Ted Lieu Wants $750 Million to Combat Homelessness
Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) wants to authorize $750 million annually in federally funded grants over the next five years for local governments to combat homelessness. He introduced the Fighting Homelessness Through Services and Housing Act on Friday. To address the root causes of homelessness, the bipartisan bill -- which he introduced with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) -- would condition federal funds on a grant recipient’s ability to provide not only housing but also comprehensive services like mental health care, substance abuse treatment, and job training. Grant recipients would be required to provide 25% of project funds and report on measures of success, including whether individuals remain housed. “Addressing homelessness is a moral imperative and our approach should always be compassionate and holistic. Reducing homelessness also saves money,” said Lieu. “Funding a more holistic approach helps improve the health and wellbeing of our most vulnerable, and provides local governments with the resources to address the specific needs of their communities.” More than half a million people experience homelessness on any given night. Homelessness has been rising since 2017 following years of decline, according to the "2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report." And America’s homeless elderly population is projected to nearly triple by 2030, according to new research encompassing NYC, Boston, and Los Angeles County.