During Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, he used his public platform to draw attention to the marginalized in our society. That included people experiencing homelessness.
After his historic Congressional address, Pope Francis left the Capitol to have lunch with 300 low income and homeless people at St. Patrick’s Church in Washington, DC. There he remarked, “Let me be clear. There is no social or moral justification, no justification whatsoever, for lack of housing.”
Now that Congress has returned from August recess, the Alliance and our partners are gearing up for a big advocacy push with National Call-In Days. This week, we’re pushing for advocates to urge their members of Congress to prioritize funding for programs that will end homelessness.
On Tuesday, Sept. 15, and Wednesday, Sept. 16, participating advocates from across the country will call their members of Congress to deliver a unified message: raise federal sequester spending caps and fully fund affordable housing and homelessness assistance programs in FY 2016. The Alliance is coordinating these call-in days with Caps Hurt Communities, an advocacy campaign committed to ending the federal sequester spending caps.
This July, more than 275 advocates swarmed Capitol Hill during the Alliance’s Capitol Hill Day event to tell Congress about the excellent work federally funded homeless assistance programs are doing in their communities and how Congress can better support them.
Congress is now on recess, so the place for advocates to find members is no longer the Hill; it’s their home states and districts. If you participated in Capitol Hill Day, it’s time to extend the conversation with your member of Congress and show them your program. If you missed out, it’s time to build a relationship.
It is with a mixture of excitement and sadness that I write this “goodbye” blog post for the Alliance. After more than five years here, I am ready to take on the challenge of grad school, but I will miss working with passionate and driven people across the country dedicated to such an important topic.
In my time here, I’ve learned a few things – well, I’ve learned a ton of things, but for the sake of this post, I’ll narrow it down to just the big ones.
You might have heard of the Homeless Children and Youth Act (S.256), which was introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein to address family and youth homelessness. The Alliance opposes this bill because it will not solve the housing problems of families and youth that it aims to, and makes significant changes to the homeless assistance system that are unnecessary, burdensome, and harmful. This document explains three detrimental impacts this bill would have and suggests alternative approaches to address the problems the bill aims to address.