Advocacy Update: USICH Sign-On Letter, Capitol Hill Day, and August Site Visits!

Advocacy Update
Facebook Twitter YouTube

Sign-On Letter to Increase McKinney Funding & Protect USICH! 
The House Appropriations Committee passed its fiscal year (FY) 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Other Related Agencies (T-HUD) bill in late May which included a very impressive $237 million increase of $2.487 billion for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program. However, during the T-HUD mark up to consider the bill, it became clear that the existence and capacity of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) is threatened. We will need to work together to secure at least the House level of funding for McKinney and defend USICH!.

Please sign your organization on to this letter by Wednesday, July 6th asking appropriations leadership to fund McKinney at least at $2.487 billion; and maintain funding for USICH at $3.6 million and extend its sunset date from 2017 to 2020.

Here’s What You Can Do:
  1. Confirm with your organization’s leadership that you are able to sign your organization on to this letter.
  2. Email Erica at by July 6th letting her know you are able to sign on.
    • When you email, please let her know the name of your organization and what city and state your organization is located in.
  3. If USICH has worked with your community, please also reach out to the housing staffer for your Representative in the House to let them know about the role they played in ending homelessness in your community. Ask them to weigh in with appropriations leadership in support of USICH.  
    • Reach out to Jaime Colman or Julie Klein if you need their contact information.  
    • Keep us posted on your outreach!
It is unclear whether or not the House bill will make it to the House floor before the summer recess slated to begin July 15. We need to get the message about the importance of McKinney funding and the  work USICH does to end homelessness to Chair Diaz-Balart and his colleagues as soon as possible!
Access the USICH Sign-On Letter
Capitol HIll Day 2016
As the National Conference on Ending Homelessness approaches, the Alliance is preparing attendees from around the country for Capitol Hill Day 2016, taking place on July 28. Capitol Hill Day is a day-long advocacy effort during which participants meet with their respective congressional offices to discuss the state of homelessness in their state or district and urge them to take specific action with regards to homelessness programs.

Last year's Capitol Hill Day saw over 340 advocates from 39 states attend 240 meetings which resulted in more funding for homeless programs. Considering the unusually high increase for McKinney included in the House T-HUD bill, we have a real shot at securing significantly increased funds for homeless assistance this year! The Alliance hopes that anyone who is passionate about ending homelessness in America will join us in our effort to make an impact through Capitol Hill Day.

Here’s What You Can Do:
  1. Check this list to see whether your state has a State Captain spearheading your state’s Capitol Hill Day effort.
    • If so, reach out to your State Captain(s) letting them know you are interested in participating. If not, you can email Ansleigh at to let her know you are interested in learning more about what is involved in the State Captain position.
  2. Register for the Alliance’s Federal Policy and Advocacy Update Webinar on Friday, July 15 at 2 pm ET to learn more about the policy priorities driving the Capitol Hill Day Agenda.
    • While targeted toward State Captains and those participating in Capitol Hill Day, this webinar will offer an opportunity for anyone who is interested to learn more about where things stand in the federal budget process for key homelessness programs.
We hope you will join us for Capitol Hill Day 2016 to ensure homelessness is on the Congressional agenda as a priority!
Learn more about Capitol Hill Day 2016
August 2016 Site visit campaign
As part of the FY 2017 Homelessness Funding Campaign, the Alliance is launching an August 2016 Site Visit Campaign to encourage advocates across the country to engage with their Members of Congress while they are home for the August recess. Since our conference and Capitol Hill Day falls over the Democratic National Convention and summer recess this year, this is the perfect way for Capitol Hill Day participants to follow up to congressional meetings with housing staffers and strengthen relationships with Members of Congress.

The end goal of this campaign is to ensure that when FY 2017 funding legislation is finalized, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program receives at least a $237 million increase to $2.487 billion (the amount included in the House T-HUD bill).

Here’s What You Can Do:
  1. Host a Member of Congress for a Site Visit this August! Site visits are one of the most effective ways to gain Members' support, and as such this is the most important advocacy action you can take this month.
    • If you plan to host your Member for a site visit, you will need to start planning now! Use this work plan and read this toolkit chapter to assist you with your planning efforts!
  2. Schedule meetings with your Members of Congress in their district offices!
    • If your Member does not have time to attend a site visit, or if you are unable to host them, the next best thing you can do is schedule meetings with the Member in their district or state office. Use this checklist and read this toolkit chapter to help you to schedule and prepare for these meetings. 
  3. Let us know if you're planning a site visit!
It is particularly important to target Members who sit on the House or Senate Appropriations Committees, and those with other key leadership positions. You can email Julie or Jaime to help you determine who to engage, and don't forget to keep us posted on your efforts!

Start planning your site visits and meetings today!
Learn more about August 2016 Site Visit Campaign

About Us

The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to solving the problem of homelessness and preventing its continued growth.

Join Us

The Alliance is online: on Facebook, on Twitter, on our blog, and on our website! Join the Alliance's online community, and stay up-to-date with homelessness and housing information.

Need Technical Assistance?

Visit the Center for Capacity Building to learn more about the ways the Center can help your community end homelessness.

Sign The Statement

Sign the Never Another Homeless Veteran Statement! »