Remember that drumbeat I talked about in July?
In order to get other House members to stand behind this increase and to get Senators on board, people who care about ending homelessness will need to keep up a steady drumbeat of communication with their Representatives and Senators, from now until a final bill passes, which could be any time from mid-September through next March. Fortunately, such a drumbeat is something this community has proven to be good at creating.
We made excellent progress. At our conference in July lots of enthusiastic people visited Capitol Hill, getting the word to Congress that we need a substantial increase in funding for HUD’s homeless assistance. The Hill Day materials are on our website and will be relevant for the rest of the campaign.
Californians prep for Capitol Hill Day at #NAEH16.
In order to keep that drumbeat going about better funding to house people who are homeless, there are two things you can do now.
- Starting now, meet with Representatives and Senators at home during the August recess, which lasts until Labor Day weekend. Having a Member of Congress visit a homelessness program can have a big impact. See our toolkit on how to do it. If that doesn’t happen, try to meet with your Representative/Senators at their local offices. In either case, bring influential allies from the community (maybe someone on your Board already has a relationship), and people who have directly benefited from your programs. Get across to these decisionmakers the positive impacts that more money for HUD’s homeless program would have.
- Beginning Sept. 1, be part of Make Room, a nationwide social media campaign. The Alliance is supporting the Make Room Campaign in their effort to send one million messages to Congress before the election.This will be structured so that people can work in specific asks, like increasing funding for HUD’s homeless assistance programs. There will be more on this in the next few weeks, but the bulk of the action starts the Sept.1.
After that, stay tuned! Once Congress comes back from recess, there will be a lot of discussions about how and when the decisionmaking process on spending should move forward. The Alliance will keep you posted, and make suggestions for how to have an impact on that process.
People who are working on homelessness around the country (that’s you!) have done amazing work to make their programs as effective and impactful as possible. You’ve earned the support of Congress – but Members of Congress won’t know unless you tell them. Please get involved in whatever way you can.
Thanks again to everyone who participated in Hill Day! Please be in touch if there’s any way we can help. Email Jamie