October 23, 2007
People with mental illness are disproportionately represented among the long-term chronic homeless. The Senate is considering the renewal of a program that helps bring permanent supportive housing those who need it most: people with serious mental illnesses and other disabilities. The bill (S 1518), would reauthorize the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and maintain critical protections for homeless individuals with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse disorders. NAMI strongly supports S 1518, and is urging the full Senate to pass the legislation as soon as possible. The legislation, sponsored by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Wayne Allard (R-CO), unanimously passed the Senate Banking Committee on September 19.
Contact your Senators today and urge them to support immediate Senate passage of S 1518 to renew the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and maintain progress toward ending chronic homelessness experienced by people with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse disorders.
On October 16, Nancy Carter, President of NAMI Urban Los Angeles and a member of the NAMI National Board of Directors testified before the House Financial Services Housing Subcommittee on the McKinney-Vento program and federal policy regarding homelessness and mental illness. Her statement contains background on NAMI’s positions on funding for permanent supportive housing and NAMI’s justification for opposing an expansion of the current definition of homelessness. Click here to view her testimony.
Click here to view NAMI's letter in support of S1518.