* This post was updated on May 7, 2013.

Dear Mayor Gray:

Nearly 200 organizations write to request that you withdraw Subtitle D, The Homeless Services Reform Amendment Act of 2013, from the 2014 Budget Support Act and allow the proposed changes to the Homeless Services Reform Act (“HSRA”) contained therein to go through stakeholder review and the normal legislative process. Councilmember Graham, chairman of the Committee on Human Services, is willing to hold a regular legislative hearing on the bill. He feels – as we do – that such significant changes to the rights of our neighbors without homes deserve serious consideration that will be difficult to devote via the budget process.

Despite the fact that the proposed HSRA amendments significantly impact the rights of shelter applicants, shelter residents, Rapid Rehousing participants and Supportive Housing participants, they were not vetted with the Interagency Council on Homelessness (“ICH”) or any other community process. The HSRA of 2005 was the outcome of a community process involving government officials, shelter and service providers, homeless advocates, and homeless individuals. The “HSRA workgroup” convened dozens of meetings during a multi-year process where every issue, from adverse actions to client responsibilities and rights to provider standards, were discussed and fleshed out. In fact, many of the very issues contained in the amendment package, such as mandatory escrow, were discussed, best practices researched, and a public policy developed. The undersigned organizations object to the Department of Human Services significantly amending this law without any community process, input from the ICH, or even a regular legislative hearing. In addition, the proposed changes have no fiscal impact according to the Chief Financial Office and therefore the proposed change is not germane to the budget

For these reasons, we respectfully request that you withdraw the amendments and reintroduce them through the normal legislative process. This will allow the community, the ICH, the Council’s Committee on Human Services, service providers, and your constituents who will be directly affected by the significant changes contained in the amendments to have the opportunity for input.

Thank you for your consideration. Please feel free to contact Patty Mullahy Fugere at the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless (patty@legalclinic.org, (202) 328-5504), or Kate Coventry at the DC Fiscal Policy Institute (coventry@dcfpi.org, (202) 325-8861) with any questions.


Patricia Mullahy Fugere, Executive Director, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless

On behalf of:

Academy of Hope
Advocates for Justice and Education
Afterschool Alliance
Arts for DC Kids
Asian Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project
Beacon House
Blessed Haven Inc.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington
Brave Heart Entrepreneurial Youth Camp
Bread for the City
Break the Cycle
Capital Area Food Bank
Care for Kids Foundation
Carpe Diem Project, Inc.
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington
Chess Challenge in DC
Children’s Law Center
Children’s National Medical Center
CitiWide Computer and Nursing Assistant Center
City at Peace
City Kids Wilderness Project
College and Career Connections
College Bound
Common Threads
Communities In Schools of the Nation’s Capital
Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place
Community Services Agency of the Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO
Connect to Protect (C2P)
Countdown to College and Careers, Inc.
Covenant House Washington
Dance Institute of Washington
DC Alliance of Youth Advocates
DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
DC Catholic Conference
DC Center for the LGBT Community
DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence
DC Community Coalition
DC Fiscal Policy Institute
DC for Reasonable Development
DC Hunger Solutions
DC Jobs Council
DC Lawyers for Youth
DC Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
DC Rape Crisis Center
DC Scores
DC Statehood Green Party
DC Tenants’ Advocacy Coalition (TENAC)
DC Tenants’ Rights Center
DC Youth Advisory Council
Defeat Poverty DC
District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH)
Donald Brooks, ICH Member
Dream City
Dreams for Kids
Edgewood/Brookland Family Support Collaborative
Emergence Community Arts Collective
The Episcopal Center for Children
Fair Budget Coalition
Fair Chance
FAN (Fihankra Akoma Ntoaso)
Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative
Foster & Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center (FAPAC)
Free Minds Book Club and Writing Workshop
Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital
Global Kids Inc.
Good Faith Communities Coalition
Healthy Families/Thriving Communities Collaborative Council
Helping Inner City Kids Succeed
Higher Achievement Program
Homeless Children’s Playtime Project
Hope and a Home
Horizons at Maret
Horton’s Kids Inc.
Housing Works
Hung Tao Choy Mei Leadership Institute
Institute for Behavioral Change
Institute for Global Communication
Interfaith Child Advocacy Network of Metro Washington
International Community Corrections Association
International Labor Rights Forum
Interstages, Inc
Iona Senior Services
Jews United for Justice
Jobs Have Priority
Jubilee Housing
Jubilee Jumpstart
Juma Ventures
Junior Achievement
Justice for Youth DC
Kid Power-DC, Inc.
Latin American Youth Center (LAYC)
Latino Economic Development Center
Learning Communities Initiative
Legal Aid Society of DC
Legal Counsel for the Elderly
Life Pieces To Masterpieces, Inc.
Limitless Possibility
Little Lights Urban Ministries
Live It Learn It
Living Classrooms
Lydia’s House
Mary’s Center
Mentors Inc.
Metro TeenAIDS
Metropolitan Washington Council AFL-CIO
Miriam’s Kitchen
Multicultural Intern Program
Multi-Media Training Institute
My Sister’s Place
National Center for Housing and Child Welfare
National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty
National Nurses United
National Organization of Concerned Black Men
Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship
New Community for Children
New Destiny, LLC
Northwest Settlement House (NWSH)
One DC
Operation HOPE – Banking on Our Future
Parklands Community Center
Peer Health Exchange
People Animals Love
Perry School Community Services Center, Inc.
Pin Points
Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC
Polaris Project
The Posse Foundation
Professor Jeffrey S. Gutman, Professor of Clinical Law, GWU Law
Professor Jessica K. Steinberg, Director, Neighborhood Law & Policy Clinic, GWU Law
Professor Matt Fraidin, Director, HIV/AIDS Legal Clinic, UDC School of Law
Project Create
Public Allies DC
Public Defender Service
Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities
Ramona’s Way
Raising Expectations Inc.
RCM of Washington, Inc.
Reach 4 Success
Resilient Kids LLC
Revolution Hunger
Sadiki Educational Safari
Safety Network for Abused Animals & People (SNAAP)
Sasha Bruce Youthworks, Inc
Saturday Environmental Academy
See Forever Foundation: New Beginnings
Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL)
Shakespeare Theatre Company
Sitar Arts Center
SOME, Inc. (So Others Might Eat)
Southeast Ministry
StandUp For Kids – DC
Street Law
Student Conservation Association
Survivors and Advocates for Empowerment
Transgender Health Empowerment, Inc. (T.H.E.)
Turning the Page
UDC David A. Clarke School of Law
United Planning Organization
University Legal Services
Urban Alliance Foundation
Urban Housing Alliance
Urban Mind
Vietnamese-American Community Service Center (VACSC)
Vision to Peace Project
Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless
Washington Peace Center
Washington Tennis & Education Foundation
We Are Family
Wider Opportunities for Women
Wilderness Leadership & Learning, Inc.
William Kellibrew Foundation
The Women’s Collective
Young Ladies of Tomorrow
Young Playwrights’ Theater
Young Women’s Drumming Empowerment Project
Young Women’s Project
Youth Education Alliance (YEA)
Youth Lab
Youth Leadership Support Network
YWCA of the National Capital Area