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Addressing Housing Instability and Homelessness Matters More Than Ever


Mayors and governors across the country are playing a leading role in how their local response to COVID-19 takes shape. Their actions are critical to protecting people experiencing homelessness, preventing further spread, and protecting the capacity of our hospitals to serve everyone who needs it.

We are pleased that our federal lawmakers provided fiscal relief through the CARES Act, and we need to ensure that our state and local governments prioritize people experiencing homelessness and those who serve them.

This crisis is a stark reminder that our health depends on the health of others. When the most vulnerable people in our community are safe, we are all stronger.

We need your help urging your mayor and governor to protect people experiencing homelessness and homeless system response staff, and prevent housing instability and homelessness in the long-run. This includes:

  • Leading a coordinated response with a housing stability lead that also engages the homeless response system in their community-wide approach
  • Addressing racial equity and disproportionate impact on marginalized communities, targeting housing and outreach to high-risk communities and ensuring equitable access to resources
  • Ensuring there are safe spaces for quarantine and isolation for people experiencing homelessness, which are adequately staffed, funded, and equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Securing additional funds to complement federal funding from foundations, charitable networks, and private enterprise 
  • Stem inflow into homelessness, including using federal funds for emergency rent payments and enacting a temporary, uniform moratorium on evictions
  • Accelerating placements into permanent housing for people at high risk, including those with underlying health conditions and those over the age of 50

Your story can make a difference. Please add your own stories and information to the email template. Your local elected officials want to hear how organizations in your community are impacted and responding to this pandemic.


Using CARES Act funding to Reduce Housing Instability and Homelessness
Federal funding for local governments is available through the CARES Act to be used for emergency housing assistance. Our coalition partners, National Low-Income Housing Coalition and National Alliance to End Homelessness, created this useful guidance for what local officials should do to address housing instability and homelessness.


You can use this sample script when calling your mayor governor. If you don’t get through, feel free to leave a message.

  • Hi, my name is ___________ and I live in [city, state.] 
  • I am calling [the Mayor or the Governor] to make sure that they prioritize people experiencing homelessness and those that serve them when making decisions about how to allocate new funding and resources.
  • People experiencing homelessness are vulnerable to contracting and spreading the coronavirus. Please use available resources to:
    • Lead with a coordinated response and engage the homeless response system in your community-wide approach;
    • Ensure there are adequate and safe spaces for quarantine and isolation;
    • Prioritize homeless response staff when personal protective equipment (PPE) is secured; and
    • Secure additional funds to ensure people experiencing homelessness and those serving have them have what they need to to prevent deaths and further spread of the virus.
    • Use this moment and momentum to prevent housing instability and homelessness after the pandemic ends.
  • Can I count on [the mayor or governor] to prioritize the needs of those in our state experiencing homelessness and those helping them?
  • Thank you for your time. 


Copy and paste this into an email or online form. Feel free to edit to include a personal story. 

Dear Mayor/Governor __________, 

My name is ___________ and I live in [city, state.] 

People experiencing homelessness are vulnerable to contracting and spreading the coronavirus. Please use available resources to:

  • Lead with a coordinated response and engage the homeless response system in your community-wide approach
  • Ensure there are adequate and safe spaces for quarantine and isolation
  • Prioritize homeless response staff when personal protective equipment (PPE) is secured
  • Secure additional funds to ensure people experiencing homelessness and those serving have them have what they need to to prevent deaths and further spread of the virus.

Can I count on you to prioritize the needs of those in our state experiencing homelessness and those helping them?

Thank you.
[Name]
[Address]
[City, State zip]


READ MORE ABOUT THE CARES ACT

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