Ten days from now, the U.S. Congress returns to Washington to decide whether or not to spend $11.5 billion in homelessness assistance, $100 billion in emergency rental assistance, and critical investments in housing vouchers. Despite the obvious need for these resources during the COVID pandemic, and the brutal reality of how bad homelessness has already gotten in the absence of this money, there's no guarantee that Washington will act.
The House and Senate need to hear from us. We have to communicate a level of urgency that Congress can't ignore. Without this funding, local communities will not have the resources they need to bring unsheltered people into safe environments, connect them with permanent housing, and prevent vulnerable renters from falling into homelessness as eviction moratoriums expire.
Unhoused people are among the most at risk from this pandemic. Many lack basic hygiene resources like handwashing stations and showers, or even reliable access to food and water. A high percentage of people experiencing homelessness are elderly or already in poor health, making COVID even more deadly for this group. While we know how to help, solutions to homelessness cost money that many cities and towns simply do not have during the economic recession.
Please act now – even if you've already emailed Congress before. The next 10 days are critical to the needs of people living on the streets. If we speak out together, we have the power to save lives and protect the most vulnerable.