We believe philanthropy has a voice in addressing homelessness and advancing solutions to prevent and end it with Congress and Presidential administration. As Funders Together to End Homelessness prepares to work with this administration, together with our national partners we are focused on continuing to make preventing and ending homelessness a bi-partisan priority. To accomplish this, we are focused on the following:
This page will serve as a collection of information that will continually be updated with new reports, fact sheets, websites, and other resources that support these priority areas.
1. Housing stability is an issue that affects education, health, and work force development. We believe in expanding the supply of housing, including affordable housing, and strengthen connections of these efforts with others to foster better health, economic mobility, and educational achievement.
- Government funding for programs that affect housing stability is critical as philanthropy cannot do it alone. In late March 2018, a budget was passed for FY18 and includes many highlights for the work to end homelessness. Here are some key takeaways from the most recent budget (via the National Alliance to End Homelessness):
- $4.4 billion increase to the ten largest HUD accounts which is the largest one-year increase in the last 20 years.
$130 million increase to HUD Homeless Assistance grants which is estimated to move an additional 20,000-25,000 people into housing.
- Section 8 renewals are fully funded for both project-based Section 8 and vouchers. In addition, there are funds for new "incremental" vouchers: $40 million for HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) for veterans with disabilities experiencing homelessness, $20 million for the Family Unification Program (FUP), and ~$385 million for 811 vouchers for individuals with disabilities.
- $800 million increase to Public Housing
- $400 million increase to HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME)
- $300 million increase to Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
- 12.5% increase in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC)
- Funders Together has created a Priorities for the New Congress and Administration messaging guide. This document reflects 2017-2018 messaging but is in the process of being updated with FY19 language. However, it can still be used to understand how we plan to lift up philanthropy's voice, role, and influence. It can also be used as a messaging guide for your own advocacy efforts. Download the Word document here for easy editing. Check back soon as we will be updating this as we learn more.
2. Early intervention that stops the cycle of homelessness and poverty is critical for youth and young adults.
- As a founding member of A Way Home America we believe the following transition priorities will be critical to systems change needed to provide a more stable future to our youth. The A Way Home America Transition Plan identifies actions and strategies necessary to prevent and end youth and young adult homelessness. The Transition Plan is intended to inform the next Presidential Administration, federal appointees, and members of congress on our collective goals to end youth and young adult homelessness.
3. Strengthening the connections between employment services and homelessness services to both prevent homelessness and ensure that exits from homelessness are permanent, stable, and successful.
As a funder, how can you take action?
If you are a public foundation or United Way and can engage in direct lobbying, here are some action steps you can take:
- Sign up for the National Alliance to End Homelessness’s Advocacy Updates and take action by contacting public officials. Feel free to use the Priorities for the New Congress and Administration Messaging Guide for language around public-private partnerships and modify it to fit your foundation’s message.
- You can also participate in non-lobbying advocacy efforts. See examples below.
If you are unable to partake in direct lobbying efforts, here are some advocacy efforts you can participate in:
- Consider facilitating conversations between your grantees and public officials. Use your convening power to host a philanthropy-led bipartisan town hall where grantees can talk about their work and philanthropy can feature the nature of its investment and how philanthropic dollars can’t be expected to “fill the gap”.
- Write targeted op-eds in key communities. Philanthropy’s voice is important when talking about public-private partnerships. Highlighting work being done in key areas can have a ripple effect and educate community members and public officials alike. If you are interested, contact Funders Together and we can identify these key communities and assist with your op-ed strategy.
- Fund small emergency advocacy grants. Consider asking grantees about how a small emergency advocacy grant could be used to help with their efforts around strategy, communications, or grassroots engagement.
Learn more about the "Cans" and "Cannots" of being a funder involved in advocacy and lobbying efforts and get more ideas of action steps you can take through our "Advocacy - A Funder's Role" webinar.
If you have any questions regarding our transition priorities, or have a resource to share, please feel free to contact Amanda Andere at email@example.com.