For thousands of individuals and families, recovery from addiction is the first step to getting healthy, returning to the workforce and getting back on their feet. Unfortunately, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, through its Housing First approach, penalizes programs for prioritizing sobriety and incentivizes the homeless to stay unemployed. Most programs that require sobriety and job training are losing federal funding. Instead, taxpayer subsidized permanent housing is being offered to active drug users while those seeking a supportive drug-free environment are denied services. Fortunately, Congress and the Administration are listening. They’re waking up to what’s been going on and are ready to act.
During his visit with Solutions for Change residents and graduates, Congressman Darrell Issa issued a bold challenge: “Send me your stories and I will hand-carry them to the Secretary’s office at HUD.” Our residents and grads have responded to the Congressman’s challenge and now Solutions for Change is taking it to the nation.
We created an online petition and are contacting programs across the country who have been forced to change their programs, eliminate sobriety and work requirements, or have been de-funded. The response has been great with many programs thanking us for our leadership.
Your voice is critical in this effort of shaping a responsible federal approach to solving family homelessness. Let Congress and HUD know how important a safe and drug-free housing environment is for families and their children to overcoming homelessness by signing the online petition. Click here to watch Amber’s video and sign the petition.