not pay for but are needed.

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