Author Archives: merceralliance

#NJCounts 2017 Reaches Out to Homeless Families, Individuals, Youth and Veterans

NJCounts 2017

On January 25th, 2017  homeless service providers and volunteers conducted a count of homeless individuals and families in Mercer County as part of the #NJCounts 2017. This count provides a snapshot of the scope of homelessness in our community and across the nation and is vital to assessing need and leveraging resources to prevent and end homelessness.   Click here​ to read the full article. 

N.J. SUPREME COURT AFFIRMS ‘GAP PERIOD’ NEEDS, REJECTS TOWNS’ ATTEMPTS TO EXCLUDE THOUSANDS

The Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness applauds the work of the Fair Share Housing Center and their allies and the New Jersey Supreme Court decision in support of affordable housing obligations for the “gap period”  between 1999 and 2015.

This decision is a significant step forward in creating fair and balanced housing for tens of thousands of New Jersey families and people with disabilities, and a commitment to fight discriminatory interpretation of the Mount Laurel decision.

Moving forward, much work will need to be done to determine realistic solutions in implementing this decision, to ensure that its intent and spirit is not derailed by a continuing series of legal challenges and tangled bureaucracy. – Frank Cirillo

 

We need to tell Congress now NOT TO REPEAL Medicaid expansion

Members of Congress need to hear from you how Medicaid expansion is critical to helping people experiencing homelessness receive coverage and care.

Here’s What You Can Do Now:

  1. Go here and click “Call Congress.”
  2. Fill out the form and follow the simple instructions to call your Congressional office. You can reference the script of talking points that will pop up.
  3. After you make the call, please fill in the feedback form on the last page to let us know how the call went.

Once you’ve made your calls, return to the homepage and Tweet at your members of Congress using #ACAWorks and #ProtectOurCare.

More Actions You Can Take:

Watch the Webinar

Listen to the webinar co-hosted by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, National Healthcare for the Homeless Council, and CSH to stay informed about what is at stake and prepare you for sustained advocacy on this issue.

Background

As a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the number of people eligible for Medicaid increased, known as Medicaid expansion. Medicaid Expansion is not mandatory since the Supreme Court ruled that states are not required to expand their Medicaid coverage. However. most states have expanded their coverage. As a result, 11 million people have gained coverage in expansion states. Our partners at Health Care for the Homeless found that homeless patients are nearly five times more likely to have gained insurance since 2013 if they live in a state that has expanded Medicaid.
 
Repeal of the ACA is a repeal of Medicaid expansion.
 
If this happens, the most vulnerable people will be disproportionately impacted including many people experiencing homelessness who will lose their healthcare coverage. It’s up to us to protect the care of people experiencing homelessness.

Call your members of Congress TODAY and ask them to not to repeal the Medicaid expansion!

Homelessness Update

Hud awards $1.95 Billion in continuum of care grants

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded funding to almost 7,600 local homeless service providers to end homelessness. This year’s Continuum of Care (CoC) competition continued its trend of rewarding high-performing, Housing First programs.

See a full list of awardees »

Building owners managers can play a role in ending homelessness

In high-rent, low-vacancy markets the need for subsidized housing outweighs the supply. Owners of HUD-assisted multifamily buildings can apply a “homeless preference” to their waitlist to help house a homeless individual or family quickly.

Learn More about the “Homeless Preference” »

Eight things the new congress may do with big impacts on homelessness

Big change is underway in Washington, DC! While there is little information coming from the Trump administration’s transition team about policy, there are some things we can plan for based on what we do know. Read our blog on potential changes to the Affordable Care Act, appropriations, spending limits and more.

Read the Blog »

Final rule establishes performance standards for RHY grantees

The Families and Youth Services Bureau has released its final rule on its Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs.

The rule reflects existing statutory requirements in the RHYA and changes made via the Reconnecting Homeless Youth Act of 2008. More specifically, the rule establishes program performance standards for RHY grantees providing services to eligible youth and their families.

The final rule also includes additional requirements that apply to the Basic Center, Transitional Living, and Street Outreach Programs, such as nondiscrimination, background checks, outreach, and training.

Read the Final Rule »

Making Rapid Re-Housing Partnerships: Lots of Work To Do!

by Sharon McDonald

In September, people from across the country participated in our Rapid Re-Housing Summit to explore successes and assess the next steps to advance the model further. One of the key topics participants explored was developing partnerships. The big takeaway? We have a lot of work to do!

Read more »

Ready for the New Congress: 8 Things They Might Do With Big Impacts on Homelessness

by Steve Berg

Big change is underway in Washington, DC! On Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, the same party will take control of both Congress and the White House. This was also the case at the beginning of the Obama, W. Bush and Clinton administrations. The result was that all three administrations were able to get major legislation passed very early.

There is little information coming from the Trump administration’s transition team about policy. But, there are some things we can plan for based on what we do know.

Read more »

How Salt Lake City Makes Rapid Re-Housing Work

by naehblog

For rapid re-housing to work best, it needs to be integrated into your community plan. It should be a part of Coordinated Entry, ingrained in the processes at emergency shelters, and supported by committed resources from many partners who help families re-build their support networks and stability in housing.

Read more »

The above information was provided by The National Alliance to End Homelessness in an email.

NJ Receives $45,574,610 to End Homelessness

On December 20, 2016, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced $45,574,610 in HUD funding to NJ communities working to end homelessness.

With the exception of one state, South Dakota which has one Continuum of Care, no other state out-performed New Jersey in receiving an increase in HUD funding.

Monarch congratulates all New Jersey’s counties on their awards, including the 17 counties Monarch works with to submit successful funding applications.

New Jersey organizations received a combination of renewed, reallocated and new funding.

This year, HUD continued to challenge state and local planning organizations called “Continuums of Care” to support their highest performing local programs that have proven most effective in meeting the needs of homeless persons in their communities.

Many of these state and local planners also embraced HUD’s call to shift funds from existing under-performing projects to create new ones that are based on best practices that will further their efforts to prevent and end homelessness.

NJCounts 2016 found 8,941 homeless men, women and children across the state of New Jersey. This showed a decrease of 1,279 persons (12.4%) from 2015. While the decrease shows progress, the count still shows the critical need for voucher and homeless assistance funding.

This federal funding will provide much needed assistance to our most vulnerable populations by supporting the organizations on the front lines in the battle against homelessness in New Jersey. As a former mayor, I know how important increasing access to safe and reliable housing is to strengthening our communities.  We have a commitment to extending a hand to our brothers and sisters who need it most by helping ensure they have every opportunity to lift themselves up.

said Sen. Cory Booker

Read More

The above information was provided by the Monarch Housing Associates in an email.

In Case You Missed It…

This week at CBPP, we focused on health care, the federal budget and taxes, state budgets and taxes, and food assistance.

  • On health care, Matt Broaddus and Edwin Park highlighted the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s historic coverage gains.  Our state-by-state interactive illustrated how ACA repeal would undermine these gains and leave many more uninsured.  Sarah Lueck explained that the Republican approach to repeal means millions will lose pre-existing condition protections.  Anna Bailey noted that despite the newly signed Cures Act, Medicaid remains the major source of funding for states to treat mental illness and substance use disorders.  Shelby Gonzales reminded consumers to enroll in marketplace plans for coverage that starts on January 1.
  • On the federal budget and taxes, Richard Kogan and David Reich found that House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price’s proposals to change the budget process would harm key programs aimed at moderate- and low-income families and favor tax breaks for the wealthy.  Chye-Ching Huang and Paul Van de Water used new Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center data to show that millionaires would receive most of the tax cuts from repealing the ACA.  Chloe Cho’s state-by-state look at repealing the estate tax demonstrated that only the wealthiest few Americans would benefit.  We excerpted Jared Bernstein’s Washington Post op-ed listing why policymakers shouldn’t cut taxes.
  • On state budgets and taxes, Elizabeth McNichol analyzed how states can use tax policy to stop increasing inequality and start reducing it, and our state-by-state fact sheets reveal the striking concentration of incomes among the wealthiest residents in every state. 
  • On food assistance, Dottie Rosenbaum and Ed Bolen explained why reports claiming the alleged success of reimposing a three-month time limit on SNAP in Kansas and Maine are misleading.

Chart of the week: Large Coverage Gains Under Affordable Care Act

A variety of news outlets featured CBPP’s work and experts recently. Here are some highlights:

Why Trump Should Strengthen the Housing Voucher Program
Huffington Post
December 16, 2016

The stealth attack on the social safety net will come through boring budget processes
Daily Kos
December 14, 2016

Why even the strongest Republican efforts can’t defeat the welfare state
Washington Post
December 12, 2016

Surprise! Obamacare Repeal Includes a Stealth Tax Cut For Top Earners
Talking Points Memo
December 9, 2016

What Would It Take to Replace the Pay Working-Class Americans Have Lost?
New York Times
December 9, 2016

The above information was provided by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in an email.

How State Policymakers Can Decrease Income Inequality

Over the last 35 years, income gains in the American economy have accrued largely to the richest households, while many middle- and lower-income Americans haven’t shared in the nation’s growing prosperity.

In a new paper from CBPP, we explain how this income disparity has reduced opportunities for working people striving to get ahead and weakened our overall economy. Choices by state policymakers can make can make matters worse or improve them.

As Elizabeth McNichol writes:

“Virtually all states collect more taxes from moderate- and lower-income families, as a share of their income, than high-income families. This increases inequality by reducing after-tax incomes more deeply among low- and middle-income families than high-income families.”

State policymakers have numerous tools to ensure that high-income earners pay their fair share and lower-income earners don’t face increased tax responsibility. These include expanding taxes on inherited wealth, strengthening taxes on corporations, and enacting state earned income tax credits.  They should take these steps to make sure everyone benefits from economic prosperity.

Read the Report

Download the PDF (23pp)

The above information was provided by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in an email.

Homeless Persons’ Memorial Service

Homeless Persons’ Memorial Service
Wednesday, December 21, 201 6
Turning Point United Methodist church, l5 South Broad Street, Trenton. NJ
10:00 -1 I :00 am – Service
Clifford A. Goldman
Board Chairman

December 5,2016 Trenton, NJ – on Wednesday, December 21,2016,at 10 am, at Turning point United Methodist Church, the Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness and Turning Point United Methodist Church will host a Homeless Persons’ Memorial Service. This event is held in conjunction with the National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day traditionally held on December 2lst, the day with the least amount of daylight and the longest period of darkness.

All Mercer Counly homeless people who died in the last year as a result of their lack of shelter or care will be remembered at this time’ People are invited to take time out and reflect on the tragic loss of these individuals. Local clergy will participate. The service will include readings, prayers, and names of individuals who experienced homelessness and died this past year.

The Mercer Alliance, working with local homeless providers and homeless individuals gathered information on individuals who died while living on the street or in emergency shelter, as well as ildividuals who died while living in transitional or permanent housing for the formerly homeless, People are welcome to bring names of friends or family members who experienced homelessness that have died in the past year to be remembered.

Advocates and individuals experiencing homelessness are expected to attend this service, which .will reflect on theie lives of those who died while homeless and will highlight the Mercer Alliance’s and the community’s continuing commitment towards ending homelessne ss. ” During this Holiday Season we ask ever.yone to ramentber thut individuals and.families are experiencing homelessness in America and Mercer C’ounty andwe
need to continue to.lbcus on ending homelessne,s’s”, said Frank Cirillo, Executive Director of Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness.

For additional information contact Frank Cirillo of the Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness at (609-599-9762 or Frank Cirillo c/o

President-elect Trump Nominates Dr. Carson

President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Dr. Ben Carson to be the next Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
 
We are eager to work with the Trump Administration and Dr. Carson to create more opportunities for Americans to access affordable housing, and to ensure the most vulnerable individuals and families in need of supportive housing are housed in their own homes and healthy.
 
Our economic future depends on finding sustainable ways to ensure everyone, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, age, family status or income, can access and afford safe, decent rental housing. Not only is this crucial today, but for our children and grandchildren too.
 
For those in need of supportive housing, their very lives depend on finding stable homes with access to the healthcare and other services that offer them the chance to move forward with independence and purpose, which benefits everyone in the community. In too many instances, our nation continues to over-rely on expensive institutional care that inadequately houses and fails to address the needs of the most vulnerable people, shortchanging them and the rest of us. Supportive housing is a proven, cost-effective alternative that empowers individuals and families to thrive within our communities.
 
Evidence tells us housing is a key social determinant of health for individuals and communities alike, and CSH will continue to work with policymakers at all levels to enhance and increase the integration of housing and healthcare.
 
CSH will be in the forefront of ensuring the new Administration and Congress have the extensive data, reports and personal stories demonstrating beyond question that supportive housing works, is cost-effective, holds down healthcare and public safety costs, revitalizes neighborhoods, and creates jobs and economic development, making a real difference in communities across this country.
 
As Dr. Carson begins his transition to HUD, we stand ready to join with him to expand on the progress supportive housing has made for nearly 40 years.

Deborah De Santis
President and CEO
CSH

The above information was provided by the Corporation for Supportive Housing in an email, December 8th.

Nearly 30 Million People Would Lose Health Insurance Under ACA Repeal

Nearly 30 million people would lose their health insurance coverage if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, data from the Urban Institute show. We have published fact sheets showing the number of people who would lose coverage and the loss of related federal funding in each state.

Republican policymakers plan to move quickly in January to repeal much of the health reform law without enacting a replacement. This would cause families across the country to go without needed health care and expose them to financial risk.

Most of the coverage loss would occur among families with at least one worker and among people without college degrees, doubling the number of uninsured and leaving a higher share of people uninsured than before the ACA

States would lose significant federal funds. Even states that didn’t expand Medicaid would see declines in federal spending as eligible people fall off the program. The growth in the number of uninsured residents would increase demand for uncompensated care by $1.1 trillion between 2019 and 2028.

Repealing the ACA without putting in place an adequate replacement plan that ensures affordable coverage would more than double the total number of uninsured to 58.7 million people, greater than the number who were uninsured prior to enactment of the ACA. 

Read the Fact Sheets

Read Judy Solomon’s Analysis of the Urban Data

The above information was provided by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in an email, December 7th.