[Hpn] Washington, DC - Administration Promotes Effort to help end "chronic" homelessness - NEW YORK TIMES - July 19, 2002

H. C. Covington H. C. Covington" <icanamerica@bellsouth.net
Sat, 20 Jul 2002 11:02:21 -0500

Bush Administration Promotes Effort on Homelessness
to help end "chronic homelessness" in the next decade
Political Opinion - NEW YORK TIMES - July 19, 2002

The Bush administration outlined a $35 million plan today to help end chronic
homelessness in the next decade, pledging services to people with addictions and
disabilities who have lived on the street for more than a year.

But even as they said they would put a renewed focus on the problem of the
homeless, administration officials did not offer any new or expanded programs to
provide shelter for them.

Instead, officials described efforts to help state and municipalities learn
about federal programs available to help homeless individuals and families and
other programs to help ex-convicts avoid homelessness.

Officials also said they were reviving a long-dormant White House Interagency
Council on Homelessness to coordinate the efforts of federal agencies.

"This joint collaboration on homelessness has never been tried before. Yet it
makes perfect sense," said Mel Martinez, the secretary of housing and urban
development, speaking here to policy makers and service providers at the annual
conference of the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

The reallocated money will be drawn from three federal departments  Housing and
Urban Development, Health and Human Services, and Veterans Affairs  to support
programs for individuals, families and veterans needing permanent housing and
social services, officials said.

Currently, 14 federal programs totaling $2.2 billion support the homeless in
America, with more than half coming from HUD.

Experts estimate that of the 2.5 million people homeless in the United States,
the 10 percent who are considered chronically homeless  those who have lived on
the streets for more than a year  consume more than half of all homeless

The announcement drew mixed reviews today from advocates for the homeless, some
praising the administration's efforts and others saying they would do little to
end homelessness.

"It's not the whole thing, but it's a start," said Nan Roman, president of the
National Alliance to End Homelessness. "We can use it to move forward, but we
will be pushing them to do more  much more."

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H. C. [Sonny] Covington, Editor
Homeless and Housing News