Twenty Successes -- Staying the Course: Advocacy for McKinney-Vento

Over the last 10 years, homeless advocates and policymakers in Washington debated many ways to revitalize McKinney-Vento, the early leader in homelessness programming.

Throughout that discussion, CSH stuck to several principles: codify the most effective elements of the Continuum of Care approach; impose rigorous, but realistic performance measures on grantees; target grants to maximize other public and private resources; and concentrate some portion of  grants on permanent supportive housing for people who are chronically homeless.

We provided expertise to help Congress draft strong reauthorizing legislation and activated grassroots networks to encourage both chambers to consider and pass it. In the midst of the housing crisis, the House and Senate agreed on a package and sent the HEARTH Act to the President’s desk, attached to a bill dealing with the broader foreclosure crisis.

CSH’s President and CEO, Deb DeSantis, had the honor and privilege of attending the bill signing ceremony at the White House on May 20, 2009: “With the sweep of his pen, President Barack Obama has accomplished what many of us have been fighting for since the early part of this century, the re-invigoration of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and a new focus on ending homelessness.”

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