USICH newsletter brings family homelessness into focus
This week, USICH released our newsletter focusing on family homelessness. The newsletter includes links to resources like updated Family content on our website, an article on progressive engagement, a reflection by Regional Coordinator Amy Sawyer on the National Alliance to End Homelessness annual conference, and a blog by USICH Policy Director Katharine Gale that calls us to look to the end of family homelessness in this country. Read the newsletter.
2012 Annual Update Released
USICH released its 2012 Annual Update on Wednesday. Two years have passed since USICH launched Opening Doors the nation’s first-ever comprehensive strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. Recently, USICH released an amendment to Opening Doors focused on preventing and ending youth homelessness and improving educational outcomes for children and youth experiencing homelessness.
The Update reports on the progress we have made on the plan.
Spotlight on Veteran Homelessness
With the 10-year anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War this week, there was media coverage on veterans returning home and the likely challenges they will face in terms of employment. The Washington Post’s article “After decade of war, troops still struggle to find work” illustrates these challenges. Fortunately, there are organizations and service providers like Florida Veterans Foundation that strive to show veterans that they are a part of the community when they return home and provide services to prevent homelessness to those at risk and help Veterans and their families gain stability.
A new cohort of Veterans from this war and the war in Afghanistan are continuing to return home to civilian life, and many face obstacles that result in homelessness. The American Psychological Association studied a cohort of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans experiencing homelessness entering the HUD-VASH program, and found that this cohort of Veterans experience PTSD at a higher rate than older Veterans. This and other findings suggest new directions for work inside and outside VA to serve this group of Veterans.
National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) Conference
National Low Income Housing Coalition hosted its annual conference this week. A few important takeaways from the conference:
- NLIHC launched a campaign to fund the National Housing Trust Fund in order to reshape U.S. tax policy and make more affordable housing.
- To support the above campaign, Rep. Keith Ellison from Minnesota proposed a bill to reform the mortgage interest deduction.
- A poll commissioned by NLIHC found that a majority of Americans surveyed support using the revenues from reforming the mortgage interest deduction to end homelessness.
In addition, NLIHC announced that it was committing $1 million of their endowment to the campaign, which they are calling United for Homes. There are 1,000 organizations endorsing the campaign, and NLIHC is aiming for thousands more to join. NLIHC is working with Right to the City, and their new campaign, Homes for All, which has made funding the National Housing Trust Fund a priority.
Local and national media outlets from across the country picked up this story about the Housing Wage gap (how many hours at minimum wage it would take to afford a two bedroom apartment) and were re-run by NPR. Take a listen some coveringLouisville, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Alaska.