National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Homeless Legislation Signed Into Law

June 4, 2009

On May 20, President Obama signed into legislation reauthorizing the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.  The bill, known as the HEARTH Act (S 808/HR 1877) was attached to separate legislation known as the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act (S 896).

The new law contains a number of critical provisions for NAMI including a continued emphasis on chronic homelessness, new flexibility for local communities to focus on homelessness prevention, and an expanded definition of homelessness to include certain individuals and families at imminent risk of homelessness. 

Passage of this legislation culminates nearly 5 years of efforts to pass McKinney-Vento legislation.  NAMI is extremely grateful to key leaders in Congress that made this possible, including Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Representatives Barney Frank (D-MA), Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Gwen Moore (D-WI).

Click here and here to view detailed summaries of the new law.

Click here to view NAMI’s letter of support for the Reed-Bond Amendment.