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Support Reauthorization of Critical Homeless Programs

July 30, 2008

This week the House Financial Services Committee will take up legislation reauthorizing programs under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.  This includes a range of critical resources that meet the needs of individuals with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse disorders that experience chronic homelessness.  This includes permanent supportive housing programs such as Shelter Plus Care that have been extremely effective in stabilizing the lives of homeless individuals with mental illness.

NAMI supports the current version of the legislation – known as the “Substitute Amendment to HR 840, the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act.”  In addition, NAMI opposes efforts to amend this legislation to further expand the definition of homelessness under the McKinney-Vento programs that would:

  • Diminish investment in permanent supportive housing,
  • Undermine efforts to direct McKinney-Vento resources toward ending chronic homelessness, and
  • Redirect funding away from individuals with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse disorders experiencing chronic homelessness.

NAMI advocates are strongly encouraged to contact members of the House Financial Services Committee and urge them to:

1) Support the Substitute Amendment to HR 840, and

2) Oppose any amendment designed to further expand the definition of homelessness under McKinney-Vento, known as the Biggert Amendment

Is Your House Member on the Financial Services Committee?

Click here to view a roster of the Committee.

View NAMI’s letter of support for Substitute Amendment to HR 840 and NAMI’s letter of opposition to the Biggert Amendment.



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