In August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held a meeting in Atlanta with several representatives from emergency shelters, health experts, federal officials, and national homeless organizations to discuss the spread of Tuberculosis (TB) in homeless shelter populations.
TB can be a fatal disease; it is transmitted through the air and can remain in the air for many hours, which means that people staying in jails or shelters jails are especially susceptible to TB. Not only do homeless people spend extended periods in crowded shelters, they’re more likely to have compromised immune systems from living on the streets.
One a single night of this year, 564,708 people were experiencing homelessness in across the country. This is according to the 2015 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR) Part 1, which was released today by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This report provides data aggregated from community point-in-time counts conducted in January and includes longitudinal trends in overall homelessness and among specific subpopulations.
So how are we doing in our efforts to end homelessness? Overall homelessness has decreased by 11.4 percent since 2010, when the Administration set ambitious goals to end veteran and chronic homelessness in five years and family and youth homelessness in 10 years. And, we have seen substantial decreases in veteran, chronic, and family homelessness in that same time period:
Now that topline federal spending levels have been increased, your voice as a homeless advocate is as important as ever.
Here’s where we’re at in the federal funding process. On Monday, Nov. 2, President Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 into law, making $33 billion available for nondefense discretionary programs in fiscal year (FY) 2016. This funding has already been divided among the appropriations subcommittees, but the allocations have yet to be made public. Right now, committee staff are hard at work negotiating competing demands to produce a final bill to set spending levels for federal programs.
System performance outcomes make up 38 points of your HUD Continuum of Care Competition application this year. This means your performance now carries significant weight when it comes to determining your funding (more than ever before).
And while it may seem daunting to look at the numbers around your outcomes (or even downright scary), your outcomes will tell you what your vision should be for your system, and what kind of plan you should outline in your application. Here are ways you can reflect on your outcomes for HUD’s seven performance measures:
Veteran’s Day is a time to honor the service and sacrifice of the many men and women who served in the United States military. The best way we at the Alliance believe we can do that is by ensuring that every single one of these men and women and their families have a warm and safe place to call home.
Five years ago, the White House and the Department of Veterans Affairs issued a challenge to the nation: end veteran homelessness. Since that day, the Obama administration, Congress, as well as local and community partners, and stakeholders like the Alliance have been hard at work to improve and invest in programs and system changes that will house our heroes. Nationally, we are seeing results. According to the 2014 Point-in-Time Count, the number of homeless veterans has dropped 33 percent since that challenge was issued.