[Hpn] National Alliance to End Homelessness - Online Newsletter - September 13, 2002

H. C. Covington H. C. Covington" <hccjr@bellsouth.net
Sun, 15 Sep 2002 02:51:57 -0500


       NATIONAL ALLIANCE TO END HOMELESSNESS
       Online Newsletter                    September 13, 2002
_________________________________________________________
[PDF version  http://makeashorterlink.com/?K290129C1 ]

Contents of this issue:
1.  House Examines VA’s Efforts in Ending Homelessness Among Veterans
2.  TANF Reauthorization Uncertain
3.  Number of Workers Exhausting Unemployment Benefits Increases
4.  AIDS Housing Featured in NPR Housing Series
5.  Melville Charitable Trust Launches Website
6.  Perception that People with Mental Illness Are Violent Is Unfounded
7.  Interagency Council on the Homeless Seeks Regional Coordinators
8.  Upcoming Events
________________________________________________________

House Examines VA’s Efforts in Ending Homelessness Among Veterans

On September 12, the House Veterans Affairs Committee, chaired by
Congressman Christopher Smith (R-NJ), held a hearing to assess
the progress of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in
implementing the Homeless Veterans Comprehensive Assistance Act
of 2001 (PL 107-95).

Among other provisions, the legislation set a national goal of ending
chronic homelessness among veterans in ten years.

Among the witnesses called upon to testify were Veterans Affairs
Secretary Anthony Principi and Interagency Council on the
Homeless Executive Director Philip Mangano.  Other witnesses
included further federal and state VA officials, nonprofit
housing and service delivery leaders, national veterans
advocates, and VA program recipients.

In his testimony, Secretary Principi reported that VA has made
good progress in implementing the legislation over the past year.

Among a number of steps taken by the VA in following the
legislation, the Secretary cited the creation and first meeting
of VA’s Advisory Committee on Homelessness Among Veterans, and
the meeting of the Interagency Council on the Homeless, which
resulted in the department’s $5 million commitment in the new $35
million HUD-HHS-VA initiative to reduce chronic homelessness.

The Secretary’s statements were echoed in the testimony of Philip
Mangano and VA’s new Advisory Committee chairman, Robert Van
Keuren.  Mangano confirmed the collaborative efforts of the
various departments and agencies in the Interagency Council on
the Homeless and indicated that the $35 million joint initiative
would serve as a template for future coordination and funding.

Van Keuren stated the VA Advisory Council on Homelessness Among
Veterans had scheduled its second meeting to be held next week in
Cleveland, Ohio, and that its recommendations would be submitted
to the Secretary as directed in the legislation by March 2003.

Secretary Principi added that in order to implement many of the
provisions in the legislation it would take a significant increase in
resources.  Since the authorization came after the appropriations,
no new resources were added in the months since the law’s passage.

And although neither the Secretary nor Philip Mangano affirmed, as
questioned by Committee Members, whether they would request
for the President to fully fund the legislation in FY 2004, the Secretary
stated that he had requested “a very, very substantial increase” in
funding.

The Committee also discussed the status of the Loan Guarantee for
Multi-Family Housing for Homeless Veterans program. This was a
primary concern among nonprofit providers and advocates on the
panel as well as among Committee Members.

Although the program was authorized in 1998, VA has so far failed
to implement it.  In response to questions by the Members, Secretary
Principi announced that he would act aggressively on seeing the program
implemented and had recently moved the responsibility of the program
to the Office of Asset Enterprise Management under the leadership
of Claude Hutchinson.
-----

TANF Reauthorization Uncertain
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
According to Congressional staff, it is becoming increasingly
likely that there will be a Continuing Resolution (CR) for TANF
Reauthorization.

A CR would allow the TANF program to continue operating as
defined in current statute and postpone the need for reauthorization.
There is some question whether the CR would be for one year or more.

There also remains a concerted effort to encourage Senator
Daschle (D-SD) to bring TANF to the floor this year.  Fifty
senators have either signed on to a joint letter or sent similar
letters to Sen. Daschle asking that the bill be brought to the
floor.  Many advocacy groups are sending their own letters to
Senate members.

The Alliance will keep you abreast of information as it becomes
available.  For information on accessing breaking news or on
weighing in with your Congressional representatives when TANF is
brought to the floor, contact Phyllis Gilberti at pgilberti@naeh.org
-----

Number of Workers Exhausting Unemployment Benefits Increases
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
According to a report issued by the Center on Budget and Policy
Priorities (CBPP), the number of workers who have exhausted their
federal unemployment insurance benefits will rise to 1.5 million
workers by the end of September.

Under the Temporary Emergency Unemployment Compensation (TEUC)
program established in the economic stimulus package passed this year,
most states are able to provide TEUC benefits for an additional 13 weeks
beyond the worker’s regular unemployment insurance benefits.

The paper provides an overview of the number of workers in each state
that have exhausted benefits and makes suggestions on how the TEUC
can be modified to better serve those in a long spell of unemployment.

The paper can be viewed at http://www.cbpp.org/9-5-02ui.htm
-----

AIDS Housing Featured in NPR Housing Series
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
National Public Radio (NPR) continued its year-long series on
special needs housing today with a feature on housing for people
with HIV/AIDS. The story included interviews with Betsy Lieberman
of AIDS Housing of Washington, Jennifer Flynn of the NYC AIDS
Housing Network and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Housing is a critical component of health care for people with
AIDS. Some medications require refrigeration, and the stress of
housing instability can lead to worse health. A resident who
successfully found housing stated, “My quality of life has
changed because I don't have to worry about housing -- I can
focus on my health."

To listen to the story online or to find more information on
AIDS/HIV housing and/or further NPR housing coverage, go to
http://makeashorterlink.com/?W4FF128C1
-----

Melville Charitable Trust Launches Website
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Melville Charitable Trust, one of the nation's leading
foundations supporting programs and initiatives to end
homelessness, has recently launched a new website.  The Trust,
which is based in Connecticut, has national partnerships with the
Corporation for Supportive Housing, the National Low Income
Housing Coalition, the National Alliance to End Homelessness, and
the Technical Assistance Collaborative.  The website highlights
the educational, research and advocacy initiatives the Trust
supports in the state and on the national level.

The website can be viewed at http://www.melvilletrust.org
-----

Perception that People with Mental Illness Are Violent Is Unfounded
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
According to an article appearing in the American Journal of
Public Health, people with mental illnesses are unlikely to
become violent unless there are other risk factors involved.

Three risk factors were cited that combine with mental illness to
increase the likelihood of violence:

1) having a substance abuse problem;
2) having been a victim of abuse during childhood; and
3) living in a neighborhood where violence is common.

Without these risk factors, people with mental illnesses were no more
likely to be violent than people without mental illnesses.

According to the study’s author, “Violent crimes committed by
psychiatric patients become big headlines and reinforce the
social stigma and rejection felt by many individuals who suffer
from mental illness. But our findings suggest that serious
violence is the rare exception among all people with psychiatric
disorders. The public perception that people who are mentally ill
are typically violent is unfounded.”

The risk factors cited by the study suggest areas that need
attention when treating people with mental illnesses.

Another author of the study stated “If we’re worried about violence
among people with serious mental illness, we need to pay far more
attention to finding safe housing in decent neighborhoods, mitigating
the effects of physical and sexual victimization, and aggressively
treating substance abuse issues.”

For more on the article, see
http://news.mc.duke.edu/news/article.php?id=5806
-----

Interagency Council on the Homeless Seeks Regional Coordinators
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Interagency Council on the Homeless has recently announced
that it is currently seeking to hire three Regional Interagency Homeless
Coordinators who will provide coordination and liaison with state
and local governments as well as federal agencies in their
collective efforts to combat homelessness.  The coordinators
would each be located in one of HUD's regional offices and would
convene regional meetings of federal agencies that belong to the
Council, and work with state, local and nonprofit entities to
provide information about and coordination with federal efforts.

The deadline for receipt of applications and supporting documents
is the close of business on September 25, 2002.

For complete information, see
http://jsearch.usajobs.opm.gov/ftva.asp?OPMControl=IH0307
-----

Upcoming Events
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
September 22-28:  National Homeless Voter Registration Week.
Sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless. For
details, contact Michael Stoops at  mstoops@nationalhomeless.org
or 202-737-6444.

October 5-8:  National Association for the Education of Homeless
Children and Youth Conference. Los Angeles, CA. For details,
visit http://www.cde.ca.gov/cilbranch/homeless/homelesstoc.html
or call (916) 657-5342.

October 9:  "Raising Housing on the Nation's Agenda" 2002 Annual
Housing Conference. Washington, DC.   Sponsored by the Fannie Mae
Foundation. For details, visit http://www.fanniemaefoundation.org

October 13: "Clinical Approaches to Working with Homeless,
Mentally Ill Individuals: Challenges and Rewards." Chicago, IL.
Sponsored by the Center for Mental Health Services and the
American Psychiatric Association. For details, visit
http://www.nrchmi.com or contact nrc@prainc.com or call
800-444-7415.

October 24-27: National Student Campaign Against Hunger &
Homelessness Conference.  Philadelphia, PA.  For details, visit
http://www.studentsagainsthunger.org or contact 413-253-6417.

October 28-30: GAINS Center 2002 National Conference: "Expanding
Access to Community-Based Services for People with Co-Occuring
Disorders in Contact with the Criminal Justice System." San
Francisco, CA. Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration. For details, visit
http://www.gainsctr.com/conference or call 800-311-4246.

October 29: Full-Day Institute on Day Labor. Phoenix, AZ.
Sponsored by the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness and the
Southwest Center for Economic Integrity. For details, contact
abones@azceh.org or 602-340-9393.

October 30-November 2: Enterprise Foundation Annual Network
Conference. Dallas, TX. For details, visit
http://makeashorterlink.com/?I560129C1  or contact
networkconference@enterprisefoundation.org

November 17-23: National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week.
Sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the
National Student Campaign Against Hunger & Homelessness. For
details, contact mstoops@nationalhomeless.org or 202-737-6444.

November 21-22: “Housing First: Models & Methodologies" -
National Technical Assistance Workshop. Los Angeles, CA.
Sponsored by Beyond Shelter, Shelter Partnership, Inc. and the
National Alliance to End Homelessness. For details, see
http://www.beyondshelter.org or contact 213-252-0772.

December 1-4: National Harm Reduction Conference. Seattle, WA.
Sponsored by the Harm Reduction Coalition. For details, visit
http://www.harmreduction.org/conference/4thnatlconf.html

December 5-7: National Rural Housing Conference. Washington, D.C.
Sponsored by the Housing Assistance Council.  For details, visit
http://www.ruralhome.org

*****

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The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonpartisan,
nonprofit organization whose mission is to mobilize the
nonprofit, public and private sectors of society in an alliance
to end homelessness.  Guiding our work is the Ten Year Plan to
End Homelessness.  The Ten Year Plan identifies our nation's
current weaknesses in addressing the problem and lays out
practical steps that our nation can take to change our present
course and truly end homelessness within ten years.

No American should have to be homeless.

National Alliance to End Homelessness
1518 K Street NW, Suite 206
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 638-1526 (202) 638-4664 fax
http://www.endhomelessness.org
email  naeh@naeh.org


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