Dear FY 2017 Homelessness Funding Advocates,
As a reminder, two key “Dear Colleague” letters are currently circulating in support of increased funding for programs that serve people experiencing homelessness. Signing on to these letters provides a simple way for Members of Congress to include programs in their list of funding priorities due to their colleagues on the Appropriations Committee soon, before appropriators write and vote on spending bills. We need your help to make sure congressional offices know that these letters are circulating and how important it is to their constituents that they sign on!
This likely presents advocates the biggest opportunity for collective impact this year to ensure Members of Congress publicly demonstrate their commitment to funding these programs – and we don’t have much time! The deadline for Representatives to sign on to the House letter is THIS FRIDAY, March 11, and the deadline for Senators to sign on to the Senate letter is Monday, March 14. Please email your congressional offices TODAY urging them to sign on to these letters!
Here’s What You Can Do:
- As part of our Letter Writing Campaign, send an email to your congressional offices asking them to join the Dear Colleague letters if they have not already done so.
· Click here to see if your representative has already joined the House letter, and here to see if your senators have already joined the Senate letter (we are updating these lists regularly). (You can also see if your Members joined similar letters last spring for FY 2016 funding by clicking here for the House and here for the Senate).
· You can email them a letter by customizing the sample attached House or Senate letter, or sending a shorter email asking them to join the appropriate Dear Colleague letter this year. When you send your emails:
o Tell the staff person in the House that representatives can join the letter in support of $2.664 billion for McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants by the Friday, March 11 deadline by contacting Sean Gard in Rep. Moore’s office at sean.gard / (202) 225-4572.
o Tell the staff person in the Senate that senators can join the letter in support of $2.664 billion for McKinney and $20.854 billion for Section 8 TBRA by the Monday, March 14 deadline by contacting Elizabeth Eickelberg in Sen. Merkley’s office at Elizabeth_Eickelberg / (202) 224-3753.
- If they say they cannot join the letter, ask if they will submit “programmatic requests” in support of providing $2.664 billion for HUD’s McKinney-Vento program and $20.854 billion to Section 8 in FY 2017.
- Let us know which offices you contacted and what they said by emailing Jaime Colman or <a href="mailto:jklein!
It’s critically important that we collectively quickly get emails out to as many Members’ offices as possible, to give them time to decide to sign on by the approaching deadlines. Strong congressional support will be needed to increase homeless assistance funding in a tight budget year, and we cannot build this support without Members hearing from you about why homelessness is a problem in the jurisdictions they represent.As always, please keep us posted on your efforts and the responses you receive, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help!
National Alliance to End Homelessness
1518 K Street NW, Second Floor
Washington, DC 20005