In 2014, the Obama Administration signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to transform the public workforce system, and the process of implementation of the Act has begun. States are currently in the process of creating and revising their required WIOA State Plans and the Alliance has recommends that providers, local governments and other interested stakeholders take this opportunity to ensure that State Plans include strategic language for serving high-need or high-barrier individuals, specifically those who are at risk for or currently experiencing homelessness.
Last year was a challenging year for homeless assistance and affordable housing advocates. Despite plenty of uphill battles against budget restraints, congressional gridlock, and competing policy priorities they persevered and achieved some very impressive gains in 2015.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced that it will make $300 million in competitive grant funding available for nonprofits renewing their SSVF grants to work with homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families. Several pieces of the announcement highlight opportunities for providers to improve the services they offer to program participants, and ways to enhance their program's effectiveness and reach.
The eleventh hour budget bill passed at the end of 2015 does more than increase funding for homeless assistance. It makes specific investments to end youth homelessness.
A new report from The United States Conference of Mayors paints a grim picture of homelessness as captured by several trends observed in major cities across the nation.