Housing First is at the foundation of an effective, evidence-based community response to ending homelessness.
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Local Housing & Homelessness Highlights
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Food Bank of Alaska
To download the Anchorage flyer, click here
For helpful turkey cooking and handling tips from the USDA, click here.
Each turkey costs approximately $22. A full meal for a family is about $37. Consider sponsoring a fund drive to raise dollars toward the purchase of Thanksgiving groceries. You can give online or mail a gift to Food Bank of Alaska, 2192 Viking Dr., Anchorage, AK 99501.
To make a donation to an Anchorage Blessing site, click here.
National Housing & Homelessness Highlights
U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH)
New Data Shows 11% Decline in Veteran Homelessness Since 2020—the Biggest Drop in 5+ Years
Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) announced preliminary results of the 2022 Point-in-Time Count showing an 11% decline in veteran homelessness since early 2020—the last time a full count was conducted. This is the biggest drop in veteran homelessness in more than five years.
The data show that on a single night in January 2022, there were 33,136 veterans who were experiencing homelessness in the United States—down from 37,252 in 2020. Overall, this represents a 55.3% reduction in veterans experiencing homelessness since 2010.
“Not only did we lower the number of veterans experiencing homelessness, but we made this progress during a global pandemic and economic crisis,” said USICH Executive Director Jeff Olivet. “This proves that, even under the most difficult circumstances, we can take care of each other and address homelessness.”
“One veteran experiencing homelessness will always be one too many, but the 2022 PIT Count shows that we are making real progress in the fight to end veteran homelessness,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough, who serves as the chair of USICH. “There is still a long way to go, but under President Biden’s leadership, we at VA, HUD, and USICH will not stop until every veteran has a good, safe, stable home in this country they fought to defend.”
“All veterans deserve to have what they need to lead healthy, safe and successful lives—that starts with a place to call home,” said HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge. “The data released today shows we are closer than ever in ensuring that every veteran in America has a home and challenges us to ensure that every veteran—and every person in America—has a home.”
The 2022 PIT Count is the first full PIT Count since 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began. In 2021, many communities did not conduct unsheltered counts in order to stop or slow the spread of COVID-19, resulting in an incomplete picture of veteran homelessness in America.
Notably, the results from the PIT Count do not reflect the additional efforts launched by VA, HUD, and USICH in 2022, including VA’s goal to rehouse 38,000 veterans this year. Through September, VA has placed nearly 31,000 homeless veterans into permanent housing—putting VA on track to meet, or even exceed, its goal.
VA, USICH, and HUD are making progress using the evidence-based “Housing First” approach, which prioritizes getting a veteran into housing, then providing them with the wraparound support they need to stay housed—including health care, job training, legal and education assistance.
This progress has been made possible by the leadership of President Biden and the resources provided by Congress during the pandemic. With the passage of the American Rescue Plan, VA’s homeless programs received $481 million in additional funding to support veterans—including funding to expand the Shallow Subsidy Initiative, to expand the Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program to address legal barriers to housing, and to transform congregate transitional housing spaces into individual rooms with bathrooms. Overall, the American Rescue Plan provided more than $5 billion to help people experiencing or at risk of homelessness as well as more than $40 billion for housing provisions nationwide.
If you are a veteran experiencing or at risk of homelessness, call the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3838). Visit the VA Homeless Programs website to learn about housing initiatives and other programs for veterans exiting homelessness.
National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC)
NLIHC’s 2023 Housing Policy Forum will offer participants an array of opportunities to engage with and learn from thought-leaders, tenant and community leaders, policy experts, researchers, affordable housing practitioners, and leaders from Capitol Hill who will discuss the state of the affordable housing crisis in America and its solutions. The forum will feature keynote addresses by acclaimed sociologist Matthew Desmond and The Revered Dr. William J. Barber II, a renowned scholar and social activist. The forum will also celebrate the launch of Desmond’s new book, Poverty, by America.
Matthew Desmond is a professor of sociology at Princeton University and the author of four books, including Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016), which won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Carnegie Medal, and the PEN / John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction. The principal investigator at Princeton’s Eviction Lab, Desmond focuses his research on poverty, city life, housing insecurity, public policy, racial inequality, and ethnography in America. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, and the William Julius Wilson Early Career Award. A contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, Desmond was named by Politico in 2016 as one of the 50 people most influencing national political discourse.
The Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II is president and senior lecturer for the organization Repairers of the Breach, a co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, and a bishop with The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries. For more than a quarter century, he has pastored the Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Goldsboro, North Carolina, and he is the author of four books: We Are Called to Be a Movement; Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing; The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement; and Forward Together: A Moral Message for the Nation. Rev. Dr. Barber served as president of the North Carolina NAACP from 2006-2017 and served on the National NAACP Board of Directors from 2008-2020. A former Mel King Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he is currently visiting professor of public theology and activism at Union Theological Seminary and senior fellow at Auburn Seminary. Rev. Dr. Barber has received the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center’s Beloved Community Award, and the Puffin Award. Signed copies of his latest book, We Are Called to Be a Movement, will be available for purchase at the forum.
Additional speakers will be announced in the coming weeks. Registration for the event will open on November 28, 2022.
Thank you to all those who have answered the call and signed up to assemble outreach item kits for our unsheltered neighbors. These kits include cold-weather items and other essentials for individuals sleeping outside during this harsh winter weather.
At the Tuesday, November 22nd meeting of the Anchorage Assembly, a unified proposal for alcohol tax funding was passed.
The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides support through the Continuum of Care (CoC) to different types of housing programs. As the designated CoC lead, the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness monitors the performance of these programs to understand how housing interventions function in Anchorage.