On April 28, the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) and the Congressional Homelessness Caucus hosted a Hill briefing to highlight NAEH’s recently released The State of Homelessness in America 2016 report (see Memo 4/18), as well as the work of homeless service providers making progress on ending veteran and chronic homelessness. The briefing featured a panel of speakers, including Samantha Batko, director of the Homelessness Research Institute of NAEH; Steve Berg, vice president for Programs and Policy at NAEH; Kelly King-Horne, executive director of Homeward; and Lisa Tepper-Bates, executive director of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness.
Representative Alcee Hastings (D-FL), co-chair of the Congressional Homelessness Caucus, opened the briefing with remarks on the importance of addressing homelessness and an update on the appropriations process. Following introductions by Mr. Berg, Ms. Batko presented an overview of the findings from The State of Homelessness in America 2016. Ms. Batko focused on the progress being made to end chronic and veteran homelessness, as well as the continued need for homelessness assistance. Ms. Tepper-Bates and Ms. King-Horne shared their local perspectives on the importance of using data to coordinate efficiently homeless service systems and to maximize the impact of federal resources. Both speakers highlighted the efficacy of federal funding for homeless services.
Mr. Berg concluded the panel discussion by stressing the need for federal funding to continue making progress on ending homelessness, while acknowledging the urgent need to solve the larger issue of affordable housing. Said Mr. Berg, “It’s not that often that you can get this close to solving a social problem.”
The briefing was well-attended by Congressional staffers.
The State of Homelessness in America 2016 is available at http://bit.ly/1qJMXo1.