* This post was updated on May 7, 2013.
Dear Mayor Gray:
Nearly 200 organizations write to request that you withdraw Subtitle D, The Homeless Services Reform Amendment Act of 2013, from the 2014 Budget Support Act and allow the proposed changes to the Homeless Services Reform Act (“HSRA”) contained therein to go through stakeholder review and the normal legislative process. Councilmember Graham, chairman of the Committee on Human Services, is willing to hold a regular legislative hearing on the bill. He feels – as we do – that such significant changes to the rights of our neighbors without homes deserve serious consideration that will be difficult to devote via the budget process.
Despite the fact that the proposed HSRA amendments significantly impact the rights of shelter applicants, shelter residents, Rapid Rehousing participants and Supportive Housing participants, they were not vetted with the Interagency Council on Homelessness (“ICH”) or any other community process. The HSRA of 2005 was the outcome of a community process involving government officials, shelter and service providers, homeless advocates, and homeless individuals. The “HSRA workgroup” convened dozens of meetings during a multi-year process where every issue, from adverse actions to client responsibilities and rights to provider standards, were discussed and fleshed out. In fact, many of the very issues contained in the amendment package, such as mandatory escrow, were discussed, best practices researched, and a public policy developed. The undersigned organizations object to the Department of Human Services significantly amending this law without any community process, input from the ICH, or even a regular legislative hearing. In addition, the proposed changes have no fiscal impact according to the Chief Financial Office and therefore the proposed change is not germane to the budget
For these reasons, we respectfully request that you withdraw the amendments and reintroduce them through the normal legislative process. This will allow the community, the ICH, the Council’s Committee on Human Services, service providers, and your constituents who will be directly affected by the significant changes contained in the amendments to have the opportunity for input.
Thank you for your consideration. Please feel free to contact Patty Mullahy Fugere at the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless (firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 328-5504), or Kate Coventry at the DC Fiscal Policy Institute (email@example.com, (202) 325-8861) with any questions.
Patricia Mullahy Fugere, Executive Director, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless
On behalf of:Academy of Hope Advocates for Justice and Education Afterschool Alliance Arts for DC Kids Asian Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project Beacon House Blessed Haven Inc. Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington Brainfood Brave Heart Entrepreneurial Youth Camp Bread for the City Break the Cycle BUILD Capital Area Food Bank Care for Kids Foundation Carpe Diem Project, Inc. Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington Chess Challenge in DC Children’s Law Center Children’s National Medical Center CitiWide Computer and Nursing Assistant Center City at Peace City Kids Wilderness Project College and Career Connections College Bound Common Threads Communities In Schools of the Nation’s Capital Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place Community Services Agency of the Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO Connect to Protect (C2P) Cornerstone Countdown to College and Careers, Inc. Covenant House Washington Dance Institute of Washington DC Alliance of Youth Advocates DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy DC Catholic Conference DC Center for the LGBT Community DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence DC Community Coalition DC Fiscal Policy Institute DC for Reasonable Development DC Hunger Solutions DC Jobs Council DC Lawyers for Youth DC Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program DC Rape Crisis Center DC Scores DC Statehood Green Party DC Tenants’ Advocacy Coalition (TENAC) DC Tenants’ Rights Center DC Youth Advisory Council Defeat Poverty DC District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH) Donald Brooks, ICH Member Dream City Dreams for Kids DV LEAP Edgewood/Brookland Family Support Collaborative Emergence Community Arts Collective The Episcopal Center for Children Fair Budget Coalition Fair Chance FAN (Fihankra Akoma Ntoaso) Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative Foster & Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center (FAPAC) Free Minds Book Club and Writing Workshop Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital Global Kids Inc. Good Faith Communities Coalition Healthy Families/Thriving Communities Collaborative Council Helping Inner City Kids Succeed Higher Achievement Program Homeless Children’s Playtime Project Hope and a Home Horizons at Maret Horton’s Kids Inc. Housing Works Hung Tao Choy Mei Leadership Institute Institute for Behavioral Change Institute for Global Communication Interfaith Child Advocacy Network of Metro Washington International Community Corrections Association International Labor Rights Forum Interstages, Inc Iona Senior Services Jews United for Justice Jobs Have Priority Jubilee Housing Jubilee Jumpstart Juma Ventures Junior Achievement Justice for Youth DC Kid Power-DC, Inc. Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) Latino Economic Development Center
Learning Communities Initiative Legal Aid Society of DC Legal Counsel for the Elderly Life Pieces To Masterpieces, Inc. LifeSTARTS Limitless Possibility Little Lights Urban Ministries Live It Learn It Living Classrooms Lydia’s House Mary’s Center Mentors Inc. Metro TeenAIDS Metropolitan Washington Council AFL-CIO Miriam’s Kitchen Multicultural Intern Program Multi-Media Training Institute My Sister’s Place National Center for Housing and Child Welfare National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty National Nurses United National Organization of Concerned Black Men Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship New Community for Children New Destiny, LLC Northwest Settlement House (NWSH) One DC Operation HOPE – Banking on Our Future Parklands Community Center Peer Health Exchange People Animals Love Perry School Community Services Center, Inc. Pin Points Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC Polaris Project The Posse Foundation Professor Jeffrey S. Gutman, Professor of Clinical Law, GWU Law Professor Jessica K. Steinberg, Director, Neighborhood Law & Policy Clinic, GWU Law Professor Matt Fraidin, Director, HIV/AIDS Legal Clinic, UDC School of Law Project Create Public Allies DC Public Defender Service Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities Ramona’s Way Raising Expectations Inc. RCM of Washington, Inc. Reach 4 Success Resilient Kids LLC RestartEDU Revolution Hunger Sadiki Educational Safari Safety Network for Abused Animals & People (SNAAP) Sasha Bruce Youthworks, Inc Saturday Environmental Academy See Forever Foundation: New Beginnings Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL) Shakespeare Theatre Company Sitar Arts Center SOME, Inc. (So Others Might Eat) Southeast Ministry StandUp For Kids – DC Stigma Street Law Student Conservation Association Survivors and Advocates for Empowerment Transgender Health Empowerment, Inc. (T.H.E.) Turning the Page UDC David A. Clarke School of Law United Planning Organization University Legal Services Up2Us Urban Alliance Foundation Urban Housing Alliance Urban Mind Vietnamese-American Community Service Center (VACSC) Vision to Peace Project Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless Washington Peace Center Washington Tennis & Education Foundation We Are Family Wider Opportunities for Women Wilderness Leadership & Learning, Inc. William Kellibrew Foundation The Women’s Collective YearUp Young Ladies of Tomorrow Young Playwrights’ Theater Young Women’s Drumming Empowerment Project Young Women’s Project Youth Education Alliance (YEA) Youth Lab Youth Leadership Support Network YWCA of the National Capital Area