By CEO/Executive Director Laura Gray
Most of what you read about poverty and homelessness doesn’t focus on thankfulness. Because there are still homeless people, everything that has been done is often dismissed as “not enough”. But, since it’s Thanksgiving, I wanted to feel thankful. I was looking for an inspirational idea when I re-read a letter prepared for Senator Blunt encouraging support for McKinney-Vento funding.
We’re just one organization serving homeless families, but Community LINC ended homelessness for 76% of the families (236 people, 154 of whom were children) served in the first 10 months of 2014. If the past is any predictor of the future, 80% will not become homeless again. The cumulative impact of the “hand up” we gave is a $4 million increase in taxable income and $1 million less in public assistance for the families served over just the last seven years.
We could not have provided the “hand up” that ended homelessness for these parents and their children without funding from McKinney-Vento.
Also because of McKinney-Vento funding, we expanded our capacity to serve more families. Using the business model HUD promotes to rapidly re-house homeless families, over the last two years we have more than doubled the number of people who exit homelessness as a result of our program.
I’m grateful to all of the legislators on both sides of the aisle who have voted for funding to help end homelessness. And, I’m hopeful that they will continue to fund efforts to put an end to this insidious problem.