Family Promise was formed thirty years ago around the idea of providing shelter and hospitality to families in need, but we have grown into so much more. As the national leader in the fight against family homelessness, Family Promise recognizes that we have a responsibility to inform national policy that impacts our families and our service provision on the ground.
On Monday, October 16th, as the culmination of our 15th Family Promise National Conference, our first Advocacy Day provided opportunities for more than 100 Affiliate leaders representing 29 states to visit their representatives’ offices on Capitol Hill to be a voice for children and their families experiencing homelessness. Representatives and staffs from 74 congressional offices met with Family Promise, listening to our concerns, sharing their expertise, and strategizing together on how best to move forward legislation and policies that will help the families we serve reclaim their independence.
Our policy priorities for Advocacy Day meetings included:
Affordable Housing: We are experiencing a national affordable housing crisis. Approximately 39 million households are cost-burdened, spending more than 30% of their income on housing. Approximately 19 million households are severely cost burdened, spending more than 50% of their income on housing. We need support for existing programming that builds and maintains affordable housing units, and we need new programs that expand affordable housing opportunities.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Funding: We support the ask that HUD’s Homeless Assistance Grants be funded nationally at $2.6 billion in FY 2018.This would end homelessness for 40,000 more people and allow communities to keep up with rising needs due to lack of affordable rents.
Support of the Homeless Children and Youth Act: The definitions of homelessness between HUD and the Department of Education do no align, which results in the fact that the majority of children experiencing homelessness are not eligible for HUD homeless assistance. This bill would change that.
Preservation of Shelter and Services: With a focus on Housing First, we have seen decreased funding forshelters and services. We support the Housing First Model, but believe that shelter and services are an essential part of the continuum of care.
To view our advocacy materials, please click here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vdihkm1cqaukmy2/AADIqog7WedxkjDRGzWeJY8_a?dl=0
Family homelessness is a bipartisan issue, and we were proud to engage national leadership as they shape policy and funding that impacts our local communities. To get involved and add your voice, please contact Stacy Pollard at firstname.lastname@example.org.