ELCA Message on Homelessness

Support Affordable Housing and Homeless Funding in FY23 Budget

Tell Congress: Prioritize housing and homeless programs in the FY23 federal budget

This spring, House and Senate committee members advanced an annually passed Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) spending bill which would set funding levels for critical housing and homeless programs through the federal budget. As the full Congress prepares to move on our nation’s spending priorities for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23), it is a significant time to bring attention to the staggering costs of the housing market and the need to invest more in homeless support programs.

Faith groups, including Lutherans, are at the fore of addressing housing insecurity. Many houses of worship and affiliated social ministry organizations offer wrap-around services, shelter and even affordable housing building investments for those of us in the greatest need. This comes as record high inflation and record low levels of available housing have led to surging costs, which also drives homelessness. The growing affordable housing challenges are rooted in policy choices, and the faith community cannot address the crisis alone. Over the last several years, hundreds of Lutherans have urged Congress to make homeless and housing a greater priority in the federal budget – recognizing that housing is a core human need linked with many other realities, including hunger, health, family relationships and economic mobility. Investing in housing today will making meaningful steps in addressing young adult and historic racial wealth disparities, as well as address a significant shortfall in senior housing for older adults.

As legislators discuss funding levels in the FY23 budget, what they pay attention to matters. The ELCA social message, “Homelessness: A Renewal of Commitment,” says: “Church leaders are challenged to help create the public will to eliminate homelessness.” It is critical that our public policy makers hear the perspectives, opinions and expertise of the religious community toward ensuring that our nation’s resources reach those of us in the greatest need, including as we address the challenges of homelessness.

Send a message to Congress urging support for housing and homeless programs in the FY23 budget, and please consider these additional opportunities:

  1. SIGN before June 30, as discerned by your congregation or ministry, a faith-based sign on letter to Congress in support Housing First, a strategic model that helps stop cyclical homelessness and keeps the most vulnerable stably housed.
  2. WATCH “Fair Housing for All” (4/22/22), Presiding Bishop Eaton’s 2-minute video message on the need to address discrimination in access to housing.
Customize this letter with information from your community, ministry and experience, and adapt it into your own words. Local facts are most influential with your national lawmaker. Thank you for adding your voice! 
POSTED 6/14/2022


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