(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Interagency Council on the Homeless and the District of Columbia Homeless Initiative : hearing before the Subcommittee on Housing and Community Development of the Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, first session, October 26, 1993"

INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON THE HOMELESS 
AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 

HOMEL ESS INITIATIVE 

Y 4. B 22/1: 103-83 =^=^^=— ^= 

Interagency Council on the Honeless... 

HEARING 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON 
HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON BANKING, FINANCE AND 

URBAN AFFAIRS 
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS 
FIRST SESSION 



OCTOBER 26, 1993 



Printed for the use of the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs 

Serial No. 103-83 







U.S. GOVERNMENTT PRINTING OFFICE 
73-385 CC WASHINGTON : 1994 






""••'•.4r<?g^u.a^^, 



For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Olfice 
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington. DC 20402 
ISBN 0-16-044223-0 



INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON THE HOMELESS 

AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 

HOMEL ESS INITIATIVE 

Y 4, B 22/1: 103-83 : 



Interagency Council on the Honeless... 

HEAKING 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON 
HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON BANKING, FINANCE AND 

URBAN AFFAIRS 
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS 

FIRST SESSION 



OCTOBER 26, 1993 



Printed for the use of the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs 

Serial No. 103-83 



- .-t 







JUL 1 



3»54 



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
73-385 CC WASHINGTON : 1994 






For sale by the U.S. Government Printing OITice 
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402 
ISBN 0-16-044223-0 



HOUSE COMMITTEE ON BANKING, FINANCE AND URBAN AFFAIRS 



HENRY B. GONZALEZ. Texas, Chairman 



STEPHEN L. NEAL, North Carolina 
JOHN J. LaFALCE, New York 
BRUCE F. VENTO, Minnesota 
CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York 
BARNEY FRANK, Massachusetts 
PAUL E. KANJORSKI, Pennsylvania 
JOSEPH P. KENNEDY II, Massachusetts 
FLOYD H. FLAKE, New York 
KWEISI MFUME, Maryland 
MAXINE WATERS, California 
LARRY LaROCCO, Idaho 
BILL ORTON, Utah 
JIM BACCHUS, Florida 
HERBERT C. KLEIN, New Jersey 
CAROLYN B. MALONEY, New York 
PETER DEUTSCH, Florida 
LUIS V. GUTIERREZ, Rlinois 
BOBBY L. RUSH, Illinois 
LUCILLE ROYBAL-ALLARD, California 
THOMAS M. BARRETT, Wisconsin 
ELIZABETH FURSE, Oregon 
NYDIA M. VELAZQUEZ, New York 
ALBERT R. WYNN, Maryland 
CLEO FIELDS, Louisiana 
MELVIN WATT, North Carolina 
MAURICE HINCHEY, New York 
CALVIN M. DOOLEY, Cahfomia 
RON KLINK, Pennsylvania 
ERIC FINGERHUT, Ohio 



JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa 

BILL McCOLLUM, Florida 

MARGE ROUKEMA, New Jersey 

DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska 

THOMAS J. RIDGE, Pennsylvania 

TOBY ROTH, Wisconsin 

ALFRED A. (AL) McCANDLESS, California 

RICHARD H. BAKER, Louisiana 

JIM NUSSLE, Iowa 

CRAIG THOMAS, Wyoming 

SAM JOHNSON, Texas 

DEBORAH PRYCE, Ohio 

JOHN LINDER, Georgia 

JOE KNOLLENBERG, Michigan 

RICK LAZIO, New York 

ROD GRAMS, Minnesota 

SPENCER BACHUS, Alabama 

MIKE HUFFINGTON, California 

MICHAEL CASTLE, Delaware 

PETER KING, New York 

BERNARD SANDERS, Vermont 



Subcommittee on Housing and Community Development 



HENRY B. GONZALEZ, Texas, Chairman 



BRUCE F. VENTO, Minnesota 
CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York 
KWEISI MFUME, Maryland 
JOHN J. LaFALCE, New York 
MAXINE WATERS, California 
HERBERT C. KLEIN, New Jersey 
CAROLYN B. MALONEY, New York 
PETER DEUTSCH, Florida 
LUIS V. GUTIERREZ, Illinois 
BOBBY L. RUSH, Illinois 
LUCILLE ROYBAL-ALLARD, California 
THOMAS M. BARRETT, Wisconsin 
ELIZABETH FURSE, Oregon 
NYDIA M. VELAZQUEZ, New York 
ALBERT R. WYNN. Maryland 
CLEO FIELDS, Louisiana 
MELVIN WATT, North Carolina 



MARGE ROUKEMA, New Jersey 
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska 
THOMAS J. RIDGE, Pennsylvania 
RICHARD H. BAKER, Louisiana 
CRAIG THOMAS, Wyoming 
SAM JOHNSON, Texas 
JOE KNOLLENBERG, Michigan 
RICK LAZIO, New York 
ROD GRAMS, Minnesota 
SPENCER BACHUS, Alabama 
MICHAEL CASTLE, Delaware 
DEBORAH PRYCE, Ohio 

BERNARD SANDERS, Vermont 



(II) 



CONTENTS 



Page 

Hearing held on: 

October 26, 1993 1 

Appendix: 

October 26, 1993 37 

WITNESSES 

Tuesday, October 26, 1993 

Gray, Vincent C, Director, District of Columbia Department of Human Serv- 
ices and Chairperson, District of Columbia Interagency Homeless Coordi- 
nating Council 12 

Martin, Marsha A., Executive Director, Interagency Council on the Homeless . 4 

Roman, Nan P., Vice President, Policy and Programs, National Alliance to 
End Homelessness; also on behalf of the National Coalition for the Home- 
less and the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty 10 

Talisman, Mark E., Co-Founder, National Emergency Food and Shelter 
Program 8 

APPENDIX 

Prepared statements: 

Gonzalez, Hon. Henry B 38 

Roybal-Allard, Hon. Lucille 44 

Vento, Hon. Bruce F 41 

Gray, Vincent C 72 

Martin, Marsha A 45 

Roman, Nan P 64 

TaUsman, Mark E 61 

Additional Material Submitted for the Record 

Aiken, Kimberly C, Miss America, letter dated October 25, 1993, to Chair- 
man Gonzalez 103 

Gonzalez, Hon. Henry B.: 

Letter to HUD Secretary Cisneros dated September 21, 1993, with en- 
closed Washington Post article entitled "HUD Targets Homelessness 

in District" 100 

Questions to Mr. Gray, with responses 85 

Questions to Ms. Martin 50 

Responses 51 

Roukema, Hon. Marge: 

Questions to Mr. Gray 91 

Responses 93 

Questions to Ms. Martin 58 

Responses 59 

Question to Ms. Roman 69 

Response 70 

Vento, Hon. Bruce F., letter to the Interagency Council on the Homeless, 

dated October 21, 1993 102 



(III) 



INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON THE HOMELESS 

AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 

HOMELESS INITIATIVE 



TUESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 1993 

House of Representatives, 
Subcommittee on Housing 
AND Community Development, 
Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs, 

Washington, DC. 

The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:30 a.m., in room 
2128, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Henry B. Gronzalez 
[chairman of the subcommittee] presiding. 

Present: Chairman Gonzalez, Representatives Vento, Roybal- 
Allard, and Castle. 

Also present: Representative Frank. 

Chairman Gonzalez. This morning we have four witnesses that 
I want to thank in advance, and I am going to introduce to you: 
Ms. Marsha A. Martin; Mr. Mark E. Talisman; Ms. Nan P. Roman; 
and Mr. Vincent C. Gray. 

This hearing is being called in order to assess the impact of the 
recent elimination of funding for the Interagency Council on the 
Homeless and to hear testimony on the District of Columbia Home- 
less Initiative. This hearing represents the Subcommittee on Hous- 
ing and Community Development's longstanding effort to highlight 
the need to address homelessness. As a matter of fact, it was this 
subcommittee that first tried unsuccessfully for 4 years to bring to 
national attention the question of homelessness with the first hear- 
ing on December 15, 1982. Since then, this issue has had its ups 
and downs reflected in the news media as to the prevalency, the 
seriousness, and the acuteness of the homelessness crisis. 

It hasn't abated, it continues to grow, but depending on the per- 
ception as reflected in the news-disseminating media, we on the 
legislative level are at the mercy of the vicissitudes and the whims 
of that kind of coverage and also the administration or the execu- 
tive department's reactions. 

When we had the first hearing at the homeless shelter — in 1984, 
in fact, on January 25 — on Second Street, we had an excellent 
turnout; it was an all-day hearing. The shelter had over 1,100 per- 
sons right there that day, and we had witnesses fi-om Governor 
Cuomo to the then mayor of DC, of Chicago, of Denver, and the 
like. The local press reported it very fully and vividly. 

But the President the very next day — President Reagan, that 
is — said, well, any American who is homeless is homeless because 
he wants to be. Then 3 years later when the wheels of media re- 

(1) 



porting had increased in speed, then you had a big emergency, and 
we got the first, I think it was over $150 or $100 milHon. Then, 
of course, the rest is history. 

The disarray continues. This subcommittee, as I have said and 
I will repeat, has been in the forefi-ont of attempting to devise pol- 
icy; that is our function. We are part of the only national policy- 
making body, and with the elimination of the funding in an arbi- 
trary fashion — there were no hearings, as far as I know, in the 
Senate, nor in the House for that matter, on the appropriation — 
this interagency council was unfunded. So what we want to do is 
then ascertain — and we will have the administration's executive 
spokesman here later — just where we are now. 

In the second part of the hearing we will hear from District of 
Columbia officials, I hope with respect to the announcement made 
right before this hearing, regarding the funding of the $20 million 
grant to the District of Columbia and which the newspapers re- 
ported as meaning that the District would have to construct, and 
create a special agency to handle money. 

Also, disturbingly, it has been reported that it would provide for 
the homeless being taken off the streets either through arrest by 
police or involuntary commitment to mental institutions. Those re- 
ports came out in both The Washington Post as well as The New 
York Times. So I then immediately communicated with the Sec- 
retary regarding this report, and I ask that that communication 
and that correspondence be incorporated in the record at this point. 

[The information referred to can be found in the appendix.] 

I, for one, am very troubled. The fact remains that if the problem 
from a policymaking standpoint is not clearly perceived and devel- 
oped, then I think we are not discharging our prime duties. 

We have with us this morning the ranking Member of the sub- 
committee on the majority side, Mr. Vento, who also, in his first 
years, in fact 1982, was very preeminent in his exertions and con- 
cerns reporting what was happening in his home city of Saint Paul. 
He is today chairing the Speaker's Task Force on Homelessness, 
which was a result of President-elect Clinton's request to the 
Democratic caucus, and the Speaker responded. And yet while this 
task force is still in the throes of preparing a report, the adminis- 
tration announces its changes in policy with respect to the han- 
dling of this homelessness problem; and I want to develop these 
hearings to see just what kind of intercommunication has devel- 
oped. 

I am supposed to be a member of this task force, when the 
Speaker first constructed and announced it — he didn't consult, as 
far as I know — and I was offered to Chair the task force, but I have 
always understood the limits of my ability, and I have more than 
I can handle right now, handling the full chairmanship of the full 
committee and the Subcommittee on Housing. 

So with that, I recognize Mr. Vento. 

[Chairman Gonzalez' prepared statement can be found in the 
appendix.] 

Mr. Vento. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your 
support for the work we are doing on the task force. You have al- 
ways been supportive of Members efforts on these issues. It is, no 
doubt, the reason why we have pushed as far as we have with the 



different McKinney propositions, and I appreciate it. Other Mem- 
bers certainly are advocates, too. 

I appreciate, too, your willingness to come together to bring a 
focus on some of the cutting-edge policy issues that have emerged, 
rather surprisingly without a lot of dialog this past year. 

Now, I come from the school of thought that things don't happen 
in Washington by accident, that there are actually people behind 
them, that there is involvement in it; that is to say that it isn't just 
a series of unexpected events. And, clearly, the initiatives of the 
new administration have been encouraging with regards to the 
homeless; the appointment of capable people in positions of respon- 
sibility, like Marsha Martin, is encouraging; the Executive order 
that occurred in mid-May that the President charged the Inter- 
agency Council on the Homeless with initiatives to come forth with 
new policies in a deliberate manner over a period of 9 months, 
which still has not elapsed, to provide a policy path for the new 
administration in terms of dealing with the real challenge of 
homelessness. 

Some of the initiatives in terms of funding that occurred in the 
stimulus package, which didn't materialize — the structural housing 
support grants — signaled, I think, a new priority in terms of 
change of priorities for the administration in terms of meeting this 
human challenge. Therefore, of course, I think most of us were sur- 
prised by the new initiatives for funding which had not been fully 
discussed by the committees of Congress and perhaps not by the 
Interagency Council on Homelessness. And, of course, more sur- 
prising was the Senate's action in a report to defund or not to fund 
the Interagency Council on the Homeless, and then the acceptance 
of the House on that part with, I think — without proper delibera- 
tion. 

During the process of this, of course, I must say that the task 
force and I think individual Members have contacted the conferees, 
at least in writing, to alert them to the fact of our concern about 
that. 

I think all of us recognize the Interagency Council on the Home- 
less in theory. There has been a disconnect between theory and 
performance; nevertheless, it is a clear example of what needs to 
be done. In fact. Vice President Gore in his most recent report on 
the national performance review, Reinventing Grovernment, actu- 
ally recommends this type of agency for homeless issues. So again 
it is surprising that it needs to be killed and pronounced dead to 
be reinvented, or should I say, in a Christian sense, "resurrected." 

Several members of the Task Force on Homelessness, including 
the chairman. Chairman Gonzalez and myself, signed a letter, 
which I would put in the record at this time, without objection, Mr. 
Chairman. 

Chairman Gonzalez. Without objection. 

[The information referred to can be found in the appendix.] 

Mr. Vejstto. Which, of course, signals our concern about what is 
happening. The termination of explicit funding could be a setback 
for Federal programs for the homeless and for the Federal plan 
that was ordered by the President in May, which I spoke of in my 
earlier remarks. 



This group of detailees and designees — of course, we have asked 
for that, that it be continued in some manner, but I think that 
until such time as there is a reconstitution of the proper funding 
for the Interagency Council on the Homeless — I am well aware — 
we talk a lot about interagency activities, and they soimd good in 
theory; obviously, they don't always work in practice. But I really 
think that this one has to be in place, and I think engaged — ^to sort 
of act as a watchdog; and the individual agencies, that they are 
properly reaching out to people that have serious problems, that 
are in tne poorest of the poor in our society, the homeless. 

I appreciate the hearing. I know the DC Initiative is a rather de- 
tailed one, and I applaud any effort to try and set up national mod- 
els of substantial funding that will meet the needs. I think we obvi- 
ously want to be certain as to what the impact is on the individuals 
in this model that is being set forth. It is a big initiative, and I 
think everyone wants to optimize its success and its replication, if 
indeed it works. 

So with that said, Mr. Chairman, I will place the rest of my 
statement in the record; and I will have to leave at about 10 
o'clock, I have another hearing, but I can assure the individual 
panelists that put efforts into these statements — and/or adminis- 
tration — that I have closely reviewed the statements that have 
come to me early and will review the remaining two this morning. 

Thank you and thank the witnesses. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Vento can be found in the appen- 
dix.] 

Chairman Gonzalez. Thank you very much. And so, before you 
leave, we are also announcing hearings. You mentioned Vice Presi- 
dent Gore. The Secretary also said he wanted to reinvent HUD, so 
I don't know how the inventing process is being worked out; but 
in the meanwhile, the announcement that there will be less person- 
nel gives rise to a very, very serious question. We had not one but 
two inspectors general within the last IV2 years tell us that one 
reason for the serious miscarriage of the effective working of the 
FHA mutual insurance fund and other funds has been lack in num- 
ber and in competency of personnel. 

So if, in view of that, we are going to have cutbacks, we are con- 
cerned. So I wanted to announce that we will be having hearings. 
We want to have one this coming Friday, which is very difficult for 
the members, but we have got to get going. And I always go on the 
premise that we are paid whether we are in session or not for a 
whole week's work; so I hope we can go through and announce 
hearings for Friday in which we will look into this collateral issue. 

Without any further ado, I want to recognize Ms. Marsha A. 
Martin, who is the Executive Director of the Interagency Council 
on the Homeless, and thank her for answering our call on rather 
quick notice. 

Ms. Martin. 

STATEMENT OF MARSHA A. MARTIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, 
INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON THE HOMELESS 

Ms. Martin. Thank you. Mr. Chairman and members of the sub- 
committee, I am pleased to appear before you today to discuss the 
Interagency Council on the Homeless and the District of Columbia 



5 

Homeless Initiative. I also want to thank you and the members of 
the subcommittee for the vital role that you and the members of 
the subcommittee have played in assisting all of us in our efforts 
to address this crisis. 

Homelessness remains one of the toughest problems facing this 
country. Although public and private agencies and volunteers oper- 
ate numerous programs that provide sorely needed assistance, 
much work remains to be done. The country has suffered from a 
tremendous dearth in leadership on the subject of housing and 
homelessness. The promise that President Clinton and this admin- 
istration brought to countless Americans sleeping on the streets, in 
cars, transportation stations, and other nonhabitable places was 
truly inspiring and refreshing to me. 

Early on, Secretary Cisneros made clear his intention to respond 
to homelessness. Not only did he make trips to the shelters and to 
the streets, asking those most affected by homelessness what they 
needed, if anything, and how he could make a difference at HUD, 
he publicly discussed the need to address homelessness, starting 
with the Federal agencies, not ending with them. In fact, Secretary 
Cisneros made reducing the number of homeless families and indi- 
viduals his number one priority. Then as a solid sign that this ad- 
ministration was taking the issue of homelessness head on, the 
Secretary appointed Andrew Cuomo, with whom I had worked 
closely in New York City and whose dedication and relentless ef- 
forts to provide housing for literally thousands of formerly home- 
less persons served as a model for all of us in our effort to address 
this complex issue. 

Finally, Secretaries Donna Shalala and Jesse Brown, whose 
agencies administer programs of significant importance in prevent- 
ing and ending homelessness, have both demonstrated a firm com- 
mitment to help those most in need in our society. 

My career has allowed me to develop expertise as a provider of 
services to homeless individuals and families, as a social work re- 
searcher and educator and as an innovator and administrator of 
homeless programs for Mayor David Dinkins in New York City. I 
have lectured and consulted extensively across the United States 
and authored numerous articles on homelessness. 

I did not expect to leave New York, but Mr. Chairman and mem- 
bers of the subcommittee, when given the opportunity to join the 
Clinton administration and make an impact nationally in an area 
to which I had devoted my professional life, I did not have to think 
twice about making my decision. 

As you know, the interagency council, which was established in 
1987 under the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, is 
comprised of the heads of 17 Federal agencies that have programs 
or authorities that can be used to assist homeless people. Cur- 
rently, we have a staff of 10 in Washington and we are assisted by 
10 full-time regional coordinators who have been detailed to the 
council by HUD. The Housing and Community Development Act of 
1992 reauthorized the council through October 1, 1994. 

The first meeting of the council during the Clinton administra- 
tion was held on May 19, 1993. HUD Secretary Cisneros was elect- 
ed chairperson, and Secretaries Donna Shalala and Jesse Brown 
were elected Co-Vice Chairs. On the same day, President Clinton 



issued an Executive order that directed the 17 Federal agencies 
that comprise the interagency council to develop a single coordi- 
nated plan for breaking the cycle of existing homelessness and for 
preventing future homelessness. The plan is to be submitted to the 
President in February 1994, 9 months from the date of that order. 

Since that meeting, we have worked to establish the short- and 
long-term agenda, obtain input for the new Federal plan, and iden- 
tify new directions and priorities. We have continued to develop 
and distribute numerous publications to assist States and local gov- 
ernments and homeless providers; we have sponsored regional 
technical assistance workshops and interactive forums to provide 
up-to-date information on Federal programs; we continue to work 
with the General Services Administration to transfer surplus food 
to nonprofit organizations serving the homeless. 

We have also worked to make the council a more effective advo- 
cate within the Federal Government for homeless people and the 
nonprofit agencies that serve them. We have conducted a thorough 
review of the existing program structures and proposed administra- 
tive and legislative changes where they are warranted. We have 
identified gaps in the current continuum of care, as well as addi- 
tional opportunities for integrating systems. We continue to work 
closely with the State and local governments to share models of ef- 
fective interagency program coordination and increase their capac- 
ity to develop effective local solutions. And we have redesigned our 
workshops to enhance the level of technical assistance and sub- 
stantive interaction between the participants. 

The council serves as an important role in bringing together Fed- 
eral agencies to coordinate diverse policies, programs, and issues 
for homeless populations. The council brings together Cabinet-level 
officials and senior staff from member agencies to identify opportu- 
nities for improving delivery of programs and services. The council 
also serves as a central resource for essential information for orga- 
nizations serving homeless people. 

The Clinton administration holds addressing homelessness as a 
high priority. As you may know, the President included funding for 
the interagency council in his fiscal year 1994 budget request, and 
Secretary Cisneros wrote to the House and Senate Appropriations 
Subcommittees on VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies supporting 
the requested funding and expressing the need for the coordinating 
body. 

The White House, through the Domestic Policy Council, HUD, 
HHS, VA, and other member agencies of the council, remains firm- 
ly committed to the continuation of interagency coordination and 
activities. As soon as the administration became aware that the 
council would not be funded, it began examining the range of op- 
tions to continue the interagency council mission and its inter- 
agency coordination and activities. It is my understanding that the 
administration will make an announcement shortly on the specific 
plan to accomplish this. 

Now, because of your specific interest in the DC Initiative, I 
want to take a few minutes to speak about it. Secretary Cisneros 
and DC Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly recently announced their inten- 
tion to develop, fund, and implement a dramatically different ap- 
proach to homelessness in the District. Secretary Cisneros contin- 



ues to value this unprecedented relationship with Mayor Kelly and 
the important role Vince Gray serves in this endeavor. 

The DC Initiative is intended to serve as a national model for re- 
structuring the Federal-local relationship in addressing homeless- 
ness. As Chairperson of the Interagency Council on the Homeless, 
HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros invited the 17 member agencies to 
join in this effort. The DC Initiative has drawn upon this unprece- 
dented Federal and local government partnership, as well as local 
and private sector participation. A series of joint planning sessions 
and subcommittee meetings coordinated by HUD, the council, and 
the District of Columbia were held with nonprofit housing devel- 
opers, service providers, advocacy organizations, homeless individ- 
uals, private foundations, neighborhood groups, local businesses, 
and the investment banking community. 

The recommendations of the DC Initiative call for implementing 
the following objectives. Replacing the current system of "shelters 
with an approach that distinguishes between the diverse needs of 
homeless families and individuals and employs a continuum of care 
model that consists of three essential components: Comprehensive 
outreach and assessment; transitional rehabilitative services; and 
support of permanent housing designed around specific individual 
needs for homeless families and individuals. The system includes 
strengthening efforts to prevent homelessness. 

The DC Initiative recognizes the need for effective administration 
and "reinventing" the management structure by streamlining exist- 
ing government efforts and establishing a new public-private entity 
to coordinate and finance the implementation of the new homeless 
assistance system. 

The DC Initiative involves a social contract by which government 
is willing to provide services to homeless persons in need, and the 
individual or family is responsible for participating in an effort to 
gain independent living skills and avail themselves of services in 
housing afforded to them. 

The DC Initiative acknowledges and recognizes the concerns of 
residents and businesses, as well as the well-being and the need for 
improved living conditions for individuals who are homeless. The 
initiative seeks to end the use of public spaces by homeless persons 
as residences of last resort through a sensitive program of outreach 
and a continuum of care. 

The DC Initiative seeks to increase the availability of affordable 
housing for low-income District residences and to develop an equi- 
table means outside of the homeless system for distributing afford- 
able housing opportunities. 

Included in the DC Initiative plan is a partnership agreement 
which outlines the District's commitment to produce or contract for 
the following housing facilities and other services over a 2-year pe- 
riod of time: For single adults, it includes 240 supportive housing 
placements for persons with mental illness, 400 substance abuse 
placements, 50 residential placements for persons with AIDS, 100 
job training program opportunities, and 160 single room occupancy 
units. 

For families, it includes 1,000 permanent housing placements 
and 100 substance abuse placements, for a cumulative total of 
2,050 placements. 



8 

The District must produce or contract for required activities dur- 
ing the first year to obtain the remaining funding for the initiative. 

The DC Initiative is a very important effort in developing the na- 
tional models to address homelessness. The recent action by the 
House to approve HUD's Innovative Housing and Homeless Fund 
will enable us to expand this approach in other cities across the 
country. 

Thank you for inviting me, and I will be happy to answer any 
questions you may have. 

[The prepared statement of Ms. Martin can be found in the 
appendix.] 

Chairman Gonzalez. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Talisman, thank you again. You have always been there 
when it counted. 

STATEMENT OF MARK E. TALISMAN, CO-FOUNDER, NATIONAL 
EMERGENCY FOOD AND SHELTER PROGRAM 

Mr. Talisman. I am in a rather odd position because I can't fig- 
ure this one out. I have spent a number of years, including service 
with Mr. Vanik on this very subcommittee, as you know, for 8 
years, and I teach the subject; I have done 40 half-hours of tele- 
vision on the three branches of government and I don't get it. I 
don't understand what happened. 

I listened to the distinguished ranking Member, Mr. Vento, for 
whom I have maximum high regard for his judgment, and he says 
there is always a reason. I would love to know it because I have 
tried to find out, and I haven't been able to. 

Normally, when something is broken either you try to fix it or 
get rid of it, and you make a judgment. In this case, none of that 
seems to have happened from what I can gather. 

I had the rare privilege — and I do use that term advisedly in this 
town; it was a privilege to sit at a briefing 6 or 8 weeks ago as a 
part of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program briefings by Mar- 
sha Martin and her colleagues — and heard what I thougnt was an 
absolutely extraordinary explication of what was going on good, 
bad, and otherwise. It was the first honest presentation that I had 
heard after having lived through unmitigated hell in regard to the 
interagency council for a number of years of its life in which dis- 
sembling and antipeople attitudes were as evident as not; and we 
said so at the time. We tried desperately to help the interagency 
council function, and it didn't. 

Now, normally you would say in this town, OK, get rid of it; it 
isn't worth it. Then Marsha came on the scene, moved down from 
New York, and has been beating her brains out, quite literally, try- 
ing to get all of these things going. I wouldn't want to have the 
Congress or the administration rest on the notion of keeping some- 
thing alive because of a person; but in fact, Marsha has energized, 
as has her staff, an institutional framework that is actually work- 
ing as a neutral address, as she indicated in her testimony, but in 
fact, also where people can come fi-om the outside, from the inside, 
to perform coordinated functions actually as was envisioned in the 
McKinney Act in 1980 when this was created — as you remember so 
well, Mr. Chairman — and then the news last week — you and I 
talked about it; it was a shocking kind of obituary that was the re- 



verse of the Mark Twain comment. I mean, in fact, it died before 
anyone knew or at least most people knew. 

And I still, as a consequence, would hope that as a direct result 
of the hearing and what I believe to be, in my soul, President Clin- 
ton's and Vice President Gore's and Secretary Cisneros' views on 
housing and homelessness and long-term policy to provide an abil- 
ity for people to live properly in this country, that they don't want 
this to happen. 

I can't believe it, and there have been some whispers around, 
Marsha has just alluded to the fact that there are going to be some 
announcements. I hope they turn into shouts real quickly. I would 
hope, given the fact that I have the highest regard for the 
gentlelady from Baltimore who chairs the Subcommittee on Appro- 
priations, who I have known for a number of years, there has to 
be some way to reverse this formally. I know that is tough. 

I mean, I have gone through all of my teaching notes and all of 
my experience, and I don't know if those kinds of reversals easily — 
given time pressures, schedules, and the appropriations clock in 
this town — but there has got to be a way to do that effectively, so 
that we are singing finally from the same sheet of music here. 

We have been waiting to do that for a very long time; and I think 
that under Marsha's leadership, the interagency council has been 
able to do that. 

I guess the bottom line for me is what I have been harping on 
with my children, with my family, in regard to our personal respon- 
sibilities, as well as what I have tried do in regard to my official 
capacity; and that is that you can't continue to have us believe as 
a country that if our citizens go to bed at night without shelter and 
our babies go to bed at night without milk that we are any kind 
of a superpower at all. It is a self-delusion that is Romanesque, and 
what happened to Rome can happen to us. That is not an over- 
statement. 

In this particular case, I don't want to blow it up beyond its pro- 
portions, but I thought we were finally on the way to working to- 
gether, all of us, and I think the interagency council was exactly 
the way to do that. A moment's commentary from me — and I don't 
have a lot of expertise on it, although I got briefed up more than 
adequately on the DC Initiative as a citizen of this region and this 
area — and the fact that everyone seems to want to focus properly 
on the District, it seems to me that we were finally on the way to 
doing something correct. The District, I must say, from — the Emer- 
gency Food and Shelter Program, we had a hard time getting a 
District employee, someone representing the District on the local 
Emergency Food and Shelter Program. That has now been done, as 
I understand it. 

The National Emergency Food and Shelter Program is interested 
in responding both to Marsha and the District's request that they 
made of it, as I understand it. I think they are wonderful opportu- 
nities to move forward in a coordinated way. It is kind of odd, but 
we ought to get going and just do it instead of fooling around any- 
more, because I don't think the people in the streets deserve what 
has been going on in this respect. So I do appreciate the oppor- 
tunity. 



10 

I would also ask your permission to insert my statement as if 
read. Thank you. 

Chairman Gonzalez. Certainly. I should have annoimced that 
each one of your written statements as given to us will be placed 
in the transcript of the record immediately following your oral sum- 
mation, and certainly I should have said that at the outset. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Talisman can be found in the 
appendix.] 

Ms. Roman. 

STATEMENT OF NAN P. ROMAN, VICE PRESmENT, POLICY 
AND PROGRAMS, NATIONAL ALLIANCE TO END HOMELESS- 
NESS; ALSO ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL COALITION FOR 
THE HOMELESS AND THE NATIONAL LAW CENTER ON 
HOMELESSNESS AND POVERTY 

Ms. Roman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am Nan Roman, vice 
president of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. I am also 
here today representing the National Coalition for the Homeless 
and the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. 

The Alliance itself, Mr. Chairman, has some 1,700 member orga- 
nizations in every State in the Union; and together with the other 
two organizations, we represent thousands of service and housing 
providers and advocates for homeless people around the country. I 
want to thank you for holding this hearing. 

As you will recall, in 1991, the Alliance gave you our award for 
outstanding contribution to ending homelessness, and in 1993 we 
gave this annual award also to Mr. Vento. We feel amply justified 
in the trust we have placed in your leadership on this issue par- 
ticularly today, in terms of the interagency council and the DC Ini- 
tiative. First, I would like to address myself, if I could, to the inter- 
agency council. 

Mr. Chairman, our organizations believe that an effective Inter- 
agency Council on the Homeless is an essential element of any Fed- 
eral attempt to end homelessness. It is essential because homeless- 
ness is a cross-cutting issue. Homeless people need services and 
housing and receive services and housing from numerous Federal 
agencies. They receive AFDC and SSI disability; they require child 
care services, health care services and, of course, housing. The var- 
ious agencies which deliver these different elements of assistance 
must coordinate their effort; and for this kind of coordination to 
succeed, we believe that two things need to happen. 

The first is that they need to participate as equal partners when 
coming to the table to discuss their joint endeavors. Second, they 
need the full leadership of the administration behind them. It is for 
this reason that we believe that the interagency council would not 
best be placed at any individual Federal agency but would better 
be placed in the White House or in the Executive Office. 

The Alliance, the Coalition, and the Law Center have independ- 
ently recommended this course since early in the Clinton adminis- 
tration. This is no criticism of HUD. We are sincerely grateful to 
Secretary Cisneros for his commitment on the issue of homeless- 
ness and we thank him for making it the top priority of his agency. 
We are also grateful for the efforts of Assistant Secretary Cuomo. 
Nevertheless, we believe that the President could better exert his 



11 

leadership on this issue if the council were not placed in any one 
particular agency. 

We need the interagency council, we believe, for two reasons. The 
first is that we need a centralized source of information on Federal 
resources and policy relating to homeless people. We need the coun- 
cil to accumulate and disperse information on NOFAs, regulations, 
application guidelines, and so forth. It is very difficult for our 
groups to get this information if they have to go to 17 different 
Federal agencies to try to get it, as you can well imagine. This is 
particularly true for organizations that aren't located in Washing- 
ton. 

Also researchers. Congress, all of us need information on home- 
lessness, and we need the council to accumulate this information. 
The council also serves an important technical assistance function 
in providing assistance on applications and the like. In order to ac- 
complish these functions, we need a council with adequate re- 
sources and also with an educated staff that knows the Federal 
agencies and the programs that they provide. 

But even more importantly, the council has a critical policy role. 
It needs to coordinate and monitor all Federal homeless programs; 
it needs to be proactive in monitoring or assessing where the gaps 
are and in coming up with solutions about how to fill those gaps; 
it needs to help State and local governments and nonprofits in 
terms of evaluating their programs and doing their own coordina- 
tion, and most importantly, I think, it needs to develop a Federal 
plan for ending homelessness and then work to implement such a 
plan. 

Once again, we think that those functions would best reside in 
the White House agency because there they can have the full lead- 
ership of the President behind them. We believe that the Federal 
response to homelessness requires more coordination, not less. 

Mr. Chairman, all of these functions were designed by you as 
tasks of the council in the 1987 statute. Your leadership on this 
has preceded us, but these functions are needed more now than 
they were then; and we are quite certain will become even more 
important in the future. We believe that we must keep the council 
going in the interim year until we can get it reauthorized and 
appropriated. 

In my written testimony, I have given a proposal for how that 
might be accomplished by placing the council in the White House 
and using donated staff and resources from the various different 
agencies involved. We would ask for your assistance in accomplish- 
ing this, or any other structure that would keep the council going 
in this interim year. We really cannot afford to lose its coordinat- 
ing, information, and policy functions. 

We do, as Mr. Vento mentioned, also have an Executive order for 
a Federal plan that really must be carried out in the coming year. 

We will continue to fight for the interagency council and will sup- 
port your efforts to do so. 

I would like briefly to address the DC Initiative. Our organiza- 
tions are concerned about the initiative insofar as the District and 
other jurisdictions funded by the Innovative Homeless Initiatives 
Demonstration Program are intended to be models for the rest of 



12 

the country. In this regard, we have three concerns which we have 
shared with HUD, as well. 

The first is that the purpose of the Federal funding in this pro- 
gram is somewhat unclear to us. Is it meant to fill gaps in services 
or is it meant to create a coordination structure; or is it meant to 
fill several of those functions. 

If it is meant to fill gaps, frankly, it is probably not enough 
money, looking at it in terms of the level of the DC Initiative. Also, 
it is a 2-year program, and so we would have concerns about where 
we could find continuing funding. 

If it is meant to develop a coordination structure, it needs to 
have very specific goals and objectives; $20 million would be 
overfunding for such a goal, particularly when we have just lost $1 
million for coordinating all Federal programs. So we would like to 
see some further definition of the goals and objectives of the pro- 
gram, but certainly the funds are very much needed in the District. 

Second, there needs to be a formal mechanism for involving all 
parties in the planning and coordination portions of these initia- 
tives. In particular, community-based organizations and homeless 
people need to be pulled in and involved at the beginning stages. 
It is our concern that no initiative could really be successful with- 
out people buying in at the beginning. 

And finally, we would recommend that there must be some as- 
sured maintenance of effort by local governments receiving Federal 
funding. That is present in the DC Initiative plan. We would like 
to see that in the other programs, as well. 

In summary, the National Coalition for the Homeless, the Na- 
tional Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, and the National 
Alliance to End Homelessness will continue to work for an effective 
and independent Interagency Council on the Homeless. We ask for 
your support on this. In addition, we will continue to watch with 
great interest the DC Initiative and would be happy to work with 
you and with HUD on further efforts to pursue coordinated assist- 
ance to homeless people. 

Thank you so much for your leadership on this issue. 

[The prepared statement of Ms. Roman can be found in the 
appendix.] 

Chairman Gonzalez. Thank you, Ms. Roman. 

Mr. Gray. 

STATEMENT OF VINCENT C. GRAY, DIRECTOR, DISTRICT OF 
COLUMBIA DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES AND CHAIR- 
PERSON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA INTERAGENCY HOMELESS 
COORDINATING COUNCIL 

Mr. Gray. Good morning, Mr. Gonzalez. I am Vincent C. Gray; 
I am the director of the Department of Human Services for the Dis- 
trict of Columbia, and I also serve as the chairperson for the Dis- 
trict's Interagency Council on Homelessness. 

I want to add my gratitude to that expressed by my colleagues 
here at the table for the leadership that you have provided on this 
issue over the years. That leadership, obviously, has been evident 
not only in the Halls of Congress, but actually getting out into the 
streets and into the shelters and literally understanding the pro- 
portions of the problem that we face and how it has literally ex- 



13 

ploded in this country over the last several years. So let me start 
by taking the opportunity to thank you for what you have done on 
this issue, and certainly what we are continuing to do to assist this 
Nation's homeless. 

I am joined here by the District's team that has worked on the 
District's initiative, the DC Initiative, Enid Simmons, who is the 
director of our Office of Planning and Evaluation; Milton Bailey, 
who is deputy director of our Department of Housing and Commu- 
nity Development; Claudia Booker, who is here representing today 
the director of the Department of Public and Assisted Housing; Jim 
Butts, who is the administrator of our Income Maintenance Admin- 
istration; Dr. Robert Keisling, who is one of the key administrators 
in our mental health system in the District of Columbia; and Helen 
Keys, who is a key player in running our Office of Emergency Shel- 
ter and Support Services. 

Again, let me say good morning to you. 

First of all, let me speak to the interagency council, which the 
District of Columbia regards certainly in the recent past, as has al- 
ready been indicated here, as a valuable clearinghouse for informa- 
tion on homeless initiatives implemented by local governments, and 
which certainly has been instinimental to our efforts to formalize 
the DC Initiative by facilitating our access to key Federal Govern- 
ment agencies. 

The partnership between the government of the District of Co- 
lumbia and HUD, known as the DC Initiative, is a promising, 
ambitious, innovative, interdisciplinary approach to ending home- 
lessness that we hope would be a model for local governments 
nationwide. 

The District of Columbia, like other major urban areas across the 
Nation, has experienced an alarming increase in the number of 
homeless persons among its citizens over the past decade. In 1975, 
for example, the District government maintained two small emer- 
gency facilities with about 100 units, and an additional 200 single 
men and women were served through private facilities. The District 
government would contract with private providers if more shelter 
capacity was needed. 

Charitable organizations served an additional 400 persons on a 
daily basis. At that time, virtually no one lived on the streets. 

By 1981, the problem had begun to grow enormously. Our shelter 
capacity in the city had grown to accommodate 600 men, women, 
and children, and we had increased the number of facilities from 
two to four. Additionally, there were 200 families who were pro- 
vided with vouchers to seek services on an emergency basis in ho- 
tels and motels. 

By 1989, the problem had virtually exploded in the District of 
Columbia, as it had across the country. During that year, shelter 
services were provided to over 11,000 single adults and 2,400 fami- 
lies at a cost of over $40 million annually. 

Of course, we see the evidence of the number of people living on 
the streets since 1989. The increase in the number of homeless per- 
sons is in large part the product of two phenomena of the 1980' s — 
a significant increase in poverty and social ills coupled with a se- 
vere reduction in Federal funding for social service programs, and 
a drastic decrease in Federal funding for housing programs for low- 



14 

income persons. The increase in poverty and decrease in housing 
programs, exacerbated by the recessionary economy that has char- 
acterized the 1990's, proved to be a recipe for homelessness in epi- 
demic proportions. 

The National CoaHtion for the Homeless estimates that there are 
approximately 3 million homeless persons in the United States, a 
figure that, while large, represents at best a good-faith effort to ac- 
count for a population that does not usually make itself available 
to census takers. Over the past 5 years, the District government 
has spent approximately $100 million in local and Federal funds in 
its effort to meet the needs of homeless persons in DC alone. Of 
course, local charitable organizations have added literally millions 
of dollars to that. 

Despite the tremendous commitment of public and private dol- 
lars, homelessness remains one of the most persistent and complex 
challenges that the District government faces. Thousands of Dis- 
trict government person-hours have been devoted to evaluating 
past efforts and fashioning new initiatives to meet the challenge. 

Our analysis has led us to conclude that homelessness does not 
lend itself to one-dimensional solutions like providing shelter serv- 
ices alone. Instead, the eradication of homelessness depends upon 
the establishment of a supportive community network as envi- 
sioned by the DC Initiative. 

The profile of the District's homeless population supports our 
conclusion. Our homeless population consists of five primary sub- 
populations: Single adults with special needs; single adults with 
short-term needs; families with special needs; families with short- 
term emergencies; and marginally housed families. 

An estimated 3,400 single adults with special needs constitute 
approximately 60 percent of all persons using the District govern- 
ment's shelter system. This population requires intensive assist- 
ance for mental illness, chemical addiction, and HIV/TB infection. 
It includes the approximately 1,200 to 1,500 individuals who live 
on the District streets, and appears to use shelter or public space 
intermittently and interchangeably. 

Single adults with short-term needs include individuals who are 
temporarily homeless due to fires, building condemnations, cold 
weather emergencies, threatened eviction, or nonpayment of rent. 
These people normally do not require intensive services. 

With respect to families, those with special needs constitute 
about 20 percent of the existing shelter residents. These families 
use the emergency shelter system repeatedly and have lived in pre- 
carious and unstable housing situations. They often experience 
problems of chemical addiction. Major medical illnesses and domes- 
tic violence is prevalent in their experience. 

Families with short-term needs or emergencies represent a sig- 
nificant percentage of those in our shelter system. Like the single 
adults with short-term emergencies, these families are ternporarily 
displaced fVom their homes due to fires and other conditions that 
I described earlier. 

Finally, those who are marginally housed families live in doubled 
up arrangements or dilapidated housing, or on the verge of evic- 
tion. This group includes teenaged parents and families that have 
been dependent on welfare benefits for long periods of time. Mar- 



15 

finally housed families use shelters as one of a series of makeshift 
living arrangements. 

In anticipation of the exciting planning effort that has unfolded 
over the last several months, we have already begun to make im- 
portant changes in our own shelter system. First, and perhaps fore- 
most, we have virtually eliminated the use of hotels and motel 
rooms. We now use only 50 rooms for housing of families in shel- 
ters, and that purpose is for assessment and oeginning the process 
of services. In fact, 90 percent of our families now are sheltered in 
apartment-style living units. 

Second, we have improved access to benefits such as AFDC, Med- 
icaid, and food stamps. 

Third, we have expanded our case management services through 
a contractual arrangement with Lutheran Social Services, which is 
now providing case management services to 300 families and fol- 
lowing them into permanent housing when they leave shelter. 

Fourth, we have markedly improved, through the use of Federal 
and local funds, the conditions in our shelters across the city, in- 
cluding all buildings, such as the Randall Building, the Blair Shel- 
ter, and several others; and beginning on November 1, we will con- 
tract out our hypothermia services, which will allow us during the 
winter months to have a much more substantial presence in the 
streets to try to reach the hard-to-reach population. 

Despite improvements in our system, it is clear that the District 
government, like virtually every local and State government in this 
Nation, where homelessness persists, has continued to operate es- 
sentially an emergency shelter program, while a more extensive 
continuum of care is required to address effectively the problem of 
homelessness. However, no local or State government can tackle 
alone the complex and seemingly intractable problems associated 
with homelessness. Federal support is essential if we are to create 
enduring solutions. 

Soon after the Clinton administration assumed the reins of lead- 
ership, our Mayor Kelly and Secretary Henry Cisneros, Secretary 
of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, began to 
discuss the potential for a Federal District partnership to create a 
model service delivery system to address the very needs of people 
who are homeless in the District. After numerous discussions and 
a number of visits to District shelters and late night visits to the 
District streets by Secretary Cisneros, the mayor and the Secretary 
on June 10 announced their intention to develop a markedly new 
approach to homelessness in the District of Columbia. 

In the months that followed, an unprecedented planning effort 
unfolded, involving several hundred people representing what is 
now being referred to as the Seven Corners — not-for-profit housing 
developers and service providers, private foundations, local busi- 
nesses, the investment banking community, neighborhood groups, 
the District government, the Federal Grovernment — and people who 
are homeless. 

Cooperation between the Federal and District governments 
throughout the development of this plan has been continuous and 
essential to its progress to date. There virtually was not a day over 
the past 5 months without a meeting or other communication be- 
tween District and Federal officials relative to the development of 



16 

the initiative. In addition to the leadership provided by HUD 
through Assistant Secretary Andrew Cuomo, staff members of the 
Federal Interagency Council on the Homeless also were particu- 
larly instrumental in bringing the plan for the DC Initiative to fru- 
ition. 

Among the numerous areas of assistance provided, staff mem- 
bers, especially, were helpful as catalysts to access the key agen- 
cies, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, FEMA, ACTION, 
and the Department of Health and Human Services. 

Finally, on September 15, just about 5 weeks ago, the Depart- 
ment of Housing and Urban Development and the District an- 
nounced completion of the DC Initiative plan entitled "Working To- 
gether to Solve Homelessness." HUD is committed to provide $20 
million over the next 3 years toward implementation of the plan; 
$7 million will be provided in the first year, $7 million in the sec- 
ond year, and $6 million in the third year. An essential tenet of the 
plan is that homelessness can be solved only by creating and imple- 
menting a continuum of care that addresses the root conditions un- 
derlying homelessness. 

Ms. Martin already has outlined the basic objectives and ele- 
ments of the svstem, so I won't repeat those, but again we see the 
"Continuum of Care" model as an important component of change 
in the District system. 

Responsibility for implementing and coordinating the plan has 
been delegated to the District's Interagency Council on Homeless- 
ness for which I, as I indicated, serve as chairperson. Our inter- 
agency council involves all agencies that directly or indirectly pro- 
vide services to people who are homeless. Some 10 or 11 agencies, 
ranging from human services through the housing agencies, em- 
ployment services, public works, and a variety of other support 
agencies, these key District agencies have been joined by represent- 
atives of the Federal Interagency Council on Homelessness and of- 
ficials of HUD and its Washington, DC field office, whose assist- 
ance has absolutely been invaluable. 

We are now meeting on a biweekly basis, and we have organized 
ourselves into eight task forces reflecting the essential elements of 
the plan. They include intake and assessment, outreach, housing, 
prevention, employment, development of an entity to manage this 
process, financing, and an effort to communicate what this plan is 
across the District of Columbia in particular. Each task force now 
has developed, within the last 10 days, an implementation plan; 
and even though this plan will unfold over the next 2 to 3 years, 
we have already begun the process of implementation. 

For example, I mentioned our expanded hypothermia outreach 
response. By the end of December, we will have two new drop-in 
centers that will be developed in the city. We are in the process of 
converting one of our shelters to include 25 transitional beds as a 
beginning; a pilot employment project will be developed by the be- 
ginning of January; and finally, within the next 3 months, we will 
have developed a 50-bed facility for homeless singles with sub- 
stance abuse problems. 

With regard to financing, the plan will be financed fi-om multiple 
sources, including the redeployment of District resources, private 
sector commitments, and, of course, funding from HUD. The Dis- 



17 

trict, HUD, and the Federal Interagency Council are evaluating the 
feasibility of using a portion of the $20 million in HUD funding to 
leverage private capital to finance low-cost construction of housing 
units and social service delivery systems. HUD has required the es- 
tablishment of the entity as a condition to providing funding. 

Finally, what is ahead? The greatest portion of our task still lies 
ahead of us because, of course, we have just completed the plan. 
We have now the task of determining the nature and scope of ap- 

Eroval that will be required by our council of the District of Colum- 
ia to implement this plan; we continue to have the challenge of 
defining the types and range of services that would be provided. As 
indicated, we will continue to clarify the governance, mission, and 
implementation strategy for the new entity and, of course, we must 
clarify the use of the initial $7 million in the first year. 

Again, while the plan establishes a blueprint, we view this as a 
fluid process and one that will continue to evolve, and hopefully 
will, Mr. Chairman, give us the opportunity to move away from an 
emergency shelter system in the District of Columbia to create real, 
permanent, enduring solutions for families and singles who are 
homeless in the District, and hopefully make a contribution to our 
colleagues across the Nation in how to resolve, once and for all, the 
problem of homelessness in this Nation. 

Thank you very much for permitting me to come today. And I 
will be happy to address your concerns. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Gray can be found in the appen- 
dix.] 

Chairman Gonzalez. Thank you, Mr. Gray, and, Ms. Roman, for 
your very generous remarks. I deeply appreciate it. The fact is that 
I am really a privileged American. I have been privileged to serve 
on all levels as a legislative representative, what I call legislative 
advocacy, from the local, the city council in my city, to the State 
Senate, and here in the Congress, 32 years. 

Given that privilege, I feel I have a greater responsibility to 
make sure that I remain a true witness to that experience which 
I have been privileged to receive, by the people. I also worked for 
the San Antonio Public Housing Authority in the 3-year period, 
probably the most extensive public housing enlargement program, 
certainly in Texas at about the time, between 1950 and 1953. 

I had the great privilege of working with the newly acquired di- 
rector in San Antonio that we got from Houston, the very famous 
Marie McGuire. And so, having been a witness to that, I also, after 
the war — or right about the end of the war — had the privilege of 
working for the juvenile court. There was a crisis then, and that 
was juvenile delinquency. That was in the headlines. San Antonio 
was a war impact area. It was a challenge then, and my services 
were recognized. 

I was named chief juvenile probation officer, which surprised a 
lot of people in that city and that county. But, what I am saying 
is that I am doing nothing more and nothing less than just trying 
to be efficient and obedient and responsive to that privileged expe- 
rience that I have had on all of these levels. 

I am also privileged to have lived a span of years — with almost 
total recall — of a period of time that I had vowed to my companions 
who grew up with me, and who equally vowed that we would do 



18 

everything we knew how to have our children and grandchildren 
not experience what we now read as the description. 

We have terrible poverty today but there is no way that I can 
evoke to you that degree of poverty. I mean there were people who 
were literally dying and you had families living in cardboard/tin 
shacks, a dirt roof, with no running water. 

An area that I became intensely concerned about, as a juvenile 
probation officer, was then known as the "death triangle" because 
in that area, San Antonio had the highest rate of infant death be- 
cause of infant diarrhea. 

I was privileged to serve with the housing authority less than 10 
years after that, in that very area, and to see constructed a brand 
new public housing project. 

What I have to say is not pessimistic. Nevertheless, I will never 
try to deceive myself from reality. And the reality is that the chal- 
lenge is even greater today. 

I have sat on this subcommittee that has the overall bird's-eye 
view and it has been most anguishing to see these things developed 
which I have hoped had been banished — such as poverty, such as 
juvenile crime — and see exactly as it was developing all of the con- 
tributing factors that I knew were going to develop until what is 
today agitating our minds and hearts and souls, not only locally 
but nationally. 

So it has been a tough fight against demoralization. And only be- 
cause in this experience I speak of and refer to and only personal- 
ize just to make that point, that even out of that nettle of difficult, 
mean, pervasive problems can you pluck a flower of resolving the 
problem and bettering conditions. 

It is not one person who can do it, any more than what you 
have reported on this morning can be done by any one agency or 
association. 

Given that, I am going to be in direct contact with you, Mr. Tal- 
isman, because of your background here in the congressional proc- 
ess. But what can we do? I Know what to recommend in order to 
save the funding situation as far as the Interagency goes. But I 
want to make sure that that is what the administration wants. 
And I don't know. 

For instance, at no time was I ever contacted when the Appro- 
priation bill came to the House Appropriations Committee and 
much less after the Senate acted and the House went into con- 
ference, even though I have a very close and satisfactory working 
relation with Mr. Stokes, the new chairman of the Subcommittee 
on Appropriations on VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies. Now 
that concerns me. 

So then, when I did find out, after the fact, we had warded off" 
some other things that I know the administration had been con- 
tacting the Appropriations Subcommittee about that they didn't 
think I was aware of, but which I was. 

So I am a little bit concerned about what it is the Executives 
over at both HUD and the White House really want. 

Now, Ms. Roman, I have no way of ascertaining the veracity or 
the authenticity of the rumor, which is what I call it — that it is 
really the White House that wishes to direct the homelessness ef- 
forts very much along the lines that I thought I interpreted that 



19 

which you were suggesting. That is, if you have a comprehensive 
initiative, that it not be ensconced in any one agency. 

But, there again, if the leadership is not there, I don't know what 
we can do. We have had to combat, for 15 years, negative leader- 
ship. The only thing we succeeded in doing was fighting this off — 
not meeting the burgeoning problems that are arising, such as 
homelessness. But more basically, those that were creating the en- 
vironment and the reason for homelessness. 

We spent 15 years just fighting off to preserve some of the 
vestiges of what had taken 30 years of effort in the Congress to 
achieve through numerous hearings and whatnot. And this was 
done away with, as Mr. Stockman did the very first year he served 
as Director of Office of Management and Budget. So we managed 
to salvage, but not really respond to the needs of the country. 

So now our challenge is fourfold. What, for instance, is going to 
happen here with the Vice President's mandate that 200,000 Fed- 
eral employees be eliminated? What proportion of that is HUD? 
And I have had the staff trying to figure that out. How will that 
translate? 

In the meanwhile, though, there is more than one way to skin 
a legislative cat. 

This is an overall program that the President does wish, as he 
demonstrated when he came before the caucus after his election, 
which was the direct cause for the creation of the Speaker's task 
force — which, I must say, the leadership was saying we have got 
to eliminate all of these nonlegislative, ad hoc committees and then 
creates a task force because in the caucus meeting the President 
was set to by three or four Congressmen that wanted to find out 
what he intended to do about homelessness and he sent the chal- 
lenge back, and he said, you create a group and I will work with 
it. And so they did. 

But as far as I know, I don't know what give and take there has 
been. Certainly, Mr. Vento — who is chairing that task force, and I 
am a member of it — did not know that this was going to happen. 

So in the meanwhile, more specifically the staff has very ably 
given me some information as to what is advanced now as the rea- 
sons for the Senator from Maryland's unilateral and what seems to 
be almost a spontaneous decision to eliminate the funding over in 
the Senate. 

They tell us — and I say "they" meaning that sources from the 
Senate Appropriations Committee — that the reason it was not rec- 
ommending additional funding for the council was because it had 
failed to significantly reduce, quote, the overlapping redundant and 
bureaucratic nature of Federal homeless programs. 

Now, I know that you came aboard quite recently, Ms. Martin; 
but have you heard that, or have you been told that, or are you 
aware that that is the reason they are giving? 

Ms. Martin. I read that statement in the subcommittee report 
that the feeling was that the council had not been effective in re- 
ducing what appeared to be redundancy. 

On the other hand, I would suggest that the council was able to 
model and become a model for States and counties and intergovern- 
mental collaborative relationship that now exists. 



20 

And as Vincent Gray identified, even here in the District of Co- 
lumbia they have an interagency council modeled after the Federal 
Interagency Council. And we see that across the country and 
through the establishment of these local councils. It has been the 
first time that government agencies, city agencies, and depart- 
ments have sat across the tables with one another. Prior to the cre- 
ation of the interagency council, they had not. 

So we are talking about a developmental process which is just 
beginning. And perhaps it is too soon to determine its effectiveness. 

Chairman Gonzalez. Well, I agree with you. My impression 
here, sitting on the sidelines, was that the wisest choice ever made 
was when they brought you in from New York. 

And I am very familiar with what New York has done with the 
withdrawal of tne Federal Government, not only the city of New 
York but the State of New York, the leading State and the leading 
city as far as diverting funds, desperately needed local funds, for 
housing and homelessness. This subcommittee has gone to New 
York at least nine times. 

In 1982, one of the reasons we had the first hearing was because 
a person had frozen to death on the street and an effort was being 
made by a group attempting to service the homeless to use the old 
city college on Second Street as a shelter, and had resistance from, 
I think, GSA. 

So we had the hearing, brought them in; and as a result, later 
that month, they were able to get the building. But then we had 
to work at cross purposes because GSA was not talking to the old 
HEW. And so I have seen everything. 

In fact, by 1984, finally the Secretary of Defense, Weinberger, 
came in, and they formed a sort of a rough interagency group — 
GSA, HUD, HEW, and the Defense Department. We have reached 
a point in our country where everything is going to be solved if we 
just call in the military. And it is so abominable to me. It is so re- 
pugnant to me that I shudder. 

I see it back home where this juvenile delinquency crisis has 
brought judges calling for boot camps for even a minor offender. So 
I remember this very well, that we are going to find vacated army 
bases and camps. And I couldn't believe it. You know, just because 
the news was that some bases were being closed. 

Finally, when the Secretary gave the list of those bases available, 
well, they were up there in Montana in the mountains somewhere 
and they certainly were not adapted to homelessness — let me put 
it that way — or the homeless. So here we are again. 

Finally it seemed to me that the council was jelling and you were 
getting, at least on this level, an effective group. That is just the 
impression I had. I am not party or privy to the ongoing aelibera- 
tions. We had Mr. Talisman at the hearing we had tnis last spring 
at a shelter here in the District, and he is always on top of things 
and has worked on a comparative basis with tne council that he 
put together. That is a tough task. I have seen how it has worked, 
even in my own district. 

So I was going to ask you, Mark, if you have any comments on 
the reasons given. 

Mr. Talisman. You know, it is interesting when you read the re- 
port of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee. It is as if, excuse 



21 

the expression, it is deja vu all over again. It is as if it is com- 
mentary delayed from several years ago. That is the impression I 
have because it doesn't relate to what is going on now. That is 
what disturbs me. 

The amount of money is life-giving for the council and when it 
is cut off, that is it. But on the other hand, in the scheme of the 
budget, it is small and easy to whack it out without much dif- 
ficulty, notwithstanding the consequences; and that is the horrible 
part that I find in all of this. 

You said, Mr. Chairman, that you know a way to do it. I suggest 
very strongly that there ought to be a communication with the 
White House, with the Domestic Partnership Council, and with Mr. 
Cisneros, with whom I think you have a great deal of familiarity, 
if not geography, to get it back on track as soon as possible, be- 
cause it seems to me to be an absolute critical time to have this 
situation in limbo. 

Chairman GtONZALEZ. You feel, then, that the interagency coun- 
cil, and particularly now under able administration, should be 
funded? 

Mr. Talisman. There is no question about it. It is right at the 
critical stage. It is in a developing stage on the upward track now, 
which is an unusual statement to oe able to make. 

In previous years we didn't have this high regard for this same 
agency because of attitudes involved. There wasn't a strong desire, 
as you cited, with President Reagan, making a statement that 50 
percent of the people on the streets wanted to be there. There is 
a difficult attitude. The American people have a very difficult atti- 
tude. 

Chairman Gonzalez. I agree. 

Mr. Talisman. And it is the kind of situation in which it seems 
to me that if this decision on the interagency council is allowed to 
stand and there is no coordinated function from across the govern- 
ment, at the very moment when success is in grasp in terms of 
bringing things together but not only from the DC Initiative, but 
the Secretary of HUD is establishing other initiatives across the 
country, as he indicated at the Mitch Snyder shelter and other 
places, it is literally cutting off" the oxygen from the whole process. 
The whole thing is going to wither. And if this dies, we are going 
to have to reinvent it in some form at an enormous cost to every- 
body. 

Chairman Gonzalez. Suppose, though, that, in reality, it is the 
desire or the decision — maybe not yet announced but in the mak- 
ing — that the White House be the one to direct this. If that is the 
case, then funding wouldn't be any problem because I can tell you 
it is available if the President wants to make it available through 
his executive budget. 

Mr. Talisman. Sure. But as I said, there have been some whis- 
pers around town — I hope that it turns into a shout — that it is eas- 
ily defined and easy to understand. 

I don't think that this status of limbo ought to be allowed to con- 
tinue at all. It is dangerous in and of itself since there are so many 
different areas across the country and people who are dependent on 
this free flow of information and modelmaking and other functions 
that you know that the interagency council has performed. 



22 

And I also feel very strongly from my part, and I am going to 
do my part in this regard, to find out exactly what went awry in 
the Senate because I didn't understand it while it was happening. 
I was told just the opposite, that things were fine, because a num- 
ber of us were paying attention to this at the time. And all of a 
sudden, in the middle of a rather intense period, as you remember, 
where there wasn't a lot of sunshine, this happened. 

Chairman Gonzalez. I will be anxiously awaiting to find out, 
Mr. Talisman. There are three things that I have just concluded I 
won't worry with. There is nothing I can do about it, and I don't 
understand it. One is the weather; the other is women; and the 
third is the Senate. 

Mr. Talisman. In that order? 

Chairman Gonzalez. I don't worry. They are there. And my wife 
and I have been married 53 years, so it must have worked, you 
know. 

Mr. Talisman. I want to make one comment off the comment 
that you made about Congressman Stokes. As you probably remem- 
ber, his district was created from our old congressional district. 
And my Member of Congress, Mr. Vanik, stepped aside into a new 
district to create that district and the first African-American Con- 
gressman from Ohio was elected; and it was he. And I don't know 
of a person of better capability than he, and I know his commit- 
ment on the subject. And it seems, as an intermediary, he would 
be splendid to get involved because I know he has a nigh regard 
for you and as the new chairman of that subcommittee and given 
the situation in his home district in the center of Cleveland, this 
is the last thing he would want, because I know that the inter- 
agency function has been going on splendidly in the city of Cleve- 
land ofiF of the national model. And none of that makes sense and 
maybe he has a way to right this as well. 

And given what you said, and that is what the administration in- 
tends to do, if it intends to bring it within the executive branch, 
the executive offices directly, and elevate the status in that respect, 
because I think that would be good and not bad. 

And I think they understand the piece of gold they have in Ms. 
Martin. And I know her staff. It is clear across town that that is 
true, and that is an important factor. I am not embarrassed to say 
that. Normally, in teaching government, I don't want to place it on 
the person involved; but in this situation, it made an enormous dif- 
ference. The package is there, and the question is the place, as op- 
posed to not having a place or a home. 

Chairman Gonzalez. I certainly want you to know that I am 
going to be working on it, and I will call you. 

Well, Ms. Roman, I think you covered your statement so elo- 
quently and well. But do you have any comments with respect to 
the statement that now, later was incorporated into the Senate re- 
port after the action was taken to eliminate the funding for the 
council? 

I think, if I gathered correctly your recommendation, you would 
be in agreement with Mr. Talisman's last remark that if, yes, the 
White House decided to put it on that level of priority, it would cer- 
tainly enhance its effectiveness. 



23 

But do you have any comments as to what were the overlapping 
functions, if any, that they are referring to now? 

Ms. Roman. Well, I would not know how to interpret their state- 
ment on that. I think that the council has started to function effec- 
tively to deal with coordination. 

There is no question that it needs to function more effectively. 
I think that it is less important for us to look at where it has failed 
in the past than to look at where the need is. 

I really don't understand why, if we need the functions, council 
fulfills, we should be terribly concerned with whether it has worked 
well in the past. I think we have heard that it hasn't done a par- 
ticularly good job in the past. It is on a new road. I agree with 
Mark aoout Marsha's capabilities and qualities, and we are fortu- 
nate in having her there. The bottom line is that there are areas 
where we desperately need coordination, now. 

Someone raised base closure. Base closure is a perfect example 
of where we need coordination on homelessness. There are various 
agencies involved and lack of discussion about what can be accom- 
plished to help the homelessness through the use of base closure 
properties, including housing. 

Welfare reform is another area with major implications for home- 
less people. We must have a concerted effort to address these is- 
sues, and, without the council, we just won't; we won't have it. 

So it is essential that we keep the council going. This next year 
is one of the most critical times when we need to do more coordina- 
tion; certainly not a time when we need to stop doing it. It is in- 
comprehensible to me what thought was behind the Senate's action 
in eliminating the council. 

Chairman Gonzalez. Well, let me impress my own, and I am 
sure every member of the subcommittee's, gratitude for your great 
work and your organization's leadership. 

Well, Mr. Gray, I will ask the same questions of you. Perhaps, 
after that reaction, if I could ask you about the prospective grant 
with respect to the DC Initiative. 

But first I would like to get your comments on the action taken 
by the Senate and, of course, later by the House. 

I think the House Appropriations Committee was probably just 
not aware, any more than we were, and that is the only reason I 
can explain it, because I know Mr. Stokes's concern. He has cer- 
tainly been a sea change with respect to our Authorizing Commit- 
tee working with that Appropriation Subcommittee. We have a 
real, genuine coordinated effort now, which I can't say has been 
true all of these last years. 

But anyway, Mr. Gray, if you have a comment, I would like to 
have it. 

Mr. Gray. Mr. Chairman, we certainly cannot explain the actions 
of others around the Federal Interagency Council any more than 
that my colleagues could. 

However, I think we can speak to the relationship that we have 
enjoyed in these last few months and the importance that the coun- 
cil has been to the District of Columbia as we have attempted to 
develop the DC Initiative. 

I certainly would have to agree with my colleagues here at the 
table that the leadership that Marsha Martin has brought to the 



24 

interagency council, along with the efforts of her staff has abso- 
lutely been extraordinary. 

I can compare that with the importance that we had prior to her 
arrival and prior to the new administration. And our contact with 
the Federal Interagency Council was sporadic at best. And not to 
be pejorative, but the assistance that we received was minimal. 

In the last 5 or 6 months I think it is no overstatement to say 
that the District of Columbia and the interagency council's staff 
have been in communication on a daily basis. We have had Ms. 
Martin to our own interagency council meetings; and, frankly, lis- 
tening to her was like listening to a professor in the classroom 
teaching about how to address the problems of homelessness on a 
national basis. 

And other members of the staff worked closely with us in helping 
us to begin sorting through the complex maze of problems associ- 
ated with homelessness. 

I think, again, looking at the tangible benefits, one of the roles 
that the council was to play, and certainly has played with us, is 
assisting us to access the resources of other agencies. Through 
their efforts and those of HUD, too, as well, we have been able to 
develop a relationship with action, and a part of our initiative will 
bring to bear about 20 volunteers, VISTA volunteers who will work 
with us on an outreach basis. 

We have been able to open additional discussions with the De- 
partment of Health and Human Services. And the people at FEMA, 
the Federal Emergency Management Administration, has expanded 
and improved as a result of their efforts. And we have opened dis- 
cussions with the Department of Veterans Affairs, all of which 
seems to me the most fundamental roles that the council was to 
play. 

They have been a source of information ; they have been a source 
of assistance. And I think, really, the only relationship between the 
current leadership and the council in the leadership prior to 1993 — 
the only relationship I see is that they enjoy the same name. 

Chairman Gonzalez. Let me, before I forget, compliment you 
and, through you, the District and its governments through these 
years. 

From the very beginning I made a point to stress that the Dis- 
trict of Columbia would be probably the most impacted area. It is 
a magnet. It is going to attract people that other cities possibly 
wouldn't. Therefore, the magnitude of the problem would be more 
severe. Despite the Districts onerous job of trying to figure out 
what a congressional committee is going to do as far as funding is 
concerned for the overall District government, I have nothing but 
praise for what has been done, which is about as effective as I 
know any city government could. 

There is always room for improvement in everything. I know 
there have been criticisms and all. Just going over to the homeless 
center here in the District, I could find a few. But they have noth- 
ing to do with the District of Columbia's accepting ana confronting 
the challenge. 

I have noticed Ms. Roybal-Allard, a very active member of the 
subcommittee. Even though this is her first year, don't let that de- 
ceive you. She is the daughter of Congressman and Chair Roybal 



25 

of California. He followed me the following Congress when I first 
came up, and so she has been bom and bred in this environment. 

I recognize you, Ms. Roybal-AUard, if you have any questions or 
statement. 

Ms. Roybal-Allard. Thank you, Mr, Chairman. And I apologize 
for being late, because this is a very important issue. I was very 
concerned about the fact that the funding for the council was taken 
away. 

I am even more concerned now when I have heard the comments 
that were being made that now it is starting to work, and that 
there seems to be a real coordination in terms of making things 
happen so that we are addressing the homeless issue. 

In the interest of time, I would like to submit my opening 
statement. 

[The prepared statement of Ms. Roybal-Allard can be found in 
the appendix.] 

I have one question — and I apologize if it is repetitious and you 
have covered this — but what is the one, or biggest, void that you 
are going to see happen given your recent experience with the 
council once it no longer exists? What is the problem that you are 
anticipating? 

And do you feel that HUD will be able to fill that void? 

Mr. Gray. Was that addressed to me? 

Ms. Roybal-Allard. To whoever wants to answer it. 

Mr. Gray. From a local perspective, I think the coordinative 
function that the council is playing for us in terms of access to 
other agencies, serving as a clearinghouse for information, and 
frankly in the case of the leadership at present, bringing extraor- 
dinary leadership and expertise to the problems of homelessness, 
in essence, as a local jurisdiction, we then would be left — perhaps, 
depending on how this is defined in the future, of course, we would 
be left with, once again, trying to wind our way through the myriad 
agencies and processes in order to piece together funding sources 
and programs that would allow us to comprehensively address the 
problem of homelessness. 

I think now, not to be redundant, what we are seeing is action 
on the part of the council to really serve as a conduit for bringing 
those efforts together to make it much easier for a jurisdiction like 
ours to put together a comprehensive program. 

Unless that is replaced, I think we will see ourselves backslide 
tremendously in our work with the Federal Government to address 
the problem of homelessness. 

Ms. Roybal-Allard. Has there been any discussion with HUD 
to make sure that they continue in this new mode with the council? 

Mr. Gray. We have had no discussions with them. But I would 
say that our working with HUD, around the DC Initiative, has 
been wonderful. We see vibrant and renewed interest in this at 
HUD. We have not had a discussion about how the function of the 
interagency council would be replaced if the council disappeared. 

Ms. Roybal-Allard. So there is some belief that HUD will con- 
tinue in that mode and fill the void that the council is going to 
leave? 

Mr. Gray. Yes. Our relationship with HUD has been far superior 
in the months of 1993 than it was previously. 



26 

Ms. Martin. If I could comment. The Secretary of HUD has 
clearly identified homelessness as a number one problem for the 
administration and HUD, and he has communicated to me that 
HUD would continue the cooperating function of the interagency 
council and retain its staff so that that function could be carried 
out. 

At this time, it is unclear what form it would take; and recently 
there has been communication with the Domestic Policy Council. 
And at some point there will be an announcement of the alter- 
native structure of the interagency coordination activities. 

Ms. Roybal-Allard. So the existing staff of the council, then, 
will just be absorbed by HUD; and they will continue the work. 

Is that your understanding? 

Ms. Marten. That is the current discussion at HUD, yes. 

Ms. Roybal-Allard. So we won't be starting from scratch. We 
will be having these experienced people that will be taking over 
this role under HUD? 

Ms. Marten. That is the current discussion, yes. 

Ms. Roybal-Alijvrd. Thank you. 

Chairman Gk)NZALEZ. Mr. Castle. 

Mr. Castle. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Following up 
on the previous line of questioning, I am looking at a memorandum 
of October 21, that I am sure that you are familiar with, concern- 
ing the Interagency Council on the Homeless from Carol Rasco, 
who, of course, is the Assistant to the President for Domestic Pol- 
icy; and it basically confirms what you have said here. And, in fact, 
you are probably mentioned in here in a continuing role: The cur- 
rent members will serve as the new working group of the DPC. The 
Executive Director Marsha Martin could function in a joint capac- 
ity as liaison to the DPC. Secretary Cisneros has indicated that 
HUD will shoulder the cost of continuing the operations and ad- 
ministrative coordination functions of the council. This arrange- 
ment offers strengthened White House involvement on issues relat- 
ing to homelessness as well as a neutral forum for the discussion 
and resolution of interagency issues. 

I, unfortunately, just arrived late to this hearing; and so I am not 
familiar with everything that was said before. But is this in your 
mind, or in the mind of anyone at the table, a satisfactory solution 
to this problem? Or do you feel that we should go back to the origi- 
nal funding and structure? 

It seems that this is a more streamlined version and a better 
way to function in order to get the White House more involved. I 
don't have personal knowledge. 

Mr. Talisman. It is an interesting idea. We just had a dialog on 
it. 

I think you are right, because the notion of elevating it — and it 
would be an elevation if it were placed in the White House struc- 
ture — would be good. 

The key, from my perspective, in having created the interagency 
council legislation in 1987 was to have a place of neutrality, that 
is to say, among the agencies, to arbitrate and do the things that 
are necessary, not that there are cat fights out there but, because 
of the way things function, to be able to have a place like that was 
a good idea. 



27 

To elevate it to the White House is a better idea, in my view, be- 
cause of the President's own deep concern, along with a number of 
cabinet officers. 

The copy list on that memorandum is extraordinary. It is a 
Who's Who. 

Mr. Castle. I was not included in that list, by the way. 

Mr, Talisman. Yes. I know. Me neither. But there is always 
hope. 

But the major point is to have response from those people who 
are on the list — actually to have someone on the list pay attention. 
I know that the Secretaries of HUD and HHS and Veterans' Ad- 
ministration are deeply engaged in all of this. 

But what is really interesting is there is no aspect of the govern- 
ment that is not involved or should be involved and fully engaged 
in the subject of ridding this country of homelessness and hunger. 
And it takes a full-fledged coordination that is beyond one agency. 
That is the point, so that if Ms. Rasco's intention can be followed 
through and made real, that would be splendid, and there would 
be a seamless kind of transition here. 

Before you came in, we were talking about this very potential hi- 
atus that could be created here right at the very moment that the 
oxygen is finally flowing and there is hope out there as well as re- 
alization in a number of ways that a lot of the initiatives are work- 
ing. So we are in suspense at the moment except for this hearing 
this morning that focuses a laser light on it, which is really helpful. 

Mr. Castle. I appreciate your answer, and I agree with some- 
thing that you said, that it is very, very important that these pro- 
grams be coordinated. We tend to diffuse our efforts to help in so- 
cial problems by different agencies and different groups looking at 
it in different ways. I just didn't want to go down two parallel 
tracks when there might be one ultimate and oest solution. 

Mr. Talisman. There is one other comment I want to make be- 
fore the hearing finishes. And that is that a lot of us who try to 
work — and a lot of other people harder than I — on the subject of 
homelessness and hunger in this country get very discouraged be- 
cause, as you recognize, there is not a continuous, high-level focus 
on the problem of homelessness. The index is when people in 
Washington are people who go to work without noticing the shad- 
ows around them anymore, /^d it is almost a 5-minute cvcle of at- 
tention in the history of anybody's life during the year after which 
it all disappears again. And the folks most in need don't have at- 
tention paid to them. 

And anything like that that allows to have the attention focused 
in a serious way is really very vital for anybody out in the field try- 
ing to do something desperately. Because, without harping on it 
continuously, even if one isn't deeply religious, the notion that this 
country would tolerate continuously this state of affairs for any of 
its citizens is a mark of stain on this country. And so these hear- 
ings are very helpful. 

Mr. Castle. For those of us involved in the homeless issue — and 
I was before on a local government level. I learned in the homeless 
area in particular, we in Delaware, where I am from, are best 
served by funding and working with the nonprofit religious agen- 
cies who do this and not having the government directly involved 



28 

in it. The government never seems to do it particularly well. But 
we have had some wonderful solutions in working with the min- 
istry of CARE and other organizations in our State. And they have 
had some public subsidization. 

But the more we got government in a coordinating role and re- 
moved from the direct delivery role, the better we did. And I think 
it is a goal we should be pointing to in this and a lot of the very 
difficult social delivery programs that we have in this country. But 
I appreciate your testimony on this. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back. 

Chairman GfONZALEZ. Thank you, Mr. Castle. 

Well, in the meanwhile, a real leader in housing has now arrived 
at the hearing. Congressman Frank. This year he opted to become 
chairman of the Subcommittee on International Development, and 
everything else that goes with it. As a result he couldn't continue 
his membership on the Housing Subcommittee. But he is really an 
ex officio member of the subcommittee and has been the author of 
the plan of the basic affordable housing amendments that we have 
placed sometimes together. Sometimes he has done it individually 
on everything from RTC to FDIC. 

Mr. Frank also is on the Budget Committee. And I think he has 
some good news for us here on some aspects of this. 

Mr. Frank. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for accommodating me. 
Of course, you know it is always unfortunately the homeless areas 
that are always the easy ones to come and talk at because they 
don't attract as many of our colleagues. 

On the other hand, I was sorry that I didn't get on to the Hous- 
ing Subcommittee; but it was good news in one major way because 
the reason I didn't get on was that the Housing Subcommittee be- 
came the most popular subcommittee, after years before when ev- 
erybody wanted to get on to Financial Institutions. 

It was a pleasant surprise to find that before the bidding got 
around to me, on the second round, that all of our freshmen Mem- 
bers wanted to be on Housing. 

We have been talking with the administration on the budget 
package that they are announcing. As I was telling the chairman, 
I did represent him in some of these conversations. We did per- 
suade them to leave public housing alone because that is a very im- 
portant and underappreciated asset for the American people. And 
that is the area that we can report. 

Other than that, I just wanted to come and acknowledge the 
leadership of the people who are here and listen as we make our 
effort to even find some more money next year. 

Thank you. 

We thought doing away with the council was a bad idea. When 
the President came in December and asked for a homeless task 
force and the Speaker decided to do that, I discussed it with the 
chairman and the chairman designated Mr. Vento to head it. We 
expressed our support for the interagency council at that time. 

One of the things I was working on in the task force was the 
whole problem of the welfare hotels. That is obviously something 
that requires HUD and Health and Human Services to come to- 
gether. There is no way to have a one-agency solution to the wel- 



29 

fare hotel problem. That requires flexibility in the AFDC spending 
that HHS has and HUD. 

And then you get the Veterans Affairs Department. No one who 
knows this thinks that you can deal with this on a one-department 
basis. 

Mr. Talisman. Mr. Chairman, in that connection, I discussed pri- 
vately with you, a while ago, a case in which an elderly man who 
was disabled walked into a restaurant on the Hill where I was hav- 
ing lunch and collapsed next to my table. And he told me the story 
of naving tried 12 times of trying to receive his SSI benefits, taking 
three buses to the Georgetown Social Security office. 

As you know, when I worked here, I helped to create, for Mr. 
Vanik, the Social Security and the Oversight Subcommittees of 
Ways and Means, and had to handle these cases in our district in 
northern Ohio. And this was a classic of noncoordination of func- 
tions where the burden was on a 71-year-old man who couldn't 
walk, and he was due by law, according to the way I knew the law. 

Hopefully, this kind of function we have been talking about this 
morning will allow the coordination that Mr. Frank is talking 
about to take place as a direct consequence of the initiatives in- 
volved, in addition to a niceness factor developing among those on 
the other side of the counter who are facing off people who really 
need help. 

Chairman GrONZALEZ. Ms. Roman. 

Ms. Roman. I wanted to make one comment about the letter 
from the White House and Carol Rasco in terms of the continuing 
efforts of the council. 

We would want to know what the structure of that continuing ef- 
fort would be. If we are contemplating a task force in HUD but re- 
porting to the Domestic Policy Council, we think structurally it 
would De difficult for it to actually function in an interagency way. 

Our organizations would like to see what the recommendation is 
in more detail before we would feel comfortable that the important 
functions of the council, particularly in terms of the Federal plan 
and coordination and monitoring of the programs, could be 
performed. 

Mr. Frank. If I could, as I read this, they appear to be aware 
of that danger and not be moving that way when they ask that the 
current members serve as a work group for the Domestic Policy 
Council. HUD would be funding it. 

Ms. Roman. If it is, in fact, a part of the Domestic Policy Council, 
that is very encouraging. 

Mr. Frank. The memo says, "as a neutral policy forum." That ob- 
viously means not one department. Not neutral on the question of 
homelessness. I would like for them to be at least leaning against 
homelessness. I assume they are. 

But when they say "neutral," I assume that means departmental 
neutrality and a working group of the Domestic Policy Council. 

Ms. Roman. If that is the case and that is the way it plays out, 
we would support that structure. 

Mr. Talisman. It would be nice to get that affirmed from this 
subcommittee to the Domestic Policy Council. 

Chairman Gonzalez. Coming back to your other observation 
about coordination or lack thereof, I will go further. When we went 



73-385 - 94 - 2 



30 

to the shelter for the hearing, I stayed — because members in the 
audience, that is those in the shelter and others, wanted to be 
heard. So I stayed there until about 3:45 p.m. and found out, for 
instance, that, after we saw real nice, clinical facilities and cooking 
and all that they were serving only one meal, and had been serving 
only one meal. 

Then I had a precious little lady, very grandmotherly, who want- 
ed to be heard; and it seems that she wanted to know: First, why 
that it was one meal, and that it wasn't very nutritious and; sec- 
ond, why couldn't she be in a position where she could cook her 
own fooa? 

Well, of course, you know the answer to that. But, then I asked 
her, how long she had been there and why, and where was her 
home? Actually, her real home of record or residence was over in 
Maryland somewhere. She had been in the District and came to the 
shelter about the first month in January. But she had first tried 
to get into elderly housing. Now, there was no reason why that 
lady should be in an emergency shelter. 

Then, two relatively young persons — well, in their thirties, mid- 
dle or late, they asked to be heard. One of them said, "hey, did you 
know that efforts are being made to kick us out of the shelter?' So 
then that brought forth Ms. Carol Fennelly who said that what this 
person hasn't told you is that he has brought a suit to prevent us 
from evicting him. He had been there over 4 years. 

You know, now, Mark, from the beginning, I said that if we were 
going to go into this palliative, known as program to help the 
homeless, that it should be, yes, emergency but temporary and that 
we should then concentrate on the root causes. So that brought me 
to several conclusions. 

By the end of 1982, the statistics on foreclosures on homes was 
alarming. In Pittsburgh, it had reached over the peak point of the 
Depression period. That is, foreclosures on single-family dwelling 
units where families were being pushed out. That was when we 
first heard from the sheriff from Ohio, who is now the Congress- 
man, Traficant, who became famous because he refused to fore- 
close, serve eviction papers. We brought him here, and he 
testified. 

In Pueblo, Colorado, where the steel mill was closing, they were 
foreclosing and evicting at the rate at over 100 a month. You can 
imagine my sadness and whatnot when the following year, in the 
winter in San Antonio, while visiting the lineup of the homeless 
trying to get in at 6 p.m. to get a meal and sleep overnight, I met 
this young man, 37 years of age, who had parked his wife and kid 
with his in-laws and was headed south of San Antonio to see if he 
could find employment. He had lost his home in Pueblo, Colorado. 

So there is such an interconnecting thing that this subcommittee 
really has oversight of For instance, who would say that one of the 
reasons we are bringing forth the Federal Reserve Governors and 
the presidents and the Open Market Committee is because it is di- 
rectly connected with this? 

You say, what connection can there be? Everything. Interest 
rates; the value of the dollar. Nobody wants to discuss the fact that 
the dollar has lost two-thirds of its value in just 15 years as 



31 

against the deutschemark and the yen. And you say, what has that 
got to do with this? It is everything. 

I hope by the time we finish our hearings people will realize why 
we should be more than just a little bit interested in the goings on 
there. You have people being thrown out of their homes, for in- 
stance, in my own area, even though two of them are not in my 
district, they are in the adjacent district — thank the Lord, we have 
been able to keep four widows in their homes. Each one hasn't been 
widowed more than 3 years. Fortunately, thev involved FHA loans. 
And it took a lot of doing to get the use of tne TMAC Program. It 
hasn't been used by the other administrations. I think this is the 
first administration we have been able to get to use it, to save this 
woman in her home. Otherwise, when she visited HUD IV2 years 
ago, realizing she was going to be facing a problem with the mort- 
gage company, the HUD official there said, look, I had to face the 
same thing; I couldn't face my payments; so I am living with my 
mother. She was told she had to do the same thing. However, now 
we have a new Secretarv — and I might say, Mark, you mentioned 
that I knew him. Yes, I have known his family since before he was 
born, and I have known him since he was born. And you may have 
read some stories in some of the commercial press or industry 
press about there being differences. Well, I don't know who or for 
what reason something is being attempted to be stirred up. How- 
ever, there is not going to be any. There never has been before, and 
there certainly isn t any now. 

But certainly he was sensitive to this eviction problem, and he 
was able to get the district director to say, wait a while. Would this 
woman qualify for a mortgage assignment program? She did and 
that was one case. Then we had three others. 

Now, do you think the mortgage companies were going to fore- 
bear? Why, they weren't about to miss a chance to grab that home 
and make a lot of money on it. And so here we are now, full circle, 
trying to do something about a humiliating thing as far as we 
Americans are concerned. And the invisible ones — which you re- 
ferred to in the doubling up — all around the country you have fami- 
lies two, three, living in one single-family shelter. 

So here was this lady at the District shelter. I had the staff do 
what we could and we have very limited staff. They went and 
talked to her and talked to the director, and asked, "Why are vou 
serving only one meal when we had the hearing in 1984." Tney 
were serving three squares then. She said it was because of lack 
of money. 

Now I want to get to the DC Initiative. In the Washington Post 
article of September 21, which I asked to be placed in the record 
at the outset, the headline is "HUD Targets Homelessness In Dis- 
trict, $20 million Committed To Pilot Program in City." Then it 
gives actually the intentions. 

Now it does say, though — what you said, Mr. Gray — that HUD, 
as a condition, mandated that the city have a specific or a new 
agency to handle that money. The disturbing thing is that the re- 
porter quoted Carol Fennelly, who said, "she is concerned about 
moving homeless people off the streets. There are certain activities 
that are unconstitutional and illegal. We don't support the entire 
report," she said, referring to the implementation plan. And then 



32 

referral is made to the fact that there would be involuntary com- 
mitments. But questions are raised as to whether the funding is 
adequate, the possible involuntary commitment of homeless people, 
and the use of police officers to move homeless people off the 
streets. 

Now The New York Times said the same thing in their report. 
Now, I wrote the Secretary and he responded that categorically 
that he was sensitive to my sensitivity about civil rights and that 
wasn't the intent, and so forth. But why these reports? They seem 
to be very positive, regarding the likelihood that that could happen. 

Is that true, Mr. Gray? 

Mr. Gray. Mr. Chairman, let me say unequivocally that there is 
no intent on the part of this initiative, the District government or 
the Federal Government, to subject any people who are homeless 
to involuntary commitments unless they meet the existing condi- 
tions of our mental health laws. The Urban Act governs those deci- 
sions in the District of Columbia. 

Perhaps in the initiative we were not as clear as we might have 
been in stating what our intent is. But first of all, our intent is to 
expand our outreach efforts to make additional efforts to try to in- 
duce people who are homeless, especially the hard to reach popu- 
lation, to come into services. That will be through expanded out- 
reach using Action volunteers, VISTA volunteers. It will be through 
contracts that we have already begun to establish with nonprofit 
organizations to actually have, what I would refer to as street case 
managers to develop relationships with people who are homeless, 
to begin to bring them into the new drop-in centers that we envi- 
sion, and hopefully to encourage them to take advantage of serv- 
ices. There is absolutely no intent on our part to involuntarily 
bring people into a commitment status or into services. 

In fact, the reference to police officers in the plan was an effort 
on our part to try to indicate that we wanted to work with the met- 
ropolitan police department, especially as it moves forward with its 
community polices efforts, to help them understand what it means 
to be homeless, to help them better understand how to develop 
some minimal relationships with people who are homeless and also 
to understand what service systems there are for people who are 
homeless in the District of Columbia so that they can, in fact, en- 
gage in some transition efforts to move people into services. 

Again we are not changing the Urban Act; we are not stepping 
up any efforts to subject people to involuntary commitments. Our 
efforts will be on the end of encouraging people to become a part 
of our service system, unless, again, they meet the criteria of either 
becoming a danger to themselves or to others. 

In the last analysis, if all of our efforts fail, then they will con- 
tinue to enjoy all the constitutional and civil rights that the citi- 
zens of this Nation enjoy. So there is absolutely no intent to imple- 
ment an initiative to involuntarily bringing someone into the serv- 
ices under some form of commitment. 

Chairman Gonzalez. HUD, as a precondition mandated that the 
District create an agency specifically to handle that money? 

Mr. Gray. Yes, Mr. Chairman, we have referred to it thus far as 
"the entity" because the details of that are still in the formative 
stages. 



33 

One of our eight task forces that has now been in place for 3 or 
4 years is working specifically on that effort. I think, using the Vice 
President's National Performance Review as the backdrop, I think 
we too, at the State and local level, certainly would like to find 
ways to streamline bureaucracy in ways that get things done more 
quickly. 

Like many jurisdictions, the District of Columbia government 
finds its personnel and procurement processes to be extraordinarily 
cumbersome and time consuming. Literally months may elapse be- 
fore we can hire somebody or move to a contractual relationship to 
get services performed. We, too, already have moved substantially 
to a system in which the direct services are provided by the private 
sector, largely by the nonprofit sector. In fact, as we outsource as 
you know, our hypothermia services, the District government, then, 
as of November 1, will be engaged in no direct service delivery at 
all. 

So recognizing that that is a service delivery strategy that we in- 
tend to pursue, we are looking for a mechanism that will make 
that happen in a streamlined and expeditious fashion. So the 
thought is to have a nonprofit corporation or a quasi-private cor- 
poration with a board of directors that would be empowered to en- 
gage in the coordination of the DC Initiative to engage in the con- 
tracting process, if you will, with the service delivery system and 
also, perhaps, to engage in some creative efforts around creating 
more affordable housing so that we can move some of the glut out 
of our emergency shelter system at present. 

Mr. Gray. So again the entity is not fully defined at this stage. 
It will be over the next 3 montns. It then will be submitted to trie 
council of the District of Columbia for whatever action has to be 
taken and, hopefully, will be a reality within the next several 
months. 

Chairman GrONZALEZ. Do you have any idea as to just what level, 
percentagewise, of that first year's $7 million would go for over- 
head, administrative costs? 

Mr. Gray. I think virtually none. As a matter of fact, we will live 
within the regulations that HUD will develop for what can be de- 
voted to administrative costs; but virtually all of our Federal pro- 
grams now restrict us to 5 to 7 percent of whatever the pool of 
money is for administrative costs. 

Also moving increasingly toward a service-delivery strategy in- 
volving the nonprofit sector, we would envision there being very lit- 
tle or no money being devoted to government functions; and that 
money would be out into the community in private sector organiza- 
tions providing services. We also intend, through our own procure- 
ment laws, to ensure that even those organizations are restricted 
to a certain ceiling with respect to their own indirect costs and ad- 
ministrative overhead. 

Chairman GONZALEZ. Ms. Martin stated in her portion of the tes- 
timony, having to do with the initiative that these activities would 
be contracted for. Now, how is that going to be done? Is that going 
to be done HUD/District iointly or 

Ms. Martin. It would oe through the new entity that Vince Gray 
has identified. They would have the primary responsibility for the 
coordination of the services, development of new facilities, and 



34 

would be setting up the contractual relationships with the non- 
profits on the community level. So the Federal Government would 
not be directly contracting with nonprofits at all. 

Chairman Gonzalez. Well, the report says that $20 million 
would be given to the District with no strings attached; but if that 
is the case, it would leave it up to the District to judge whether 
they needed a new agency or whether they could work with what 
administrative setup the District already has. 

Second, the report says that by 1995 more than 2,050 individuals 
and families in the District will receive permanent housing, treat- 
ment, or job training according to the plan. 

Now, what percentage would you envision of these monies being 
diverted for that use if you have $7 million the first year — and how 
much, subsequent years? 

Mr. Gray. Seven the first year, seven the second year, and six 
the third year. 

Chairman GONZALEZ. That is for a 5-year period stretchout; is 
that correct? 

Mr. Gray. Well, it is a 3-year period. 

Chairman Gonzalez. Three-year? 

Mr. Gray. Yes. 

Chairman Gonzalez. How much of that do you think you are 
going to have for construction? 

Mr. Gray. Well, again, the details that are being fleshed out at 
this point, HUD is in the process of developing regulations to gov- 
ern how the money will be used. 

One of the things that we see the opportunity 

Chairman Gonzalez. Well, excuse me. If that is the case, then 
how can it be money with no strings attached? 

Mr. Gray. Well, the report I think does, Mr. Chairman, indicate 
the funding is predicated or conditioned upon the District estab- 
lishing an entity that we talked about earlier; and also, in order 
to receive the second year funding, we must accomplish the first- 
year goals as set forth in the plan with respect to the number of 
beds that are to be developed. So there are conditions for us receiv- 
ing the funding, so that we can measure whether there is progress 
achieved in the expenditure of funds at points of demarcation along 
this process; so at the end of the first year, there are two very clear 
conditions that we would have to have met in order to be able to 
be eligible for second-year funding. 

With respect to the percentage that will be devoted to construc- 
tion or housing versus services, that again is being fleshed out and 
determined at this point. One of the opportunities that we see in 
the District of Columbia is the opportunity to devote more of our 
resources to the service side. 

Even though we have spent millions of dollars on services to peo- 
ple who are homeless, we recognize that those resources have been 
expended largely in an emergency shelter system and largely on 
the housing function, either for buildings to house singles or, until 
we moved away from it, the rental of hotels and motels; and even 
now the rental of apartments. 

We think with the opportunity created by this initiative we can 
begin to create more permanent solutions, both through transi- 



35 

tional and permanent housing. The resources through the initiative 
would provide us an opportunity to do that. 

We are fully committed to maintaining the current budget level, 
the current enort in the District of Columbia, but we are also just 
as committed to redeploying those resources so that more of our 
dollars can be devoted to the resources and services, more of the 
services that we know must be put in place if we are to truly have 
a continuum of care. 

Chairman Gonzalez. Fair enough. Because they have these very 
definite statistics as to what this money is going to do, then you 
have, well, if you do this the first year, well, then you get this the 
second year; and it seems to me that that has always been the 
problem. For instance, in the first year, 1981 when we got the first 
budget, it is the only time that a nonbudgetary committee ever had 
the Director of the Budget, Mr. Stockman, testify; and he later said 
that he regretted he came up here because he got on the record. 

But it seems to me, and I hope it isn't the case here, that it is 
the old storv of the old mythical city of Podunkville where the city 
fathers made a decision to build a new school house, but they had 
two conditions. First, you could not tear down the old until you 
built the new, but you couldn't build the new unless you used the 
material fi-om the old, so, you know, what have you got? You've got 
nothing. 

So I am for accomplishing what the Secretary says he wants to 
do; and therefore, I would be very grateful if we could look to hav- 
ing some information fi-om time to time — without any burden; I 
don't want any undue burden — that we could receive from you. For 
instance, when the city council acts on whatever plan is presented, 
it would be helpful to us to have a report of that and the nature 
of the setup. 

In the meanwhile, you have been most patient; and it is a little 
before noon, so I think you have enough time where you can get 
over and have a bite to eat, and I wanted to thank you very much. 
Your testimony is being given to all the members of the 
subcommittee. 

These are veiy mixed up times, believe it or not, even at the be- 
ginning of this Congress; and so some of the Members had at least 
two other meetings to attend. But I, for one, want to express mv 
profound gratitude to each and every one of you; and I, in turn, will 
communicate with you on the decision we make very soon as to 
how we will proceed to make sure that the entity really stays alive 
and ascertain exactly what it is the administration would be ame- 
nable to. I don't want to act unilaterally without knowing that that 
is what the administration wants. 

So thank you very much. Unless any of you have any additional 
statements or observations, we will then consider the subcommittee 
adjourned until further call of the Chair. 

Thank you very much. 

[Whereupon, at 11:44 a.m., the hearing was adjourned, subject to 
the call of the Chair.] 



37 



APPENDIX 



October 26, 1993 



38 



OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN HENRY B. GONZALEZ 

HEARING ON THE INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON THE HOMELESS AND THE DISTRICT OF 

COLUMBIA HOMELESS INITIATIVE 
Tuesday, October 26, 1993 

I HAVE CALLED THIS HEARING IN ORDER TO ASSESS THE IMPACT OF 
THE RECENT ELIMINATION OF FUNDING FOR THE INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON 
THE HOMELESS AND TO HEAR TESTIMONY ON THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 
HOMELESS INITIATIVE. 

THIS HEARING REPRESENTS THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON HOUSING AND 
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT'S LONG-STANDING EFFORTS TO HIGHLIGHT THE 
NEED TO ADDRESS HOMELESSNESS ON A LONG-TERM BASIS WITH PERMANENT 
HOUSING SOLUTIONS, THROUGH A COHESIVE AND COORDINATED FEDERAL 
RESPONSE. THIS SUBCOMMITTEE WAS THE FIRST TO HAVE MAJOR HEARINGS 
ON HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA IN DECEMBER 1982 WHICH BROUGHT 
NATIONAL ATTENTION TO THE PLIGHT OF THE HOMELESS. 

THE SUBCOMMITTEE RECENTLY HELD A HEARING ON HOMELESSNESS IN 
THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ON APRIL 23, 1993, IN THE COMMUNITY FOR 
CREATIVE NON-VIOLENCE (CCNV) SHELTER. THE SUBCOMMITTEE ALSO HELD 
A MARCH 23, 1993, HEARING ON THE NEED FOR PERMANENT HOUSING FOR 
THE HOMELESS AND HEARD TESTIMONY FROM HUD ON TWO SEPARATE 
OCCASIONS REGARDING BOTH HOMELESSNESS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 
AND THE INNOVATIVE HOMELESSNESS INITIATIVES DEMONSTRATION 
PROGRAM . 

WITH THE ELIMINATION OF FUNDING FOR THE INTERAGENCY COUNCIL, 
I AM CONCERNED THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS NOW LOST AN 
IMPORTANT SOURCE OF COORDINATION AND DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION 
ON VITALLY-NEEDED FEDERAL PROGRAMS TO ASSIST THE HOMELESS IN 
LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND STATES ACROSS THE UNITED STATES. I AM VERY 



39 



CONCERNED THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ALSO NOW LACKS A SUFFICIENT 
FEDERAL RESPONSE AND COORDINATION OF FEDERAL PROGRAMS TO ASSIST 
THE HOMELESS. 

I ALSO REMAIN CONCERNED ABOUT MEDIA REPORTS THAT SUGGEST 
THAT THE D.C. HOMELESS INITIATIVE WILL REPRESENT THE INVOLUNTARY 
REMOVAL OF HOMELESS PERSONS FROM THE STREETS OF THE DISTRICT OF 
COLUMBIA. WHILE IT IS ENCOURAGING TO SEE AN ADMINISTRATION 
VIGOROUSLY WORKING WITH LOCALITIES TO PLAN AND IMPLEMENT 
STRATEGIES TO COMBAT HOMELESSNESS, I BELIEVE THE D.C. HOMELESS 
INITIATIVE IS A LIMITED EFFORT THAT FALLS SHORT IN ADDRESSING THE 
LONG-TERM NEEDS OF ASSISTING THE HOMELESS IN THE DISTRICT. 

I AM ALSO CONCERNED THAT THERE ARE VERY FEW DETAILS AS TO 
THE NUMBER OF ACTUAL HOUSING UNITS WHICH WILL BE PROVIDED ON A 
LONG-TERM BASIS TO HOUSE THE HOMELESS, AND THE EXTENT TO WHICH 
THIS INITIATIVE WILL ONLY BE USED ON A SHORT-TERM, 2 YEAR BASIS, 
AND NOT ON ADDRESSING A LONG TERM SOLUTION TO END HOMELESSNESS IN 
THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. 

THE SUBCOMMITTEE HAS AUTHORIZED BOTH OF THESE PROGRAMS. THE 
INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON THE HOMELESS WAS FIRST CREATED BY THIS 
SUBCOMMITTEE IN THE STEWART B. MCKINNEY HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT 
OF 1987. IT WAS REAUTHORIZED IN THE 1992 HOUSING ACT FOR FISCAL 
YEAR 1994 AT $1.5 MILLION. THE INTERAGENCY COUNCIL HAS 17 
FEDERAL AGENCIES AND DEPARTMENTS REPRESENTED ON THE COUNCIL, AND 
DISSEMINATES INFORMATION TO LOCALITIES AND STATES ON ALL FEDERAL 
PROGRAMS THAT ASSIST THE HOMELESS. DESPITE THIS AUTHORIZATION, 
THE RECENT FISCAL YEAR 1994 VA-HUD APPROPRIATIONS ACT FAILED TO 
FUND THE COUNCIL RESULTING IN PREMATURELY TERMINATING AND 



40 



STOPPING THE COUNCIL DEAD IN ITS TRACKS. 

THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOMELESS INITIATIVE IS THE FIRST 
HOMELESS DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM ANNOUNCED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF 
HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT UNDER THE INNOVATIVE HOMELESS 
INITIATIVES DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM WHICH IS CREATED UNDER THE HUD 
DEMONSTRATION ACT OF 1993. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PASSED 
THE HUD DEMONSTRATION ACT ON OCTOBER 6, 1993, AND WE ARE NOW 
AWAITING THE PRESIDENT TO ENACT IT INTO PUBLIC LAW. 

I NOW LOOK FORWARD TO THE TESTIMONY BY THE PANEL OF WITNESSES 
WE HAVE BEFORE US. 



41 



OCTOBER 26, 1993 



OPENING STATEMENT 
BY CONGRESSMAN BRUCE F. VENTO 
AT THE HEARING OF THE HOUSING AND COMMUNITY 

DEVELOPMENT SUBCOMMITTEE 
ON THE INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON THE HOMELESS 
AND THE DC HOMELESS INITIATIVE 



Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this timely hearing today 
to discuss the issues surrounding the future of the Interagency 
Council on the Homeless, developed with the original Stewart B. 
McKinney Act of 1987, and the D.C. Initiative for the Homeless that 
was just recently developed at the direction of HUD Secretary 
Cisneros . - : 

As a supporter of the concept and of the Interagency Council on 
the Homeless, itself, I was disappointed at the action of the VA/HUD 
Appropriations Conference to defund the Council and its activities. 
While the Council has not been a perfect entity in the past, it has 
performed an important role and the ICH could and still can have a 
promising future in the new Administration. In the past, there 
may have been a disconnect between the theory for an ICH and the 
performance. Nonetheless, this is a clear example where we oughtn't 
throw the baby out with the bathwater -- defunding the Interagency 
Council on the Homeless will not bring about better communication, 
cooperation between departments. Nor will it direct the various 
Departments to acknowledge and act upon their responsibility to 
people in our society who are homeless. Ironically, Vice President 
Gore's National Performance Review actually recommends this type of 



42 



agency for the homeless issue - and the ICH should not have to be 
killed and pronounced dead to be reinvented --or should I say- 
resurrected! 

Several Members of the Speaker's Task Force on the Homeless, 
including Chairman Gonzalez and myself, signed a letter (which I 
would like to include for the Record) to encourage the 
Administration to fully cooperate, support and maintain an 
interagency effort in the form of a homeless council, a task force 
or an otherwise appropriate body until such time as the council can 
have the funding restored. 

The termination of explicit funding for the ICH could be a set- 
back for federal programs for the homeless and for the federal plan 
that was ordered by President Clinton in May. I hope we will learn 
today whether such plans and recommendations have been formulated by 
the ICH. Our Speaker's Task Force letter recommends that to the 
extent the Departments are able, that they detail and/or designate 
staff for an interagency effort to promote continued communication 
and coordination between federal agencies and departments. This 
group of detailees/designees could be formulated under the auspices 
of or at the direction of the Executive Office of the President to 



43 



assure a high priority for the needed interagency efforts. 

Again, I'd like to thank Chairman Gonzalez and our witnesses 
today. I look forward to the testimony and to a continued dialogue 
on the Interagency Council, the D.C. Initiative and all federal 
policies to prevent homelessness and assist persons in our country 
who are homeless. ' ' 



44 



The Honorable Lucille Roybal-Allard 

Statement 

on the 

Interagency Council on the Homeless 

& 

District of Columbia Homeless Initiative 

Subcommittee on Housing and Community Development 

October 26, 1993 



Mr. Chairman, 

Thank you for holding this hearing on the Interagency Council 
on the Homeless and on the District of Columbia Homeless 
Initiative. 

I would like to welcome our distinguished guests and thank 
them in advance for their testimony and for their efforts on behalf 
of the homeless . 

I followed with great concern, as I am sure other members of 
the committee did, the process by which the Senate and House 
Conferees decided to eliminate the funding for the Interagency 
Council on the Homeless. I realize that in the past the Council 
has not always lived up to its full potential. 

However, with a new secretary at HUD and with new leadership 
in the White House, we were beginning to see positive signs that 
the Council was on its way to becoming truly effective. Now, with 
the demise of the Council, the future of interagency cooperation on 
homeless issues is uncertain. 

Everybody agrees that just providing a bed for the night is 
not a solution to homelessness . We must attack the root causes of 
homelessness , such as, inadequate education and job skills, 
substance abuse, and mental illness. 

If we are to be successful in the fight against homelessness, 
we must work in partnership with state governments, local 
governments, nonprofits and the private sector. We must develop a 
cooperative and coordinated approach to the problems of 
homelessness, if we are to have a chance of success. The 
Interagency Council on the Homeless is critical to our 
accomplishing these goals and in eliminating the Council, I believe 
the Conferees have made a mistake. 

With regard to the District of Columbia Homeless Initiative, 
it is the first of what I hope will be many initiatives that take 
an integrated and coordinated approach to eliminating the causes of 
homelessness . 

We must do everything in our power to solve this 
nightmare of homelessness and I look forward to working with the 
Chairman and members of this committee to accomplish that goal. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 



m 



STATEMENT OF MARSHA A. MARTIN 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON THE HOMELESS 

BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT 

OF THE COMMITTEE ON BANKING, FINANCE AND URBAN AFFAIRS 

OCTOBER 26, 1993 



Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: 

I am pleased to appear before you today to discuss the , 
Interagency Council on the Homeless and the Dxstrxct of Columbia 
Homeless Initiative. 

Homelessness remains one of the toughest problems facing this 
country. Although public and private agencies and volunteers 
operaS numerous programs that provide sorely ^^^^^f,^^^,^^^^^^^' 
much work remains to be done. The country has suffered from a 
tremendous dearth in leadership on the subject of housing and 
homelessness. The promise that President Clinton and this 
AS!i!s?rItion brought to countless Americans sleeping on the 
streets, in cars, transportation centers and other non-habitable 
places was truly inspiring and refreshing to me. 

Early on. Secretary Cisneros made clear his intention to 
respond to homelessness. Not only did he make trips to shelters 
and^?o the streets, asking those most affected by homelessness what 
thev needed, if anything, and how he could make a difference at 
they "^^f '^'^j^, .^ y discussed the need to address homelessness 
starting with the Federal agencies, not ending with them With 
that. Secretary Cisneros made reducing the number of homeless 
families and individuals his number one priority. Then, as a solid 
sign that this Administration was taking the issue of homelessness 
head on, the Secretary appointed Andrew Cuomo, whom I had worked 
w!?h closely in New York City and whose dedication and relentless 
efforts to provide housing for literally thousands of formerly 
homeless persons served as a model for all of us in our effort to 
address this complex issue. 

Finally, Secretaries Donna Shalala and Jesse Brown, whose 
agencies administer programs of significant importance in 
preventing and ending homelessness, have both demonstrated a 
firm commitment to help those most in need in our society. 



46 



My career has allowed me to develop expertise as a provider of 
services to homeless individuals and families, as a social work 
ho^^ff^o^'' ^'''' educator, and as an innovator and administrator of 
homeless programs for Mayor David Dinkins in New York City. I have 
a^tho^fn consulted extensively across the United States and 
authored numerous articles on homelessness . 

I did not expect to leave New York, but, Mr, Chairman anrf 
cttntnl AH '■■^^- S,^^"'.™"^"^,^' -hen given the opportunity to ToTn ?he 
ti wM^h ?''>r'^^''H''^°Z' T"^ ''° ""^^^ ^" ^P^^t nationally in an area 
Jh^Tw • ^■^''^ devoted my professional life, I did not have to 
think twice m making my decision. 

iqR7 nnJo°^" 1^k°'''cJ'^^ Interagency Council, which was established in 
1987 under the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act is 

lut^nt^t"" °Kl''t ^^^^! °' ^' ^^^^"1 agencies that have pJogr^'s o? 
authorities that can be used to assist homeless people. Currently 

?ul^tLf f/" °i ""r ^" W^^hington, and we are ^assisted by teA 
full-time Regional Coordinators who have been detailed to the 
Council by HUD. The Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 
reauthorized the Council through October 1, 1994 

The first meeting of the Council during the Clinton 

wS'elictid'°."h ""' ^"'^ ""."^"^ ''' ''''' «"° Sec?eta?J Cis^eros 
was elected chairperson and Secretaries Donna Shalala and Jesse 
Brown were elected Co-Vice Chairs. On the same day, President 
Clinton issued an Executive Order that directed the 17 agencies 
that comprise the Interagency Council to develop a single 
aSd fo. Pl^n for breaking the cycle of existing homelessniss 
K f°r preventing future homelessness. The plan is to be 

datrofthrorSlr'""''^""' '" ""^""^^ ''''' '^^"^ ^°"^^^ ^^^ ^S 

, ?^"=® that meeting, we have worked to establish a short- and 

^h2H:^^™ agenda, obtain input for the new Federal Plan, and 
Identify new directions and priorities. We have continued to: 

o develop and distribute numerous publications 

to assist State and local governments and homeless 
providers ; 

o sponsor regional technical assistance workshops and 
interac tive forums to provide up-to-date 
information on Federal programs and an opportunity 
for service providers to share information on workable 
homeless assistance strategies; and 

work with the General Services Administration to 

transfer surplus food to nonprofit organizations 

serving the homeless. 



o 



47 



We have also worked to: 



o make the Council a more effective advocate within the 
Federal Government for homeless 
people and the nonprofit agencies that provide 
services to them; 

o conduct a thorough review of the existing program 

structure and proposed administrative and legislative 
changes where they are warranted; 

o identify gaps in the current continuum of care as 
well as additional opportunities for integrating 
systems, improving targeted homeless assistance 
resources, and increasing access to mainstream 
Federal low-income assistance programs; 

o work closely with State and local governments to 
share models of effective interagency program 
coordination and increase their capacity to develop 
effective local solutions; and 

o redesign our workshops to enhance the level of 

technical assistance and substantive interaction among 
the participants . 

The Council serves an important role in bringing together 
Federal agencies to coordinate diverse policies, programs, and 
issues for various homeless populations. It brings together 
Cabinet-level officials and senior staff from the member agencies 
to identify opportunities for improving delivery of programs and 
services. The Council also serves as a central resource for 
essential information for organizations serving homeless people. 

The Clinton Administration holds addressing homelessness as a 
high priority. As you may know, the President included funding for 
the Interagency Council in his FY 1994 budget request, and 
Secretary Cisneros wrote to the House and Senate Appropriation 
Subcommittees on VA, HUD and Independent Agencies supporting the 
requested funding and expressing the need for the coordinating 
body. The White House, through the Domestic Policy Council, HUD, 
HHS, VA and the other member agencies of the Council remain firmly 
committed to the continuation of interagency coordination and 
activities. As soon as the Administration became aware that the 
Council would not be funded, it began examining a range of options 
to continue the Interagency Council mission and its interagency 
coordination and activities. It is my understanding the 
Administration will make an announcement shortly on the specific 
plan to accomplish this. 

Because of your specific interest in the D.C. Initiative, I 
want to take a moment to speak about it. Secretary Cisneros and 



48 



D.C. Mayor Kelly recently announced their intention to develop, 
fund and implement a dramatically different approach to 
homelessness in the District. This effort, the D.C. Initiative, 
would serve as a national model for restructuring the Federal/local 
relationship in addressing homelessness. 

As Chairperson of the Interagency Council on the Homeless, HUD 
Secretary Henry Cisneros invited the 17 member Federal agencies to 
join in this effort. The D.C. Initiative has dravm upon this 
unprecedented Federal and local government partnership, as well as 
local and private sector participation. A series of joint planning 
sessions and subcommittee meetings coordinated by HUD, the Council 
and the District Government were held with non-profit housing 
developers, service providers, advocacy organizations, homeless 
individuals, private foundations, neighborhood groups, local 
businesses and the investment banking community. 

The recommendations of D.C. Initiative call for implementing 
the following objectives: 

o Replacing the current system of "shelters" with an approach 
that distinguishes between the diverse needs of homeless 
families and individuals, and employs a continuum 
of care model that consists of (1) comprehensive outreach and 
assessment, (2) transitional rehabilitative services, and 
(3) supportive permanent housing designed around the specific, 
individual needs of homeless families and individuals. The 
system includes strengthening efforts to prevent homelessness. 

o Recognizing the need for effective administration, and 

"reinventing" the management structure by streamlining 
existing government efforts and establishing a new 
public/private entity to coordinate and finance the 
implementation of the new homeless assistance system. 

o Entering into a social contract by which the government 
is willing to provide services to homeless persons in 
need, and the individual or family is responsible for 
participating in an effort to gain independent living 
skills and avail themselves of services and housing 
offered to them. 

o Recognizing the concerns of residents and businesses, as 

well as the well-being and need for improved living conditions 
of persons who are homeless, the Initiative seeks to end the 
use of public spaces by homeless persons as residences of last 
resort through a sensitive program of outreach and a continuum 
of care. 



49 



o Increasing the availability of affordable housing for low- 
income District residents, and developing an equitable 
means outside of the homeless system for distributing 
affordable housing opportunities. 

Included in the D.C. Initiative plan is a partnership 
agreement which outlines the District's commitment to produce or 
contract for the following housing facilities and other services 
over a two year period: 

Single Adults 

240 supportive housing placements for persons with 

mental illness 
400 substance abuse placements 

50 residential placements for persons with AIDS 
100 job training program opportunities 
160 Single Room Occupancy units 



Families 

1000 permanent housing placements (includes HOME and 
public housing) 
100 substance abuse placements 

Cumulative Total: 2,050 

The District must produce or contract for required activities 
during the first year to obtain the remaining funding for the D.C. 
Initiative. 

The D.C. Initiative is a very important effort in developing 
national models to address homelessness . 

The recent action by the House to approve HUD's Innovative 
Housing and Homeless Fund will enable us to expand this approach in 
other cities across the country. 

Thank you for inviting me. I would be happy to answer any 
questions you might have. 



50 



October 26, 1993, hearing held by the 

Subcommittee on Housing and Community Development 

entitled "Interagency Council on the Homeless and the 

District of Columbia Homeless Initiative" 

QUESTIONS FROM CHAIRMAN HENRY B. GONZALEZ TO 
MS. MARSHA A. MARTIN 



1. WHAT HAVE BEEN THE PREPARATIONS THUS FAR FOR THE FEDERAL PLAN 
REQUIRED BY THE PRESIDENT BY EXECUTIVE ORDER? 

2. WHERE IS THE DATA THAT HAS BEEN COLLECTED FROM THE "TOWN HALL 
MEETINGS" THAT HAVE BEEN TAKING PLACE AROUND THE COUNTRY? 

3. DOES THIS INFORMATION RELATE ONLY TO HUD OR TO OTHER AGENCIES? 

4. HOW IS ANALYZING THIS INFORMATION FOR THE PLAN? 

5. HAVE THERE BEEN INTERAGENCY MEETINGS AND INPUT FROM THE OTHFR 
MEMBERS, BESIDES HUD, ON THE STRUCTURE OF THE FEDERAL PLAN AND 
THE DATA THAT THEIR AGENCIES COULD CONTRIBUTE TO THE PLAN? 

6. SINCE YOU HAVE BEEN AT THE COUNCIL, WHAT PART OF THE BUDGET 
INCLUDING STAFF TIME, HAS BEEN SPENT ON THE D.C. INITIATIVE? 

7. IS THE D.C. INITIATIVE AN INTERAGENCY ENDEAVOR? 

8. WHAT STAFF FROM OTHER AGENCIES HAS BEEN BROUGHT IN TO WORK ON 
THE D.C. INITIATIVE? 

9. DID OTHER AGENCIES REVIEW THE PLAN FOR THE D.C. INITIATIVE? 



51 



RESPONSES FROM MARSHA A. MARTIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, 
INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON THE HOMELESS TO 
QUESTIONS FROM CHAIRMAN HENRY B. GONZALEZ 

1 . What have been the prepeirations thus far for the Federal 
Plan required by the President by Executive Order? 

In addition to preliminary discussions with representatives 
of the 17 member agencies of the Council, we have sponsored 
eight interactive forums to receive recommendations from 
government officials, nonprofit organizations and service 
agencies, and homeless people themselves. These planning 
and outreach efforts will continue throughout the fall and 
early winter months . Nine additional conferences are 
scheduled, and the Regional Coordinators of the Interagency 
Council on the Homeless will interview homeless people in 
over 40 shelters and other facilities around the country. 

2. Where is the data that have been collected from the "town 
hall meetings" that have been taking place around the 
country? 

Critical issues raised by participants in the forums have 
been noted and have been used to help focus the discussions 
in subsequent meetings. The attached survey was 
distributed during these meetings and mailed to over 12,000 
additional individuals and organizations. The 
recommendations from the forums and surveys will be 
summarized and reflected in the Federal Plan. 

3 . Does this information relate only to HDD or to other 
agencies? 

To date, the five top issues priority issues identified by 
those attending the interactive forums and responding to the 
mail questionnaires are: (1) affordable housing, (2) 
addressing the needs of the working poor, (3) homelessness 
prevention, (4) mental health treatment services, and (5) 
substance abuse treatment services. As you will note, they 
involve issues that cross a number of agencies. Of course, 
the number one issue is the lack of affordable housing. 

4. Who is analyzing this information for the plan? 

Staff of the Interagency on the Homeless are analyzing this 
information. This information will be shared with other 
agencies at interagency Federal Plan Working Group meetings. 

5 . Have there been interagency meetings and input from the 
other members, besides HDD, on the structure of the Federal 



52 



Plan and the data that their agencies could contribute to 
the Plan? 

Yes. In July, we formed a working group comprised of 
representatives of the 17 member agencies. Each agency was 
charged with identifying opportunities for program 
improvements and innovative approaches. This group will 
continue to meet. 

6. Since you have been at the Council, what part of the budget, 
including staff time, has been spent on the D.C. Initiative? 

In May 1993, HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros invited the 
Council to participate in the development of the D.C. 
Initiative. Since that time, at least one Council staff 
person has worked on the Initiative full time. Two other 
staff persons have been involved on a much more limited 
basis. No Council resources other than staff time have been 
spent on the Initiative. HUD paid for the printing of the 
D.C. Initiative document. 

7. Is the D.C. Initiative an interagency endeavor? 

Yes. Over the summer. Council staff met with 
representatives of FEMA, HUD, HHS, VA, ACTION, Justice and 
other agencies to review their current programs in the 
District of Columbia and to encourage their participation. 
The agencies were very receptive to Secretary Cisneros' 
invitation. 

8. What staff from other agencies have been brought in to vrork 
on the D.C. Initiative? 

Staff from VA, FEMA, HUD, HHS and ACTION are actively 
participating in the Initiative by serving as coordinators 
of activities related to the D.C. Initiative within their 
respective agencies. 

9. Did other agencies review the plan for the D.C. Initiative? 

All agencies in the District of Columbia that are involved 
in human services and emergency assistance are involved in 
the D.C. Initiative, and many reviewed the plan. Council 
staff also distributed an initial outline of the plan to 
representatives of the member agencies for review and 
comment . 

Attachment 



53 



'•^....'^ 



U.S DEPARTMENTT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT 

THE SECRETARY 

WASHINGTON. DC 20410-0001 



November 30, 1993 



Dear Friend, 

President Clinton has pledged his administration to the 
fight against homelessness . As part of that effort, the 
President has directed an Interagency Council to craft a Federal 
plan on homelessness. 

An essential factor in this process is the input and advice 
of those who know the problem best - those people who work with 
persons who are homeless on a regular basis. 

To that end, we have been consulting with elected officials, 
providers and homeless persons across the country. We invite you 
to be part of that process by giving us the benefit of your 
experience and insight. By December 20, 1993 please complete the 
enclosed questionnaire and return it to: 

Federal Plan 

Department of Housing and Urban Development 
451 Seventh Street S.W. Suite 7274 
Washington D.C. 20410 

We look forward to working with you in service to the poor 
and homeless in our country. 



Sincerely, 

Henry G./cisneros 



Enclosures 



54 



Federal Plan Questionnaire 



Name/Organization/ Address (optional). 



Describe the geographical category and type of organization you represent. 



Geographical Category 

Large metropolitan area 

Moderate to medium area 

Rural area 

' Other 



Type nf Og^niy^^np 

Service provider 

Advocacy organization 

City/county government 

State government 

Federal government 

Other 



Part I: Recommendations to Break the Existing Cycle 
of Homelessness and Prevent Future Homelessness 

(1) My recommendations for improving, streamlining and/or consolidating existing programs 
designed to assist homeless individuals and/or families are as follows: 



55 



(2) My Tecommendations for redirecting existing funding streams in order to strengthen 
linkages between housing, support, and education services are as follows: 



(3) My recommendations for promoting coordination and cooperation among grantees, local 
housing and support service providers, school districts and advocates for homeless 
individuals are as follows: 



(4) My reconmiendations for encouraging and supporting creative approaches and cost- 
effective local efforts to break the cycle of existing homelessness and prevent future 
homelessness, including tying current homeless assistance programs to permanent housing 
assistance, local housing affordability strategies, or employment opportunities are as follows: 



56 



Part n: Ranking of Issues to be Addressed in the Federal Plan 

In FY90 and FY91, staff of the Interagency Council on the Homeless conducted monitoring 
and evaluation meetings with focus groups in 47 states. Listed below are the issues most 
commonly raised during those meetings. Please review, list issues that you think should be 
addressed in addition to those listed and indicate, on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being highest 
priority and 5 being lowest priority, your preference in addressing in the Federal Plan. 

Shortage of affordable housing options (accessibility, availability, suitability, problems 

posed by NIMBY) 

Needs of woridng poor (jobs, sufficient income, health care, child care, 

transportation. 

Need for adequate mental health treatment programs and more effective discharge 

policies by hospitals, prisons, the military and mental institutions. 

Lack of adequate, appropriate treatment/aftercare programs for persons suffering from 

substance abuse, including single parents with minor children. 

Concern over increasing numbers of homeless families. 

Need for increased emphasis on preventing homelessness. 

Lack of attention to issues related to rural homelessness, particularly transportation 

needs. 

Need for increased emphasis on meeting the needs of homeless <:hildren and youth, 

particularly young males who cannot access traditional family shelters, adult shelters, 
or foster care. 

Insufficient health care services coupled with increase of seriousness of health 

problems such as AIDS. 

Inadequacy of State support, lack of overall anti-poverty poUcies. 

Concerns over increasing homelessness among migrant workers/illegal aliens. 

Need for transitional housing or supportive services for ex-offenders, parolees. 

Inadequacy of services for victims of domestic violence and concern over increased 

incidence of domestic violence. 

Eteclining public support for homeless programs. 



57 



Need for affordable child care for single-parent families. 

Need for prevention/early diagnosis/outreach to veterans suffering from post-traumatic 

stress disorder (PTSD). 

Please list and rank any additional concerns, issues you wish to see addressed: 



If you have any other recommendations, please attach additional sheets. 



Thank you for your participation. By December 20, 1993 please return your completed form 
to: 

Federal Plan 

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 

451 7th Street, S.W. Suite 7274 

Washington, D.C. 22410 

If your mailing label is incorrect, please include changes or corrections with your completed 
form. 



58 



QUESTIONS FOR 

MARSHA MARTIN, Executive Director 
Interagency Council on the Homeless 

Submitted by Representative Roukema 



1. Secretary Cisneros and Assistant Seaetary Cuomo have stated on several occasions 
that addressing homelessness is HUD'S first priority. Now that the Council is a 
subsection of HUD, what specific actions does HUD advocate to end homelessness? 

Much thought and effort has been given to solving the homeless crisis. Yet, 
families and people are still living in their cars or on the streets. Have you 
developed new ideas and paradigms for addressing the needs of the homeless? 

Are more training, job and education programs necessary to move homeless 
families from transitional housing into a more permanent setting? 

2. The D.C. Initiative is a major undertaking for the District and the Federal government 
is committing a great deal of money to the program. What role does HUD intend to 
play in this partnership throughout the two year demonstration with regard to providing 
technical assistance, oversight, and staffing? 

3. You worked with Assistant Secretary Cuomo in New York. How much of the New 
York homeless plan and experience has been utilized in formulating policies and 
directives for the Interagency Council and the D.C. Initiative? 

Has the New York plan been successful in addressing the needs of homeless 
families and individuals? 



59 



RESPONSES FROM MARSHA A. MARTIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE 
INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON THE HOMELESS TO QUESTIONS FROM 
CONGRESSWOMAN ROUKEMA 

1. Secretary Cisneros and Assistant Secretary Cuomo have stated 
on several occasions that addressing homelessness is HUD's 
first priority. Now that the Council is a subsection of 
HUD, what specific actions does HUD advocate to end 
homelessness? 

Much thought and effort has been given to solving the 
homeless crisis. Yet, families and people are still 
living in their cars or on the streets. Have you 
developed new ideas and paradigms for addressing the 
needs of the homeless? 

Are more training, job and education programs necessary 
to move homeless families from transitional housing 
into a more permanent setting? 

On May 19, 1993, President Clinton instructed the 
Interagency Council by Executive Order to develop a Federal 
Plan to address homelessness. The plan will include 
specific actions for all agencies with McKinney programs, 
including HUD, to reorganize, streamline and improve program 
administration . 

As we have traveled around the country and discussed 
homelessness with government officials, nonprofit 
organizations and service agencies, and homeless people, we 
have heard many suggestions for assisting homeless people. 
There was consensus that one solution to homelessness is 
economic self-sufficiency through jobs, education and 
training programs . 

It is important that each community ensure that it has a 
"continuum of care" which provides for a seamless system of 
services for persons who are homeless or at risk of 
homelessness. HUD is currently looking at ways to support 
efforts by communities to support such a continuum. 

2. The D.C. Initiative is a major undertaking for the District 
and the Federal government is committing a great deal of 
money to the program. What role does HUD intend to play in 
this partnership throughout the two-year demonstration with 
regard to providing technical assistance, oversight, and 
staffing? 

It is anticipated that HUD and the Interagency Council on 
the Homeless will continue an active involvement in the D.C. 
Initiative throughout the three year demonstration project. 



60 



You worked with Assistant Secretary Cuomo in New York. How 
much of the New York homeless plan and experience has been 
utilized in formulating policies and directives for the 
Interagency Council and the D.C. Initiative? 

Has the New York plan been successful in addressing the 
needs of homeless families euid individuals? 

Many cities, including New York City, are effectively 
providing a range of services and programs for homeless 
families and single adults who need them. Most have 
concluded that more is necessary in the way of developing an 
integrated system. That is what the work regarding the New 
York City plan involved, and that is very much the focus of 
the D.C. Initiative as well. The key to providing a 
continuum of care is that housing and services be designed 
to meet the particular needs of a particular city. In the 
District of Columbia, for example, it was learned that there 
was an abundance of emergency services and an unmet need for 
permanent support and some transitional housing. 

After 10-12 years of service provision and emergency shelter 
care, most cities have concluded that something more must be 
done to ensure continuity of care. Too many people are 
still falling through the cracks. 



61 



TKSTIMONY 
BErOKE THE HOUSING SUBCOMMITTEE 
OF THE BANKING AND FINANCE COMMITTEE 
OF THE 
HOUSK OF REPRESENTATIVES 

By Mark E. Talisman 
Co-Founder, National Emergency Food and Shelter Program 

October 26, 1993 



73-385 - 94 



62 



Mr. Chairman and Members of this Subcomnittee: 

It. is always a pleasure and an honor Lo appear before my friend, the 
■distinguished Chairman of this Subcommittee and Full Committee, Mr. 
Gon?alez. Having known you for over 20 years, I always respond when you 
call and that is why I am hero today. 

Otherwise, 1 cannot quite figure out why things turned out the way they 
did for tlie Interagency Council on the Homeless. As you know, I served 
here for a long time as a staffer with Congressman Vanlk, Including time 
associated with this very committee when Mr. Vanik was a mnrober. I teach a 
lot about tho legislative process, try and work within this system and 
tuach cliildren and college .students to respect it. 1 gyen created forty 
half hours for prime time television on the workings of the three branches 
of government. Yet this situation of the disappearance of the Interagency 
Council on the Homeless rrally stumps me. It Ifi a first. 

As I understand it, a distinguished public servant, Marsha Martin, agroed 
to head what had been a federal body which was confused about- its role in 
previous administrations. Ms. Martin came to Washington from New York with 
great credentials in this very area of blessed work, with the actual work 
effort lo bark up her fine notiices. After a very short period of tlml^, Ms. 
Martin and a newly enevgi?,ed and dedicated staff of the Interagency' 
Council rewcd up this city and many parts of the Nation as they asserted 
the very coordinative rolf. which had been envisioned for the Interagency 
Council when it was created in thellcKinney Act. 

As Secretary Cisneros began to fulfill his tough self-lmposod and laudable 
mandate to bring housing to tho people, the initiatives which he 
encouraged and began to eee realized starting with the significant and 
creative but complicated housing initiative here in the District of 
Columbia were actually being coordinated and implemented through thR_ 
superb assistance, .guidance and sh'car guts of Marsha Martin and her 
enthusiastic staff. 

In fact', I had the personal privilege (a phrase I do not use lightly, Mr. 
Chairman) to participate in a briefing whlc>i Ms. Martin and her colleagues 
gave for members and staff of the National Emergency Food and Shelter 
Board around six weeks ago or so. It was edifying, sensitive to the fine 
points and subtleties of the community jjrobloms inherent in such 
Initiatives and downright blunt and honest with all questions being taken 
and answered directly and frankly. It was really refreshing to hear a 
complex series of issues and problems adddressed for what they were with 
no ol)fuscatlon--and no hiding behind big words either. 

Then, I first heard word of an attempted program assassination--thls one. 
1 could not believe what 1 was hearing. The very program turn-around of 
the century was deadl As I looked into It, I was assured that the House 
would never let such a" thing happen since everyone was interested in 
seeing that a lively but" neutral address be available to assure 
implementation' of thfe . laudable goals of affordable transition and 
permanent housing for those huge niimberc of people still stuck on our city 
streets, in rural areas of this country and in transit betwixt and between 
the two. ' . • 

Then came the shocking headlines of last week which 1 know you felt 
deeply, Mr. Chairman, as did many of us. I don't get it, Mr. Chairman! 



63 



Tt scorns to mc that vhon a program idea is finally realized in an actual 
turn around as wc all have witnessed under the leadership of Marsha 
Martin, each part of our government ought to back up folly these changes, 
encourage a lot more progress and be delighted that the program finally 
will help people who were meant to be served by the Interagency Council. 

As for the D. C. Housing Initiative which has so carefully been stowardcd 
by a team including Ms. Marlin and her colleagues, the District has 
finally Joined the loral Emergency Pood and Shelter Board membership. A 
large number of obstacles in the District are being peeled away. And, 
before the crude knifing of the Interagency Council intervened so rudely, 
progress was being made signficantly toward development of the first 
serious calendar for real implementation of real programs. 

That briefing' I mentioned a moment ago, held around six weeks ago, dwelt 
at length on the densely detailed account of the progress and remaining 
challenges as .«;oon from the Interagency Council's vantage point. Yet, 
without complaining, but with great and voluable enthusiasm, Ms. Martin 
and her associatt?.«; rocounted as if reexperience.s the greatest triumphs of 
their lives, the many succes.«;Gs, some seemingly small and others clearly 
grand and great, which had already been racked up as a result of the very 
intense collaboration between the D. C and Interagency Council and a host 
of other IkvbIs and groups. 

Then the obituary was printed for the Interagency Council, right smack in 
the middle of tliese great successes which Ironically come so hard on the 
heels of utter failures in previous years when there was not, as you know 
, well Mr. Chairman, any interest we could detect, by those other 
Administrations to help our homeless kin in any meaningful ways at all. It 
was broken, and the Interagency Council got fixed in record time; it was 
up and running becoming finely tuned and doing great work and it got 
killed and that is a shame. 

Vet, 1 Viear whisper.s, Mr. Chairman, that this Administration, for whom we 
can have the highest regard in connection with their basic strong feelings 
to right wrongs like the national disgrace of homelessness and hunger, 
wants to fix this, too. I only wish the whispers would become shouts real 
soon so as not to lose one minute more in what must continue to be a 
totally coordinated and highly friendly war against tliese scourges which 
plague our people and country of homelessness and hunger. A great country 
like ours must indeed see to it that evnry citizen has place to sleep and 
that our babies do indeed go to bed at night having had their milk. 



64 




THE NATIONAL ALLIANCE TO END HOMELESSNESS, INC. 



Testimony of 

Nan Roman 
Vice President of Policy and Programs 
National Alliance to End Homelessness 

on behalf of the 

National Alliance to End Homelessness 

National Coalition for the Homeless 

National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty 

before the 

U.S. House of Representatives 
Subcommittee on Housing and Community Development 

Tuesday, October 26, 1993 



I am Nan Roman, Vice President of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. I want 
to thank the Subcommittee for inviting me here to speak with you today. I am here representing 
not only the Alliance, but also the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Law 
Center on Homelessness and Poverty. The Alliance itself has 1,750 member organizations and 
together our three national organizations represent thousands of organizations around the country 
which provide housing and services, and are advocates for homeless people We wish to express 
our deepest gratitude to the Chairman and members of the Subcommittee for holding this hearing 
to examine the need for an Interagency Council on the Homeless and the D.C. Initiative. Mr. 
Chairman, in 1991, the Alliance gave you our annual award for outstanding contributions to 
ending homelessness in our nation. In 1993, we gave this same award to another member of this 
Subcommittee, N4r. Bruce Vento. The trust we placed in your leadership has been amply 
justified, particularly in your concern for the Interagency Council on the Homeless and the D.C. 
Initiative. 



1518 K STREET NW SUITE 206 WASHINGTON. DC 20005 TELEPHONE (202) 638-1526 FAX (202) 638-4664 



65 



I will first address the matter of the Interagency Council on the Homeless. 

Mr. Chairman, our organizations believe that an effective Interagency Council on the 
Homeless is an essential element of any federal attempt to end homelessness. It is essential 
because homelessness is a cross-cutting issue. Homeless people need to receive assistance from 
many federal agencies and are affected by their policies. Among the programs which they need 
to use are AFDC, Medicaid, SSI disability, job training, veterans benefits, food stamps, child 
care, education, and, of course, housing assistance. The various agencies which provide this 
assistance must coordinate their efforts, and, for this coordination to succeed, all must feel that 
they are equal partners. This is the important function of the Interagency Council on the 
Homeless. In order to fulfill this function the Council needs to have the full and demonstrated 
authority of the President behind it. This is why it should not be housed in any one federal 
agency, but in the White House. The Alliance, the Coalition and the Law Center have 
independently recommended this course since the beginning of the Clinton Administrarion. This 
is no criticism of HUD. We believe that, despite the very best intentions and an unquestioned 
commitment to ending homelessness on the part of Secretary Cisneros and Assistant Secretary 
Cuomo, the Council cannot function effectively at HUD -- nor could it at any federal agency. 
An explanation of why the Council is needed will illustrate also why an effective Council should 
be located in the White House. 

The Interagency Council on the Homeless is needed for two reasons. First, we need a 
centralized source of information on federal resources and policy relating to homeless people and 
those who serve them. We need the Council to compile information on NOFAs, rule changes, 
application deadlines and other matters relevant to organizations that assist homeless people. We 
need the technical assistance of Council staff to help such organizations with applications and 
program management issues. And, we need a general source of information on the nature and 
issues of homelessness. The Interagency Council on the Homeless can truly be government re- 
invented. It can be one-stop shopping for nonprofits, state and local governments, federal 
agencies and all of those who deal with homelessness. This important function requires a 
Council staff with adequate resources and a thorough knowledge of, and familiarity with, all of 
the relevant federal agencies. 

Even more importantly, the Council has a critical policy role. It needs to coordinate and 
monitor all federal policy and programs relevant to homelessness. It needs to be pro-active in 
identifying needs, gaps, etc. and proposing solutions to problems. It needs to be a leader in 
developing a federal plan of action that will end the tragedy of homelessness. It needs to have 
the demonstrated support of the President so that it can gamer the resources and cooperation of 
all its member agencies to implement such a plan. These functions were laid out in great detail 
in the statute authorizing the Council. They cannot be accomplished by a Council located at any 
one agency. It is our belief that the Council's failure to adequately address policy matters is due 
in large part to the fact that has not had behind it the full weight of Presidential leadership. To 
achieve such leadership, the Council should be an independent agency located in the White 
House. 



66 



What could an independent Interagency Council do? 

• It could develop and implement a federal plan as was envisioned by the President 
in his May 21, 1993 Executive Order. The Council has never made progress 
toward a coordinated planning effort among all the agencies with the goal of 
ending homelessness. Furthermore, an independent agency would have behind it 
the authority of the President in its effon to implement such a plan. 

• It could work with all federal agencies to ensure that their assistance to homeless 
people was effective. This could be accomplished both by monitoring existing 
federal programs and by working with the federal agencies to ensure coordinated 
planning and implementation of programs among agencies. 

• An effective Interagency Council could provide information and technical 
assistance on the full range of federal programs to help the homeless. 

In addition, it could do the following. 

• An independent agency could provide guidance on how to evaluate the 
effectiveness of various programs. 

• An independent agency could identify and fill information needs of the 
participating agencies. Congress and providers, and it could use the full weight of 
the President's leadership to accumulate the resources necessary to meet these 
needs. 

• An independent Council could work with local and state governments and 
providers to see where the problems lie in coordinating assistance, communicate 
these coordination problems to the relevant federal agencies, and develop 
solutions. 

• An independent Interagency Council could also provide leadership and technical 
assistance to localities on coordinating their delivery of assistance. Such 
coordination is desperately needed at Uie local level. 



The federal response to homelessness requires more, not less, coordination and the 
necessity for coordination can only grow. We need an Interagency Council on the Homeless. 
Our organizations suggest that it be placed at the White House. We believe tiiat this can be done 
with no statutory change. Because there is no appropriation for FY 1994, we request the 
Chairman's and the Subcommittee's assistance in encouraging each of the participating federal 
agencies to contribute funds to maintain Council operations. We propose that each of the seven 
principal agencies (HUD, HHS, Labor, Education, Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, and FEMA) 
contribute $50,000 and donate the services of one staff person to the effort. Each of the 



67 



remaining ten member agencies would contribute $10,000. As is required under the statute, HUD 
could provide administrative support in the form of two to three support staff. This would yield 
a budget of $450,000 to pay the Executive Director and administrative, travel, printing and other 
costs, as well as a total staff of ten. Under this plan, there would be an aggregate federal staff 
reduction, with only one additional White House staff position; that of the Council's Executive 
Director. HUD would retain the Chairmanship of the Council, but in next year's authorizadon 
we would seek a rotating Chairmanship among the seven principal agencies. 

The Alliance, the Coalition and the Law Center and their members and affiliates will 
continue to fight for an Interagency Council on the Homeless. It is our belief that such a Council 
is necessary to develop and implement a federal plan to end homelessness; to monitor and 
coordinate federal assistance to the homeless; and to provide information and technical assistance 
on federal programs and on the issue in general. Knowing of HUD's stated commitment to 
interagency cooperation, and its concern about the current Council's effectiveness, we hope that 
it will join us. And, Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, we hope that you will 
also support our efforts. 

I will now briefly address the D.C. Initiative. Our organizations are concerned about the 
Initiative insofar as it, and other jurisdictions funded by the Innovative Homeless Initiatives 
Demonstration Program, are intended to be models for other cities. In this context, we have 
several thoughts, which we have also shared with HUD. 

First, the purpose of the federal funding is somewhat unclear to us. Is it meant to fill 
service and housing gaps, or is it meant to be spent on building the coordination infrastructure? 
Certainly, both of these are critical needs and deserve suppon, although of widely varying 
magnitudes. However, if the principal function is filling gaps, $20 million over two years is 
unlikely to be adequate to complete a comprehensive "continuum of care." In addition, we must 
look at the continuation of funding beyond the two year term envisioned. If the purpose is to 
encourage coordination, more attention should be paid to the process by which coordination is 
accomplished and evaluated, and what the outcome is, relative to the cost. It seems that the goal 
is some combination of these, but in order to evaluate the results of the models generated by this 
program the purpose of federal funding should be made clear. 

Second, there must be formal mechanisms for ensuring the genuine participation of all 
relevant parties in the planning and coordination efforts of any jurisdiction participating in the 
program. In particular, there must be outreach to community-based organizations and homeless 
people to ensure their formal involvement throughout the planning process. Without real 
participation in planning and coordination by all partners, no initiative can hope to succeed. 

And, finally, there must be the assurance of a maintenance of effort by local jurisdictions 
receiving federal funding from the Innovative Homeless Initiatives Demonstration Program. 
Jurisdictions should not use the new infusion of federal funds to replace funding for existing 
housing, service or other programs. 



68 



In summary, the National Coalition for the Homeless, the National Law Center on 
Homelessness and Poverty and the National Alliance to End Homelessness will continue to work 
for an effective, independent Interagency Council on the Homeless. We ask for your support to 
continue, in a meaningful way, the work of the Council during the coming year and we look 
forward to working with you to reauthorize it next year. In addition, we will continue to watch 
the D.C. Initiative for its benefits as a national model. We would be happy to work with you 
and HUD in the implementation of this new program. 

Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, on behalf of the Law Center, the 
Coalition and the Alliance, I thank you for your leadership on this issue and for inviting us to 
testify before you today. 



69 



QUESTION FOR 

NAN ROMAN, Vice President, Policy and Programs, 

Narional Alliance to End Homelessness, also on behalf of 

the National Coalition for the Homeless and the 

National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty 

Submitted by Representative Roukema 



Much thought and effort has been given to solving the homeless crisis, including the 
D.C. Initiative. Do you have any suggestions or new paradigms for for solutions which 
should be included to make the Initiative successful? 



70 




THE NAIIONAL ALLIANCE TO END HOMELESSNESS, INC. 



January 21, 1994 



TO: 
FROM: 

SUBJECT: 



Representative Marge Roukema 

Nan Roman 

Vice President 

National Alliance to End Homelessness 



Response to Question Submitted in Reference to Testimony Before the 
Subcommittee on Housing and Community Development on October 26, 1993 

The plan for the D.C. Initiative, on the whole, adequately assesses the problem of 
homelessness in the District. It correctly places greater emphasis than we now have on outreach 
(that IS, on bnngmg people into the assistance system), and on permanent housing. Although it 
does a good job of assessing the problem, it cannot provide adequate resources to solve it. It is 
our presumption that "the entity" envisioned in the Initiative will be responsible both for raising 
additional resources and for distributing scarce resources by setting priorities. 

Ms. Roukema, the solution to homelessness is no mystery. People are homeless because 
they do not have homes. Their first need, then, is for permanent housing. In order to help them 
lead stable lives in such housing, they may also require assistance to increase their incomes and 
some on-going social service assistance. Their second need, then, is to be fit into a system of 
assistance. 

The first step in delivering housing and service assistance is outreach. Virtually by 
definition, homeless people have not had successful experiences with the assistance system (if 
they had, presumably they would not be homeless). Many are wary of this system and unwilling 
to become involved with it because they do not perceive its benefits. Additionally, a significant 
percentage of homeless people have substance abuse illness, mental iUness or other diseases. 
Often, these diseases have been exacerbated by their homelessness -- or even caused by it. As 
with domiciled people who suffer from such illnesses, successful treatment generally requires 



1518 K STREET NW SUrrE206 WASHINGTON, DC 20005 TELEPHONE (202) 638-1526 FAX (202) 638-4664 



71 

some complicity on the part of the person who is ill. It may take extensive outreach efforts to 
engage such people in the services system. 

Once people are engaged in the system, their needs can be assessed -"d^^e effort can 
begin to meet them. While many homeless people do have service and income needs, it is our 
befief haTservices and income support can, in most cases, best be delivered to people who have 
r.^ennanlm place to live. This has the added advantage of hooking them into the mainstream 
er^e prn^arn that can assist them long tenn. In this way we avoid creating a parallel system 
of home esf services and housing, which is not only expensive but which cannot provid 
ass'tance after someone moves into pennanent housing. Although some people need transitional 
housing, it is our belief that this number is small. 

The kev of course, is making sure that there is an adequate supply of housing services 
and income programs To accomplish this there must be coordination within the pubic sector, 
Tnd ewTen theTubl c and the pnvate, nonprofit sector. There are numerous models of t is type 
of coordination such as UNITY in New Orleans and the Homeless Services Network in St^ 
fouTsWe need more models, however, and more encouragement for localities to engage in such 
^oo"in!^^on Coordination mechanisms must be able to identify gaps ,n assistance and determine 
how they are to be filled. Where there are not adequate resources to meet the needs, they must 
set priorities. 

Funds available in the Innovative Homeless Demonstration Program are not adequate to 
fill the gaps in the network of housing, services and income available to homeless people They 
a^ adequae however, to help and encourage cities to assess the local homelessness situation 
ancudTng needs for outreach, housing, services and income assistance); to assess the resources 
'::^^l.\Z.. the needs; to identify the gaps ; to set priorities; and - coordm.e^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 
of assistance While no one model is good for every locality, the need for such efforts is 
uniSand with suitable goals and objectives, the funding could well be put to this use. 



72 



STATEMENT OF 

VINCENT C. GRAY, DIRECTOR 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES 

BEFORE 
THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT 

OF 

THE COMMITTEE ON BANKING, FINANCE AND URBAN AFFAIRS 

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

HEARING ON 

THE INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON THE HOMELESS 

AND 
THE D.C. INITIATIVE 

OCTOBER 26, 1993 



73 



GOOD MORNING CHAIRMAN GONZALEZ AND MEMBERS OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON 
HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, COMMITTEE ON BANKING, FINANCE 
AND URBAN AFFAIRS. I AM VINCENT C. GRAY, DIRECTOR OF THE DISTRICT 
OF COLUMBIA DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES AND CHAIRPERSON OF THE 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ("DISTRICT") INTER-AGENCY HOMELESS 
COORDINATING COUNCIL. I AM PLEASED TO BE HERE TODAY TO TESTIFY ON 
BEHALF OF MAYOR KELLY AND THE DISTRICT GOVERNMENT WITH RESPECT TO 
THE INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON THE HOMELESS AND THE D.C. INITIATIVE. 
JOINING ME ARE ENID SIMMONS, DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF PLANNING AND 
EVALUATION, EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR; MILTON BAILEY, DEPUTY 
DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT; CLAUDIA 
BOOKER, REPRESENTING THE DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC AND 
ASSISTED HOUSING; JAMES BUTTS, ADMINISTRATOR, INCOME MAINTENANCE 
ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT HUMAN SERVICES; DR. ROBERT KEISLING, 
ADMINISTRATOR, ADULT SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN 
SERVICES; AND HELEN KEYS, CHIEF, OFFICE OF EMERGENCY SHELTER AND 
SUPPORT SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES. 

THE INTERAGENCY COUNCIL HAS BEEN A VALUABLE CLEARINGHOUSE FOR 
INFORMATION ON HOMELESS INITIATIVES IMPLEMENTED BY LOCAL 
GOVERNMENTS AND HAS BEEN INSTRUMENTAL TO OUR EFFORTS TO FORMALIZE 
THE D.C. INITIATIVE BY FACILITATING OUR ACCESS TO KEY FEDERAL 
GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. THE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN 
DEVELOPMENT ("HUD"), KNOWN AS THE D.C. INITIATIVE, IS A PROMISING, 
AMBITIOUS, INNOVATIVE INTERDISCIPLINARY, APPROACH TO ENDING 
HOMELESSNESS THAT WE HOPE WILL BE A MODEL FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS 
NATIONWIDE. 

THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, LIKE OTHER MAJOR URBAN AREAS ACROSS THE 
NATION, HAS EXPERIENCED AN ALARMING INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF 
HOMELESS PERSONS AMONG ITS CITIZENS OVER THE PAST DECADE. 



73-385 - 95 - 4 



74 



IN 1975, THE DISTRICT GOVERNMENT MAINTAINED TWO SMALL 
EMERGENCY FACILITIES WITH ABOUT 100 UNITS AND AN 
ADDITIONAL 200 SINGLE MEN AND WOMEN WERE SERVED THROUGH 
PRIVATE FACILITIES. THE DISTRICT GOVERNMENT WOULD 
CONTRACT WITH PRIVATE PROVIDERS IF MORE SHELTER CAPACITY 
WAS NEEDED. CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS FED APPROXIMATELY 
400 PERSONS DAILY. VIRTUALLY NO ONE LIVED ON THE 
STREETS. 



O BY 1981, IT BECAME NECESSARY TO EXPAND THE DISTRICT 
GOVERNMENT'S SHELTER CAPACITY TO ACCOMMODATE 600 MEN, 
WOMEN AND CHILDREN AND THE NUMBER OF DISTRICT GOVERNMENT 
OPERATED FACILITIES GREW FROM TWO TO FOUR. AN ADDITIONAL 
200 FAMILIES WERE PROVIDED VOUCHERS FOR SHELTER AT HOTELS 
AND MOTELS. 

O IN 1989, THE DISTRICT GOVERNMENT SHELTERED MORE THAT 
11,018 SINGLE ADULTS AND 2400 FAMILIES AT A COST OF $40 
MILLION ANNUALLY AND THE NUMBER OF HOMELESS PERSONS 
"LIVING" ON THE STREETS HAD INCREASED DRAMATICALLY. 

THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF HOMELESS PERSONS IS IN LARGE PART THE 
PRODUCT OF TWO PHENOMENA OF THE 1980s: 1) A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN 
POVERTY AND SOCIAL ILLS COUPLED WITH A SEVERE REDUCTION IN FEDERAL 
FUNDING FOR SOCIAL SERVICE PROGRAMS TO ASSIST THE POOR AND 2) A 
DRASTIC DECREASE IN FEDERAL FUNDING FOR HOUSING PROGRAMS FOR LOW 
INCOME PERSONS. THE INCREASE IN POVERTY AND DECREASE IN HOUSING 
PROGRAMS, EXACERBATED BY THE RECESSIONARY ECONOMY THAT HAS 
CHARACTERIZED THE 1990s, PROVED TO BE A RECIPE FOR HOMELESSNESS IN 
EPIDEMIC PROPORTIONS. 

THE NATIONAL COALITION FOR THE HOMELESS ESTIMATES THAT THERE ARE 



75 



APPROXIMATELY 3 MILLION HOMELESS PERSONS IN THE UNITED STATES; A 
FIGURE THAT, WHILE LARGE, REPRESENTS, AT BEST, A GOOD FAITH EFFORT 
TO ACCOUNT FOR A POPULATION THAT DOES NOT USUALLY MAKE ITSELF 
AVAILABLE TO CENSUS TAKERS. OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS THE DISTRICT 
GOVERNMENT HAS SPENT APPROXIMATELY $100 MILLION IN LOCAL AND 
FEDERAL FUNDS IN ITS EFFORT TO MEET THE NEEDS OF HOMELESS PERSONS 
IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ALONE. LOCAL CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS 
HAVE SPENT ADDITIONAL MILLIONS. 

DESPITE THE TREMENDOUS COMMITMENT OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE DOLLARS, 
HOMELESSNESS REMAINS ONE OF THE MOST PERSISTENT AND COMPLEX 
CHALLENGES THAT THE DISTRICT GOVERNMENT FACES. THOUSANDS OF 
DISTRICT GOVERNMENT PERSON-HOURS HAVE BEEN DEVOTED TO EVALUATING 
PAST EFFORTS, AND FASHIONING AND IMPLEMENTING NEW INITIATIVES TO 
MEET THE CHALLENGE. OUR ANALYSIS HAS LED US TO CONCLUDE THAT 
HOMELESSNESS DOES NOT LEND ITSELF TO ONE DIMENSIONAL SOLUTIONS LIKE 
PROVIDING SHELTER SERVICES ALONE. INSTEAD, THE ERADICATION OF 
HOMELESSNESS DEPENDS UPON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A SUPPORTIVE, 
COMMUNITY NETWORK, AS ENVISIONED BY THE D.C. INITIATIVE, THAT HELPS 
HOMELESS PERSONS ADDRESS THE EMOTIONAL, INTELLECTUAL, HEALTH, 
EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATIONAL, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DYNAMICS THAT ARE THE 
CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS. 

THE PROFILE OF THE DISTRICT'S HOMELESS POPULATION SUPPORTS OUR 
CONCLUSION. OUR HOMELESS POPULATION CONSISTS OF FIVE PRIMARY 
SUBPOPULATIONS: 1) SINGLE ADULTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS; 2) SINGLE 
ADULTS WITH SHORT-TERM NEEDS; 3) FAMILIES WITH SPECIAL NEEDS; 4) 
FAMILIES WITH SHORT-TERM EMERGENCIES; AND 5) MARGINALLY HOUSED 
FAMILIES. 

1) AN ESTIMATED 3400 SINGLE ADULTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS 
CONSTITUTE APPROXIMATELY 60 PERCENT OF ALL PERSONS USING 
THE DISTRICT GOVERNMENT SHELTER SYSTEM. THIS POPULATION 
REQUIRES INTENSIVE ASSISTANCE FOR MENTAL ILLNESS, 
CHEMICAL ADDICTION AND HIV/TB INFECTION; INCLUDES MOST OF 



f 



76 



THE APPROXIMATELY 1200 TO 1500 INDIVIDUALS WHO LIVE ON 
THE DISTRICT'S STREETS; AND APPEARS TO USE SHELTER OR 
PUBLIC SPACE INTERMITTENTLY AND INTERCHANGEABLY. 

2) SINGLE ADULTS WITH SHORT TERM NEEDS INCLUDE INDIVIDUALS 
WHO ARE TEMPORARILY HOMELESS DUE TO FIRES, BUILDING 
CONDEMNATIONS, COLD WEATHER EMERGENCIES, THREATENED 
EVICTION OR NON-PAYMENT OF RENT. PERSONS IN THIS GROUP 
DO NOT REQUIRE THE INTENSIVE SPECIAL SERVICES ASSOCIATED 
WITH MENTAL ILLNESS, CHEMICAL ADDICTION OR MAJOR MEDICAL 
DISABILITIES AND SOME ARE EMPLOYED. 

3) HOMELESS FAMILIES WITH SPECIAL NEEDS CONSTITUTE 
APPROXIMATELY 20 PERCENT OF EXISTING SHELTER RESIDENTS. 
THESE FAMILIES USE THE EMERGENCY SHELTER SYSTEM 
REPEATEDLY AND HAVE LIVED IN PRECARIOUS AND UNSTABLE 
HOUSING SITUATIONS. THE ADULT MEMBERS OF THE FAMILIES 
OFTEN SUFFER FROM CHEMICAL ADDICTION AND MAJOR MEDICAL 
ILLNESSES, AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS PREVALENT. 

4) WE ESTIMATE THAT FAMILIES WITH SHORT-TERM EMERGENCIES 
REPRESENT A SIGNIFICANT PERCENTAGE OF THE FAMILIES IN THE 
DISTRICT'S SHELTER SYSTEM. LIKE THE SINGLE ADULTS WITH 
SHORT-TERM EMERGENCIES, THESE FAMILIES ARE TEMPORARILY 
DISPLACED FROM THEIR HOMES DUE TO FIRES, COLD WEATHER 
EMERGENCIES, EVICTIONS, AND BUILDING CONDEMNATIONS. 
PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH MENTAL ILLNESS, SUBSTANCE ABUSE 
AND HIV INFECTION ARE NOT PREVALENT AMONG THIS GROUP AND 
ARE NOT THE CAUSE OF THEIR HOMELESSNESS . 

5) MARGINALLY HOUSED FAMILIES LIVE IN DOUBLED UP 
ARRANGEMENTS OR DILAPIDATED HOUSING, OR ARE ON THE VERGE 
OF EVICTION. THIS GROUP INCLUDES TEEN-AGED PARENTS AND 
FAMILIES THAT HAVE BEEN DEPENDENT ON WELFARE BENEFITS FOR 
LONG PERIODS OF TIME. MARGINALLY HOUSED FAMILIES USE 



77 



5 

SHELTERS AS ONE OF A SERIES OF MAKESHIFT LIVING 
ARRANGEMENTS . 

WE HAVE ALREADY BEGUN TO CHANGE OUR SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEM IN 
RESPONSE TO THE PROFILE OF HOMELESS PERSONS AND THEIR NEEDS: 

O WE HAVE ELIMINATED THE USE OF HOTELS AND MOTELS TO 
PROVIDE SHELTER TO FAMILIES, EXCEPT FOR 50 ROOMS WHICH 
FORM THE BEGINNING OF AN ASSESSMENT APPROACH FOR FAMILIES 
ENTERING THE SYSTEM FOR THE FIRST TIME. NINETY PERCENT 
OF OUR FAMILIES NOW ARE SERVED IN APARTMENT UNITS. THE 
ELIMINATION OF THE USE OF HOTELS AND MOTELS HAS IMPROVED 
SERVICE PRACTICE AND ALSO IS COST EFFECTIVE. 

o WE HAVE IMPROVED ACCESS TO BENEFITS FOR FAMILIES IN NEED 
OF AFDC, MEDICAID, AND FOOD STAMP SERVICES. 

O THROUGH A CONTRACTUAL ARRANGEMENT, WE HAVE DEVELOPED 
EXPANDED CASE MANAGEMENT SERVICES FOR FAMILIES. OUR 
CONTRACT WITH LUTHERAN SOCIAL SERVICES PROVIDES CASE 
MANAGEMENT AND OTHER SOCIAL SERVICE SUPPORTS TO 300 
FAMILIES IN THE SHELTER SYSTEM AND WE CONTINUE TO PROVIDE 
SUPPORT AFTER THE FAMILIES ARE PLACED INTO TRANSITIONAL 
OR PERMANENT HOUSING. 

O THE PHYSICAL CONDITIONS IN SHELTERS FOR SINGLES HAVE BEEN 
RENOVATED AND IMPROVED. WE ARE PURCHASING TRAILERS, 
WHICH AT SEVERAL SITES PROVIDE SEVERAL HUNDRED BEDS 
NIGHTLY FOR HOMELESS SINGLES. UNTIL RECENTLY, THE 
TRAILERS WERE LEASED. 

O BEGINNING NOVEMBER 1, 1993, HYPOTHERMIA SERVICES WILL BE 
CONTRACTED OUT AND EXPANDED. THIS NEW, COMPREHENSIVE 
OUTREACH EFFORT WILL INCLUDE A HOTLINE AND VANS FOR 
PICKUP ON NIGHTS WHEN THE TEMPERATURE DIPS BELOW 32 



78 



DEGREES. LAMINATED CARDS WILL BE DISTRIBUTED WITH 
INFORMATION ON AVAILABLE SHELTERS AND POSTERS INCLUDING 
SIMILAR INFORMATION WILL BE CIRCULATED. 

O THE DISTRICT GOVERNMENT HAS BEGUN TO DEVELOP CAPACITY TO 
SERVE THE HARD-TO-REACH POPULATION OF "STREET PEOPLE" 
WITH MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS. THROUGH TWO PRIVATE 
PROVIDERS, ANCHOR MENTAL HEALTH AND JMC ASSOCIATES, THE 
DISTRICT GOVERIWENT HAS CONTRACTED FOR OUTREACH CASE 
MANAGEMENT AND 200 UNITS OF HOUSING. 

DESPITE IMPROVEMENTS IN OUR SYSTEM, IT IS CLEAR THAT THE DISTRICT 
GOVERNMENT, LIKE VIRTUALLY EVERY LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT IN THIS 
NATION WHERE HOMELESSNESS PERSISTS, HAS CONTINUED TO OPERATE 
ESSENTIALLY AN EMERGENCY SHELTER PROGRAM WHILE A MORE EXTENSIVE 
"CONTINUUM OF CARE" IS REQUIRED TO ADDRESS EFFECTIVELY THE PROBLEM 
OF HOMELESSNESS. HOWEVER, NO LOCAL OR STATE GOVERNMENT CAN TACKLE 
ALONE THE COMPLEX, SEEMINGLY INTRACTABLE PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH 
HOMELESSNESS. FEDERAL SUPPORT IS ESSENTIAL IF WE ARE TO CREATE 
ENDURING SOLUTIONS. WE ARE PLEASED THAT THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION 
HAS ACKNOWLEDGED THE NEED FOR FEDERAL SUPPORT. 

SOON AFTER THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION ASSUMED THE REINS OF 
LEADERSHIP, MAYOR SHARON PRATT KELLY AND SECRETARY HENRY CISNEROS, 
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, BEGAN TO DISCUSS 
THE POTENTIAL FOR A FEDERAL/DISTRICT PARTNERSHIP TO CREATE A MODEL 
SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEM TO ADDRESS THE VARIED NEEDS OF PEOPLE WHO 
ARE HOMELESS IN THE DISTRICT. AFTER NUMEROUS DISCUSSIONS AND 
SEVERAL VISITS TO DISTRICT SHELTERS AND LATE EVENING TOURS OF 
DISTRICT STREETS BY SECRETARY CISNEROS, MAYOR KELLY AND SECRETARY 
CISNEROS ANNOUNCED ON JUNE 10, 1993, THEIR INTENTION TO DEVELOP A 
MARKEDLY DIFFERENT APPROACH TO HOMELESSNESS IN THE DISTRICT; AN 
APPROACH THAT HOPEFULLY WILL SERVE AS A NATIONAL MODEL FOR OTHER 
CITIES TO EMULATE. 



79 



IN THE MONTHS THAT FOLLOWED, AN UNPRECEDENTED PLANNING EFFORT, 
INVOLVING SEVERAL HUNDRED PEOPLE, UNFOLDED TO DEVELOP A BLUEPRINT 
FOR THE D.C. INITIATIVE. THAT PLANNING EFFORT INVOLVED A 
PARTNERSHIP CONSISTING OF THE FOLLOWING "SEVEN CORNERS": 

O NOT-FOR-PROFIT HOUSING DEVELOPERS, SERVICE PROVIDERS AND 

ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS; 

O PRIVATE FOUNDATIONS; 

O LOCAL BUSINESSES AND THE INVESTMENT BANKING COMMUNITY; 

O NEIGHBORHOOD GROUPS; 

O THE DISTRICT GOVERNMENT; 

O THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT; AND 

O PEOPLE WHO ARE HOMELESS. 

COOPERATION BETWEEN THE FEDERAL AND DISTRICT GOVERNMENTS THROUGHOUT 
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS PLAN HAS BEEN CONTINUOUS AND ESSENTIAL TO 
THE PROGRESS ACHIEVED TO DATE. THERE VIRTUALLY WAS NOT A DAY OVER 
THE PAST FIVE MONTHS WITHOUT A MEETING OR OTHER COMMUNICATION 
BETWEEN DISTRICT AND FEDERAL OFFICIALS RELATIVE TO THE DEVELOPMENT 
OF THE INITIATIVE. IN ADDITION TO THE LEADERSHIP PROVIDED BY HUD, 
STAFF MEMBERS OF THE FEDERAL INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON THE HOMELESS 
ALSO WERE PARTICULARLY INSTRUMENTAL IN BRINGING THE PLAN FOR THE 
D.C. INITIATIVE TO FRUITION. AMONG THE NUMEROUS AREAS OF 
ASSISTANCE PROVIDED, STAFF MEMBERS ESPECIALLY WERE HELPFUL AS 
CATALYSTS FOR ACCESS TO KEY AGENCIES, SUCH AS THE DEPARTMENT OF 
VETERANS AFFAIRS, THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ADMINISTRATION, 
ACTION/VISTA AND THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. 

ON SEPTEMBER 15, 199 3, THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN 
DEVELOPMENT (HUD) AND THE DISTRICT ANNOUNCED COMPLETION OF THE D.C. 
INITIATIVE PLAN ENTITLED "WORKING TOGETHER TO SOLVE HOMELESSNESS" . 
HUD HAS COMMITTED TO PROVIDE $20 MILLION OVER THE NEXT 3-YEARS 
TOWARD IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PLAN. SEVEN MILLION WILL BE PROVIDED 
IN THE FIRST YEAR, $7 MILLION IN THE SECOND YEAR AND $6 MILLION IN 
THE THIRD YEAR. AN ESSENTIAL TENET OF THE PLAN IS THAT 



80 



8 



HOMELESSNESS CAN BE SOLVED ONLY BY CREATING AND IMPLEMENTING A 
"CONTINUUM OF CARE" THAT ADDRESSES THE ROOT CONDITIONS UNDERLYING 
HOMELESSNESS. PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS OF THE PLAN INCLUDE: 

o REPLACING THE CURRENT SYSTEM OF "SHELTERS" WITH A SYSTEM 
THAT DISTINGUISHES BETWEEN THE DIFFERENT SUBPOPULATIONS 
OF HOMELESS FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS, AND EMPLOYING A 
CONTINUUM OF CARE MODEL THAT CONSISTS OF (1) 
COMPREHENSIVE OUTREACH AND ASSESSMENT, (2) TRANSITIONAL 
REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, AND (3) SUPPORTIVE PERMANENT 
HOUSING DESIGNED AROUND THE SPECIFIC, INDIVIDUAL NEEDS OF 
HOMELESS FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS. THE SYSTEM INCLUDES 
STRENGTHENING EFFORTS TO PREVENT HOMELESSNESS. 

o STREAMLINING EXISTING GOVERNMENT EFFORTS AND ESTABLISHING 
A NEW PUBLIC/PRIVATE ENTITY TO COORDINATE AND FINANCE THE 
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW HOMELESS ASSISTANCE SYSTEM. 

o A SOCIAL CONTRACT PURSUANT TO WHICH THE GOVERNMENT 
PROVIDES SERVICES TO HOMELESS PERSONS IN NEED, AND THE 
INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY PARTICIPATES IN AN EFFORT TO GAIN 
INDEPENDENT LIVING SKILLS AND AVAIL THEMSELVES OF 
SERVICES AND HOUSING OFFERED TO THEM. 

O ENDING THE USE OF PUBLIC SPACE BY HOMELESS PERSONS AS 
RESIDENCES OF LAST RESORT THROUGH A SENSITIVE PROGRAM OF 
OUTREACH AND CARE. 

O INCREASING THE AVAILABILITY OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR 
LOW-INCOME DISTRICT RESIDENTS AND DEVELOPING AN EQUITABLE 
AND EFFECTIVE MEANS, OUTSIDE OF THE HOMELESS SYSTEM, FOR 
DISTRIBUTING AFFORDABLE HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES. 

RESPONSIBILITY FOR IMPLEMENTATION AND COORDINATION OF THE PLAN HAS 
BEEN DELEGATED TO THE DISTRICT'S INTER-AGENCY COUNCIL ON 



81 



HOMELESSNESS FOR WHICH I, AS DIRECTOR OF HUMAN SERVICES, SERVE AS 
CHAIRPERSON. OUR INTER-AGENCY COUNCIL INCLUDES ALL AGENCIES THAT 
DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY PROVIDE SERVICES TO PEOPLE WHO ARE HOMELESS 
INCLUDING THE: 

O DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES; 

o DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC AND ASSISTED HOUSING; 

o DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT; 

O DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SERVICES; 

O DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS; " . ■ 

o OFFICE OF AGING; . y', 

o CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER; 

o OFFICE OF THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR; 

o MAYOR'S OFFICE OF POLICY AND EVALUATION; 

o D.C. PUBLIC SCHOOLS; AND •' 

o CORPORATION COUNSEL 

THESE KEY DISTRICT AGENCIES HAVE BEEN JOINED BY REPRESENTATIVES OF 
THE FEDERAL INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON HOMELESSNESS AND OFFICIALS OF 
HUD AND ITS WASHINGTON, D.C. FIELD OFFICE, WHOSE ASSISTANCE TO THE 
DISTRICT GOVERNMENT ON THIS AND ENUMERABLE OTHER HOMELESS AND 
HOUSING ISSUES HAS BEEN INVALUABLE. 

TO ENSURE NO LOSS IN MOMENTUM, OUR INTERAGENCY COUNCIL MEETS BI- 
WEEKLY AND HAS BEEN ORGANIZED INTO EIGHT TASK FORCES REFLECTIVE OF 
THE FOLLOWING ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF THE PLAN: 

O INTAKE/ASSESSMENT; 

o OUTREACH; 

o HOUSING; 

o PREVENTION; _ -, ,-:.;,- 

o EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING; 

o THE ENTITY; 

o FINANCING; AND 

o COMMUNICATIONS. 



82 



10 

EACH TASK FORCE HAS DEVELOPED AN IMPLEMENTATION PLAN AND TIMETABLE 
FOR ITS AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY AND, EVEN THOUGH THE REFORM 
ENVISIONED WILL UNFOLD OVER A PERIOD OF 2-3 YEARS, THE FOLLOWING 
ELEMENTS WILL BE OPERATIONAL IN THE NEXT THREE MONTHS: 

O EXPANDED HYPOTHERMIA OUTREACH RESPONSE; 

o TWO DROP-IN CENTERS; 

o THE CONVERSION OF A PORTION OF THE BLAIR SHELTER TO 

TRANSITIONAL BEDS; 
o IMPLEMENTATION OF A PILOT EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING 

PROJECT; AND 
O THE DEVELOPMENT OF A 50-BED FACILITY FOR HOMELESS SINGLES 

WITH SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROBLEMS. 

THE PLAN WILL BE FINANCED FROM MULTIPLE SOURCES, INCLUDING THE 
REDEPLOYMENT OF DISTRICT RESOURCES, PRIVATE SECTOR COMMITMENTS AND 
FUNDING FROM HUD. THE DISTRICT GOVERNMENT, HUD, AND THE FEDERAL 
INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ARE EVALUATING THE FEASIBILITY OF USING A 
PORTION OF THE $20 MILLION IN HUD FUNDING TO LEVERAGE PRIVATE 
CAPITAL TO FINANCE LOW-COST CONSTRUCTION OF HOUSING UNITS AND 
SOCIAL SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEMS. HUD HAS REQUIRED THE 
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ENTITY AS A CONDITION TO PROVIDING FUNDING. 

THE GREATEST PORTION OF THE TASK OF OUR INTERAGENCY COUNCIL IS 
STILL AHEAD OF US. WE MUST: 

O DETERMINE THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF APPROVAL REQUIRED BY THE 
COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TO IMPLEMENT THE 
INITIATIVE; 

O DEFINE THE TYPES AND RANGE OF SERVICES THAT WILL BE PROVIDED 
UNDER THE INITIATIVE, AS WELL AS THE PROCESS AND CRITERIA FOR 
SELECTING THE ENTITIES THAT WILL PROVIDE THE SERVICES; 

o CLARIFY THE ESTABLISHMENT, GOVERNANCE, AND MISSION OF THE 



83 



11 

"ENTITY", AS WELL AS THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF ITS AUTHORITY AS 
A FINANCING AGENCY; AND 

o CLARIFY THE USE OF THE $7 MILLION THAT WE ARE TO RECEIVE IN 
THE FIRST YEAR OF THE INITIATIVE. 

WHILE THE PLAN ESTABLISHES A BLUEPRINT FOR ACTION, THE SHEER 

ENORMITY OF THIS UNDERTAKING NECESSARILY MAKES THIS A FLUID 

PROCESS. THUS, AS IMPLEMENTATION UNFOLDS, WE EXPECT THERE TO BE 
REFINEMENTS IN THE PLAN. 

WE CANNOT OVERSTATE THE EXTENT TO WHICH FEDERAL SUPPORT IS CRITICAL 
TO THE SUCCESS OF THE MODEL, IN THE DISTRICT AND NATIONWIDE. 

O FEDERAL FUNDS ARE NEEDED TO UNDERGIRD THE EXISTING SOCIAL 
SERVICE SYSTEM WITH SPECIAL SERVICES THAT ARE RESPONSIVE 
TO THE UNIQUE NEEDS AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF HOMELESS 
PERSONS; 

O FEDERAL TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE IS NEEDED TO IDENTIFY WAYS 
TO MAXIMIZE THE USE OF FEDERAL AND LOCAL FUNDS FOR 
HOMELESS PROGRAMS; 

O FLEXIBILITY TO USE FEDERAL FUNDS FROM ONE SOURCE TO 
ADDRESS THE MULTIPLE CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS IS CRITICAL; 
AND 

O AN INCREASE IN FEDERAL HOUSING SUBSIDIES IS NEEDED FOR 
THE DEVELOPMENT OF TRANSITIONAL AND PERMANENT HOUSING FOR 
LOW INCOME PERSONS. 

THE DISTRICT GOVERNMENT IS COMMITTED TO ENDING HOMELESSNESS, BUT WE 
BELIEVE THAT HOMELESSNESS IS A NATIONAL ISSUE THAT MUST BE 
ADDRESSED COLLABORATIVELY BY THE FEDERAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, 
NON-PROFIT AND CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS, THE BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL 



84 



12 

COMMUNITIES AND HOMELESS PERSONS. WE WELCOME THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE 
THE FIRST LOCAL GOVERNMENT TO PARTICIPATE IN SUCH A COLLABORATIVE 
EFFORT AND LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO 
MAKE THE CONCEPT OF "CONTINUUM OF CARE" A REALITY. 

THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO APPEAR BEFORE YOU TODAY. WE WOULD 
BE PLEASED TO RESPOND TO ANY QUESTIONS THAT YOU MAY HAVE. 



85 



October 26, 1993, hearing held by the 

Subcommittee on Housing and Community Development, 

entitled "Interagency Council on the Homeless and the 

District of Columbia Homeless Initiative" 



QUESTIONS FROM CHAIRMAN HENRY B. GONZALEZ TO 
MR. VINCENT C. GRAY 



1. HOW MANY UNITS OF HOUSING FOR THE HOMELESS WILL BE PROVIDED 
ON EITHER A SHORT TERM AND/OR LONG TERM BASIS UNDER THE 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOMELESS INITIATIVE? 



2. OF THE $20 MILLION THAT HAS BEEN PROMISED BY HUD, FOR THIS 
INITIATIVE, WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THESE FUNDS WILL BE DEVOTED 
FOR HOUSING RELATED EXPENSES VERSOS SOCIAL SERVICE RELATED 
EXPENSES? 



TO WHAT EXTENT IS THE FUNDING PROVIDED UNDER THIS INITIATIVE 
GOING TO REPLACE EXISTING HOMELESS FUNDING FROM OTHER SOURCES? 

WILL ALL OF THE FUNDING BE SUPPLEMENTAL TO THE DISTRICT'S 
EXISTING EFFORTS TO ASSIST HOMELESS PERSONS? 



4. I'M VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE INVOLUNTARY REMOVAL OF HOMELESS 
PERSONS "AGAINST THEIR WILL" FROM THE STREETS OF THE DISTRICT 
OF COLUMBIA. THIS ISSUE WAS RAISED WHEN THE INITIATIVE WAS 
FIRST ANNOUNCED. 

WHAT SPECIFICALLY HAS BEEN INCLUDED IN THIS INITIATIVE THAT 
WOULD CAUSE SUCH ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN BY THE DISTRICT OR ANY 
OTHER ENTITY ASSOCIATED WITH THIS PROGRAM? 

5. IT HAS BEEN REPORTED THAT THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA RECENTLY 
TURNED AWAY APPROXIMATELY $1 MILLION IN EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE 
FOR THE HOMELESS. 

IS THIS TRUE? IF SO, WHY HAS THE DISTRICT TURNED DOWN VITALLY 
NEEDED FUNDS TO ASSIST THE HOMELESS OF THE DISTRICT OF 
COLUMBIA? 



6. WHAT PERCENTAGE OF FUNDS OF THE $20 MILLION WILL BE USED FOR 
ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIVITIES AND EXPENSES? 

7. I AM CONCERNED THAT THE $2 MILLION WOULD ONLY BE USED ON A 
SHORT TERM, 2 YEAR BASIS AND NOT ADDRESS THE LONG TERM NEEDS 
OF THE HOMELESS. 

TO WHAT EXTENT IS THE $2 MILLION DEVOTED TO ADDRESSING THE 
LONG TERM SOLUTION TO END HOMELESSNESS IN THE DISTRICT OF 
COLUMBIA? 

CAN YOU EXPLAIN HOW THIS DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA INITIATIVE 
ADDRESSES THE LONG TERM NEEDS OF THE HOMELESS? 



86 



October 26, 1993, hearing held by the Subcommittee on Housing and 
Community Development, entitled "Interagency Council on the 
Homeless and the District of Columbia Homeless Initiative" 



RESPONSES FROM VINCENT C. GRAY, DIRECTOR, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES TO CHAIRMAN HENRY B. GONZALEZ 

QUESTION ; 

1. HOW MANY UNITS OF HOUSING FOR THE HOMELESS WILL BE PROVIDED ON 
EITHER A SHORT TERM AND/OR LONG TERM BASIS UNDER THE DISTRICT 
OF COLUMBIA HOMELESS INITIATIVE? 

RESPONSE 

1. For the first year of the D.C. Homeless Initiative, the goal is 
to provide: 

120 permanent housing units for persons with mental illness 

Up to 200 transitional housing units for persons with 
substance abuse problems 

50 short-term housing slots for persons undergoing job 
training 

A minimum of 25 permanent housing units for persons with 
AIDS 

Initiate for second year occupancy 80 units in Single Room 
Occupancy buildings 

250 permanent housing units in public housing for homeless 
families 

50 transitional housing units for homeless families with 
substance abuse problems 

50 transitional or permanent housing units for families 
under program still to be determined 

This totals 475 housing units for single adults and 550 housing 
units for families in Year 1 or a total of 1,025. The goal for 
Year 2 is the same number in the same categories, for a total 
of 2,050 single adults and families over two years, but the 
District Government anticipates that the experience in Year 1 
will significantly influence the goals which can be anticipated 
in Year 2 . 



87 



Page 2 
Gonzalez 



Permanent housing units will be provided for those with mental 
illness, using District of Columbia funds. The families going 
into public housing are eligible for permanent housing, as long 
as they meet the requirements for public housing occupancy. 
Transitional housing units are planned for those with substance 
abuse problems, requiring these persons to cover their own 
housing costs after a transitional period. Transitional 
housing is also required of those families in the 200 
subsidized housing units because the housing money comes from 
an allocation of HOME funds which may not continue over a 
longer period. 

Note that there are overlaps in the categories. For instance, 
some of those with substance abuse problems may be also 
mentally ill or have AIDS. The District of Columbia has been 
awarded $7,841,000 over five years for a Shelter Plus Care 
grant for homeless persons who are dually (or triply) diagnosed 
with a combination of mental illness, substance abuse, or AIDS. 

QUESTION ; 

OF THE $20 MILLION THAT HAS BEEN PROMISED BY HUD, FOR THIS 
INITIATIVE, WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THESE FUNDS WILL BE DEVOTED FOR 
HOUSING RELATED EXPENSES VERSUS SOCIAL SERVICE RELATED 
EXPENSES? 

RESPONSE: 



It is impossible to answer this question until the Memorandum 
of Understanding between HUD and the Government of the District 
.of Columbia is signed and an operating plan has been developed 
by the Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homeless, 
Inc., the entity that will receive the $20 million. Under the 
District's recommended plan, D.C. Homeless Initiative funds 
would be used for implementation for housing those with 
substance abuse problems, for incentives to create SRO's and 
other private affordable housing, for housing for persons with 
AIDS, and for temporary housing for those in employment 
training. Services would require a larger percentage than 
housing costs, assuming that housing is provided in the 
Department of Human Services' budget for mental health 
services, under public housing, and with HOME funds. 

The Shelter Plus Care grant will provide housing but the 
services will be provided by private, non-profit vendors under 
contract with the District Government, and not with D.C. 
Homeless Initiative funds. 



88 



Page 3 
Gonzalez 



QUESTION : 

3. TO WHAT EXTENT IS THE FUNDING PROVIDED UNDER THIS INITIATIVE 
GOING TO REPLACE EXISTING HOMELESS FUNDING FROM OTHER SOURCES? 

WILL ALL OF THE FUNDING BE SUPPLEMENTAL TO THE DISTRICT'S 
EXISTING EFFORTS TO ASSIST HOMELESS PERSONS? 

RESPONSE: 



3. The District has conunitted to a maintenance of effort 
comparable to the Fiscal Year 1994 Revised Appropriated Budget 
for the Department of Human Services' Office of 

Emergency Shelter and Support Services. Consequently, none of 
the funding provided under the Initiative will supplant funding 
provided by the District of Columbia during the operations of 
the Initiative. 

QUESTION ; 

4. I'M VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE INVOLUNTARY REMOVAL OF HOMELESS 
PERSONS "AGAINST THEIR WILL" FROM THE STREETS OF THE DISTRICT 
OF COLUMBIA. THIS ISSUE WAS RAISED WHEN THE INITIATIVE WAS 
FIRST ANNOUNCED. 

WHAT SPECIFICALLY HAS BEEN INCLUDED IN THIS INITIATIVE THAT 
WOULD CAUSE SUCH ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN BY THE DISTRICT OR ANY 
OTHER ENTITY ASSOCIATED WITH THIS PROGRAM? 

RESPONSE: 

4. There have been no changes in the District's involuntary 
commitment law (Ervin Act) . The standard for involuntary 
hospitalization remains the same. 

The District of Columbia is well aware of the delicate balance 
between the rights of the individual and the rights of the 
community. For example, to what extent and in what locations 
will persons be allowed to panhandle, whether or not they are 
homeless? We are also well aware of the balance between an 
individual's right to remain on the streets and society's 
justifiable concern about the safety and health of an 
individual who is homeless. For example, a person with mental 
illness and a substance abuse problem and diabetes may choose 
to remain on the street, but our case managers recognize that 
his or her health is deteriorating noticeably. When is 



89 



Page 4 
Gonzalez 



involuntary commitment justified? That is a difficult 
question. We will abide by the laws, and we have taken no 
actions under the D.C. Homeless Initiative regarding 
involuntary removal that we would not have taken before the 
Initiative was announced. 

QUESTION ; 

IT HAS BEEN REPORTED THAT THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA RECENTLY 
TURNED AWAY APPROXIMATELY $1 MILLION IN EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE 
FOR THE HOMELESS. 

IS THIS TRUE? IF SO, WHY HAS THE DISTRICT TURNED DOWN VITALLY 
NEEDED FUNDS TO ASSIST THE HOMELESS OF THE DISTRICT OF 
COLUMBIA? 

RESPONSE; 

In the course of litigation concerning the District's family 
shelter program, plaintiffs had argued that participation in 
the Emergency Assistance program required the District 
government to provide shelter on demand. Plaintiffs made this 
argument even though District residents voted in November, 
1990, to stop the provision of shelter on demand. Therefore, 
in order to ensure that the will of the people was upheld, the 
government elected to withdraw from the Emergency Assistance 
program. If the District had remained in the Emergency 
Assistance program, and the Court agreed with plaintiffs, the 
District would have been required to spend an additional $5 
million. In spite of this great cost, the District would have 
only earned approximately $1 million in reimbursement. 

QUESTION ; 

WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE FUNDS OF THE $2 MILLION WILL BE USED 
FOR ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIVITIES AND EXPENSES? 

RESPONSE: 

As the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 
and the District of Columbia government are currently engaged 
in final negotiation of the terms of a Memorandum of 
Understanding that will govern implementation of the D.C. 
Homeless Initiative, this question cannot be answered, at this 
time. 



90 



Page 5 
Gonzalez 



QUESTION ; 



7. I AM CONCERNED THAT THE $20 MILLION WOULD ONLY BE USED ON A 

SHORT TERM, 2 YEAR BASIS AND NOT ADDRESS THE LONG TERM NEEDS OF 
THE HOMELESS. 

TO WHAT EXTENT IS THE $20 MILLION DEVOTED TO ADDRESSING THE 
LONG TERM SOLUTION TO END HOMELESSNESS IN THE DISTRICT OF 
COLUMBIA? 

CAN YOU EXPLAIN HOW THIS DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA INITIATIVE 
ADDRESSES THE LONG TERM NEEDS OF THE HOMELESS? 

RESPONSE; 

7. The goal of the D.C. Homeless Initiative is to shift the 
focus from provision of emergency or overnight care 
towards long-term commitments and programs to prevent 
homelessness. 

The $20 million will be used to create a "continuum of care 
model" that consists of comprehensive outreach and assessment, 
transitional rehabilitative services, and supportive permanent 
housing designed around the specific, individual needs of 
homeless families and individuals. The system includes 
strengthening efforts to prevent homelessness. 

A part of the strategy we have been working to develop in the 
Interagency Homeless Coordinating Counci (lAHCC), which 
includes shelter providers as well as persons who are homeless, 
is what is to happen after the specified three year period of 
the D.C. Homeless Initiative. We are also looking to leverage 
additional dollars to allow us to deal more effectively with 
issues such as prevention and follow-up services. 



91 



QUESTIONS FOR 

VINCENT GRAY, Director, Department of Human Services and 

Chairperson, District of Columbia Interagency Homeless 

Coordinating Council 

Hearing on the "Interagency Council on the Homeless and the District of Columbia 
Homeless Initiative." 

Tuesday. October 26, 1993 
Submitted by Representative Roukema 



1. The D.C. Homeless Initiative will be administered and implemented by a new entity. 
What prevents this entity becoming just another layer of D.C. bureaucracy? 

The entity has been described as a public/private entity which will embrace 
entrepreneurial principles. Of the seven comers identified in the Initiative, what private 
organizations, nonprofits, and community organizations have been tapped to participate 
as members of this entity? 

Will the entity have the authority to monitor and oversee private contractors to 
ensure the contract is being carried-out and services are being provided to homeless 
families and individuals? 

2. Currently, both the Department of Public and Assisted Housing and the Department 
of Human Services are operating under court orders because they have failed to provide 
essential services. Do these departments have the capacity to carry out the essential role 
they have been asked to play in the initiative? 

For example, does the Office of Emergency Services know how many facilities 
provide for homeless individuals and families? 

How many beds exist for homeless people? 

What types of services are provided at these facilities? 

What is the cost of these services? 

Do you know whether the private organizations currently under contract to 
provide services for homeless families are actually doing so? For example, 
explain the Anchor contract provisions. Is the contractor meeting its obligations 
under the contract? 



92 



-2- 

3. The Initiative states that the benchmarks for measuring success will be whether 2050 
people are provided with transitional housing and whether the $20 million is spent over 
two years. The Initiative, however, plans on offering in-depth, comprehensive services. 
Shouldn't the performance of the service providers be evaluated as well? 

4. On page ten of your testimony you indicate that HUD, the Interagency Council and 
the District of Columbia are studying the feasibility of using a portion of the $20 million 
to leverage private capital to finance low-cost construction. Why can't existing housing 
programs be used for this purpose? 

For example, this committee just authorized a new pension fund demonstration 
program. Moreover, I understand that the D.C. government has vast number of 
vacant public housing units which also could be utilized. 

5. You indicate that over the past five years the District government has spent $100 
million in local and federal funds to meet the needs of homeless families and 
individuals. This is a large sum of money. Why are there still chronic problems with 
homelessness in the District? 



93 



RESPONSES FROM VINCENT C. GRAY, DIRECTOR, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, TO REPRESENTATIVE ROUKEMA 



QUESTION ; 

lA. THE D.C. HOMELESS INITIATIVE WILL BE ADMINISTERED AND 

IMPLEMENTED BY A NEW ENTITY. WHAT PREVENTS THIS ENTITY 
BECOMING JUST ANOTHER LAYER OF D.C. BUREAUCRACY? 

RESPONSE ; 

lA. The Board structure of the proposed entity (The Community 
Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness, Inc.) is 
currently comprised of four interest groups who are 
represented equally. Only one quarter of the Governing Board 
of the proposed Entity is District government representation. 
The corporate sector, non-profit service providers and 
community representatives, therefore, each has equal 
representation. The reason an entity outside of the District 
Government was chosen was to be able to overcome any potential 
barriers associated with government implementation of the 
Initiative. 

QUESTION ; 

IB. THE ENTITY HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS A PUBLIC/PRIVATE ENTITY WHICH 
WILL EMBRACE ENTREPRENEURIAL PRINCIPLES. OF THE SEVEN CORNERS 
IDENTIFIED IN THE INITIATIVE, WHAT PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS, 
NONPROFITS, AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS HAVE BEEN TAPPED TO 
PARTICIPATE AS MEMBERS OF THIS ENTITY? 

RESPONSE; 



IB. While no organizations have been selected at this point, 

positive input has been received from the Washington Regional 
Association of Grant Makers, the Coalition of Non-Prof it 
Housing Developers, the Coalition of Homeless and Housing 
Organizations, Advisory Neighborhood Commission, Civic and 



94 



Page 2 
Roukema 



Citizens Associations, the Council of the District of 
Columbia, the Greater Washington Research Center, and the 
Council of Churches, to mention a few. 

The proposed Entity: The Community Partnership for the 
Prevention of Homelessness, has been working side by side with 
community residents, homeless providers and neighborhoods of 
the District since 1989. 

QUESTION ; 

IC. WILL THE ENTITY HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO MONITOR AND OVERSEE 

PRIVATE CONTRACTORS TO ENSURE THE CONTRACT IS BEING CARRIED- 
OUT AND SERVICES ARE BEING PROVIDED TO HOMELESS FAMILIES AND 
INDIVIDUALS? 

RESPONSE ; 

IC. Among the functions to be assigned to the Entity are the 

contracting for services and the related planning, monitoring 
and evaluation. 



QUESTION: 

2A. CURRENTLY, BOTH THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC AND ASSISTED HOUSING 
AND THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES ARE OPERATING UNDER COURT 
ORDERS BECAUSED THEY HAVE FAILED TO PROVIDE ESSENTIAL 
SERVICES. DO THESE DEPARTMENTS HAVE THE CAPACITY TO CARRY 
OUT THE ESSENTIAL ROLE THEY HAVE BEEN ASKED TO PLAY IN THE 
INITIATIVE? 

RESPONSE ; 

2A. Yes. The Department of Public and Assisted Housing and the 
Department of Human Services are committed to carry out 
the essential roles they have been asked to play in the 
implementation of the D.C. Homeless Initiative. Furthermore, 
it should be noted that the Department of Human Services 
currently is not operating under any court orders relating to 
the failure to provide essential services to people who are 
homeless. The Atchison and Fountain decrees were vacated in 
the initial year of the Kelly Administration. 



95 



Page 3 
Roukema 



QUESTION : 



2B. FOR EXAMPLE, DOES THE OFFICE OF EMERGENCY SERVICES KNOW 
HOW MANY FACILITIES PROVIDE FOR HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS AND 
FAMILIES? 

RESPONSE ; 

2B. The Office of Emergency Shelter and Support Services 
(OESSS) procures the following shelter facilities for 
homeless individuals and families: 

202 slots for homeless women 
1,074 slots for homeless men 
28 slots for battered women and dependents 
187 apartments for homeless families 
- 27 5 slots for homeless men and women during hypothermia 
season 

50 hotel rooms and meals for homeless families 
250 case management slots for homeless families 
provides 300 temporary emergency apartments for 
families who are homeless through the Department of 
Public and Assisted Housing 



QUESTION : 
2C. HOW MANY BEDS EXIST FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE? 

RESPONSE; 



2C. See response above for 2B. 

QUESTION ; 

2D. WHAT TYPES OF SERVICES ARE PROVIDED AT THESE FACILITIES? 

RESPONSE ; 

2D. The types of services provided at these facilities 
include: 

- housing and shelter 

- assessment/case planning 
housing counseling and referrals 
employment counseling and referrals 



96 



Page 4 
Roukema 



- parenting training 

- crisis intervention 
life skills training 
medical assistance 

referrals for medical assistance 
referrals for legal assistance 
child care referrals 

- escrow savings 

- substance abuse treatment services or referral 
referrals for domestic violence 

implementation of a Hypothermia Hotline and program 
(November 1 through March 31) 

QUESTION ; 

2E. WHAT IS THE COST OF THESE SERVICES? 

RESPONSE; 

2E. The Department of Human Services has budgeted $14.8 
million in Fiscal Year 1994 for these services. 

QUESTION ; 

2F. DO YOU KNOW WHETHER THE PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS CURRENTLY 
UNDER CONTRACT TO PROVIDE SERVICES FOR HOMELESS FAMILIES 
ARE ACTUALLY DOING SO? 

RESPONSE; 

2F. Yes. The Department of Human Services regularly monitors 
vendors under contract to ensure that services are being 
provided in an appropriate manner and in accordance with 
the contract. 



QUESTION ; 

2G. FOR EXAMPLE, EXPLAIN THE ANCHOR CONTRACT PROVISIONS. IS 
THE CONTRACTOR MEETING ITS OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE CONTRACT? 

RESPONSE: 

2G. Anchor Development has the capacity to deliver 300 

temporary apartments for homeless families. This contract 



97 



Page 5 
Roukema 



authorizes maintenance and repair; security guard 
services; property management services; and, furniture for 
300 homeless families. 

QUESTION ; 

3. THE INITIATIVE STATES THAT THE BENCHMARKS FOR MEASURING 
SUCCESS WILL BE WHETHER 2050 PEOPLE ARE PROVIDED WITH 
TRANSITIONAL HOUSING AND WHETHER THE $20 MILLION IS SPENT 
OVER TWO YEARS. THE INITIATIVE, HOWEVER, PLANS ON 
OFFERING IN-DEPTH, COMPREHENSIVE SERVICES. SHOULDN'T THE 
PERFORMANCE OF THE SERVICE PROVIDERS BE EVALUATED, AS 
WELL? 

RESPONSE; 

3. Yes. All service providers will be issued contracts or 
grants. Their performance will be evaluated based on 
their accomplishment of the work plans and deliverables 
outlined in their contracts or grants. The $20 million is 
to be spent over three years instead of two years. 



QUESTION ; 

ON PAGE 10 OF YOUR TESTIMONY, YOU INDICATE THAT HUD, THE 
INTERAGENCY COUNCIL AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE 
STUDYING THE FEASIBILITY OF USING A PORTION OF THE $20 
MILLION TO LEVERAGE PRIVATE CAPITAL TO FINANCE LOW-COST 
CONSTRUCTION. WHY CAN'T EXISTING HOUSING PROGRAMS BE USED 
FOR THIS PURPOSE? 

FOR EXAMPLE, THIS COMMITTEE JUST AUTHORIZED A NEW PENSION 
FUND DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM. MOREOVER, I UNDERSTAND THAT 
THE D.C. GOVERNMENT HAS VAST NUMBERS OF VACANT PUBLIC 
HOUSING UNITS WHICH ALSO COULD BE UTILIZED. 



RESPONSE ; 

The District has not made a final selection of any one 
mechanism to create the needed housing for homeless 
persons as called for in the D.C. Homeless Initiative 
plan. We are willing to explore whatever makes sense and 
examine the least costly way of doing it. The notion of 



98 



Page 6 
Roukema 



doing pension fund financed housing is a relative 
newcomer to the market place. If it makes sense to do 
that, clearly we will do that. But, we must examine all 
of the possible options to maximize housing opportunities 
for individuals and families who are homeless. When we 
have examined our options, we will select those that make 
sense for the District's own unique needs. 



QUESTION ; 



YOU INDICATE THAT OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS THE DISTRICT 
G0VERN^4ENT HAS SPENT $100 MILLION IN LOCAL AND FEDERAL 
FUNDS TO MEET THE NEEDS OF HOMELESS FAMILIES AND 
INDIVIDUALS. THIS IS A LARGE SUM OF MONEY. WHY ARE THERE 
STILL CHRONIC PROBLEMS WITH HOMELESSNESS IN THE DISTRICT? 

RESPONSE: 

Homelessness is one of the most pressing challenges 
facing our nation. The District, along with other major 
American cities, has made extraordinary efforts to 
provide shelter to the homeless, but it has not solved the 
problem. Homelessness is not a condition, but an outcome. 
The causes of homelessness are as diverse as the full 
range of social and economic problems confronting the most 
impoverished among us. The unrelenting Federal cutbacks 
in housing over the past 12 years have made a bad 
situation worse. 



The continued presence of homelessness is difficult for 
many to understand in light of the fact that national 
spending for the homeless has been increasing 
dramatically. We believe that we have been following 
incomplete approaches to address the homeless problem. 
Shelter alone is not the answer to homelessness. An 
honest assessment must be made of the needs of the 
homeless; and, with that determination, the system must 
address those needs. We need to break with the past and 
adopt expanded approaches that address the real problem. 



99 



!> 



Page 7 
Roukema 



Our D.C. Homeless Initiative, developed in consultation 
with partners in the private and not-for profit sectors, 
the Federal and District governments, is that response. 
It will allow us to move beyond providing emergency 
shelter to working with homeless families and individuals 
to assist their development of independent living skills 
that should facilitate their transition from life on the 
street and in shelters to independent living and other 
appropriate living arrangements. 

We are challenged by the work to be done. The District 
has a demand for affordable housing that far exceeds the 
availability of resources. Almost 1,000 homeless persons 
or families are on the waiting list for public housing and 
others, on the streets or in shelters, have not applied, 
or, because of health, require supportive housing rather 
than public housing. 

Existing housing programs are being extensively used in 
the District, but funds are limited. Last August, the 
District applied for 600 Section 8 certificates and 
vouchers but was awarded only 25. The District's 
successful application for Shelter Plus Care will provide 
rental subsidies for 222 homeless persons and families, 
but an additional amount is needed. 

Many of HUD's existing housing programs work most 
efficiently when the tenant has a sufficient income to pay 
a portion of the capital costs, as well as the operating 
expenses for the property. Families with incomes of 
$10,000 to $15,000 need subsidies but can pay an important 
part of the rental costs themselves. Homeless families 
and individuals, on the other hand, often have incomes of 
less than $5,000 a year, plus food stamps. The amount of 
income that a homeless person can pay for rent barely 
covers the operating cost and covers none of the capital 
costs. 



A limited amount of Initiative funds will be used to 
provide leverage for truly low-cost housing, such as 
Single Room Occupancy buildings. As a rule, non-profits 
will be rehabilitating existing buildings. Construction 
from the ground up is unlikely because of the cost. 



100 



HENRY B GONZALEZ 

20TM DlSTHiCf . t«*S 

24 13 n«'duR-< HOUSE Office BuiLOtNC 

Was.ingion DC 20515-4320 

202-225-3236 

HOME OFFICE 
B-124 FEOEItAi BuiLOihC 
727 E OUBANCO Stb^et 

S«N Amtonio. TX 78206-1286 
210-229-6195 



COMMITTEE 

BANKING FINANCE AND 
URBAN AFFAIRS 



Congre£f£( of tfic ?Hniteb ^tate£( 

^ou£(e of iReprcgentatibeg 
aaafitjington, ffiC 20515-4320 



SueCOMMiTTEES 
HOUSING AND COWMUNITV DiVELOPMfNT 



Consumer Cncoit and Insurance 

International Development Finance, 
Traoe, and Monetary Policy 



September 21, 199 3 uleref 

B04BHSG 
stw 

The Honorable Henry Cisneros 

Secretary 

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 

4 51 Seventh St., S.W. 

Washington, D.C. 20410-0001 

Dear Mr. Secretary: 

The front page story in this morning's Washington Post "HUD Targets 
Homeless in District", by DeNeen L. Brown, reports your allocation of 
$20 million committed to the District for a "pilot program". 

This is good news in view of the District's chaotic state of affairs 
insofar as "homelessness" is concerned. But the story also contains 
rather ominous references to "possible involuntary commitment of some 
mentally ill homeless people and the use of police officers to move 
homeless people off the streets"; "The D.C. Initiative will call for a 
sustained effort to get people off the streets and into appropriate 
service programs"; and, further, "Before the program could begin, the 
D.C. Council would have to approve a new homeless agency to carry it 
out." Some of this - enough, let me say - is most repugnant to me. You 
are envisioning an institutionalization of bureaucracy and police state 
or garrison environment that has never been the Congressional intent. 

As a matter of fact, I'll remind you of the Housing Subcommittee hearing 
held on Friday, April 23rd at the 2nd Street Shelter, which you and 
others were so gracious to attend, which clearly revealed where much 
could be done to reduce the "emergency shelter" population by just 
coordinating and synchronizing the existing assisted housing programs. 
If you - and others - had remained to the completion of the hearing 
(about 3:45pm) you would have found out the shelter provides only one 
meal a day; it has persons who are there because they could not find 
accommodations in the District's elderly housing; and many who have been 
at this "emergency" shelter for as long as two to four years. Neverthe- 
less, please be so kind as to have an appropriate HUD staffer meet with 
the Subcommittee staff to provide the details as soon as possible. 



Sincerely 
[enry w. < 



'J^t^ 



Henry 



Gonzalez 



cc: 



Member of Congress 
John Vanlencia, Staff Director, Housing Subcommittee 



Enclosure 



101 



WAS.'-NGTON POST, Tuesday, Sept, 21, 1993, p,a1 



HUD Targets 
Homelessness 
In District 

$20 Million Committed 
lb Pilot Program in City 



By DeNeen L Brown 

The federal government promised 
yesterday to give the District $20 mil- 
lion to help eliminate homelessness by 
providing permanent housing, medical 
treatment and job training while, in some 
cases, using police officers to "encourage 
reluctant homeless persons hving on the 
streets' to go to shelters. 

Officials of the Department of Housing 
and Urban Development said the $20 
million would be given to the District, 
with no strings attached, over the nert 
two years to finance the D.C. Homeless 
Initiative. The Distnct spent $23.6 mil- 
bon on shelter programs in the last fiscal 
year, including $1.4 million in federal 
money. 

HUD Secretary Henry G. Cisneros 
said the mitiative, designed by federal 
officials, D.C. officials and advocates for 
the homeless, would shift the focus of 
the city's efforts from providing emer- 
gency shelter to preventing needy peo- 
ple from becoming homeless and helping 
others escape homelessness permanent- 
ly. By 1995, more than 2.050 individuals 
and families in the District would receive 
permanent housing, treatment or job 
training, according to the plan. 

The initiative won some praise from 
advocates for the homeless, but they 
questioned whether the funding is ade- 
quate and expressed concern about pro- 
visions for the possible involuntary com- 
mitment of some mentaUy ill homeless 
people and the use of pohce officers to 
move homeless people off the streets. 

The D.C. Initiative will call for a sus- 
tained effort to get people off the streets 
and into appropriate service programs, 
returning the District's parks, streets, 
and other public areas to their intended 
use," the implementation plan said. "With 
transitional services available, it will no 
longer be necessary for homeless per- 
sons to live in pubUc spaces." 



Before the program could begin, the 
D.C. Council would have to approve i 
new homeless agency to carry it out. 

At a news conference at HUD head- 
quarters yesterday, Cisneros said that if 
the program worked in the District, it 
would become a model f6r use in other 
cities across the country that are dealing 
with thousands of people on their 
streets. 

"Why [start with] the District? Be- 
cause this IS the nation's capital," Cis- 
neros said. "American people look to the 
Distnct. . . . When homelessness exists 
at this level in the nation's capital, it de- 
serves special attention." 

Cisneros said he went out one 
night recently and found a pregnant 
woman sleeping on the lawn of the 
Justice Department, which he said 
was a symbol of injustice. He saw 
another woman sleeping on the 
steps of the Treasury Department, 
i which he said was ironic because 
the building is a symbol of the na- 
tion's wealth. 

He said that in the next 60 to 90 
days, he would begin to identify oth- 
er cities where the program might 
be tried. 
", The program calls for D.C. May- 

^ or Sharon Pratt Kelly to work with 
! the D.C. Council to create a "public- 
private entity" that would coordi- 
nate and finance the city's new sys- 
tem to help the homeless. The 
agency would contract with non- 
profit groups to provide housing 
services and disburse money. 

HUD would give the District $20 
milEOr^ three payments over two 
years without requiring the city to 
provide shelter for everyone who 
seeks it. The District, which the 
mayor said has no money to match 
the federal dollars, would not be re- 
quired to contribute money to the 
initiative, Cisneros said. The pro- 
gram, he said, should be running by 
January. 

Vada Manager, the mayor's 
press secretary, said Kelly supports 
the intiative. '^he has said the fund- 
ing would be enough to help us 
make some progress in this area," 
Manager said, 
o^, "There is a lot of potential for 



good things and a lot of potential for 
damaging things," said Joan Alker, 
assistant director of the National 
Coalition for the Homeless. "What 
concerns me is this: They say in 
[the implementation plan] if out- 
reach teams requested, they may 
have police come and encourage re- 
luctant homeless persons living on 
the street to accompany a team to 
an assessment center." 

Carol Fennelly, a member of the 
Community for Creative Non- 
violence, said the report is a good 
start and is different from reports 
that were not backed up with mon- 
ey. 

But Fennelly also said she is con- 
cerned about moving homeless peo- 
ple off the streets. There are cer- 
tain activities that are unconstitu- 
tional and illegal. We don't support 
the entire report," she said, refer- 
ring to the implementation plan. 
"Outreach workers are needed, not 
police officers, to take people where 
they need to go." 

Maria Foscarinis, director of the 
National Law Center on Homeless- 
ness and Poverty, said she believes 
that the initiative's goals are good 
but the measures outlined to meet 
those goals are inadequate. 

Take the proposal to create 50 
job-training slots in the first year," 
Foscarinis said. "That is a terribly 
meager number and clearly inad- 
equate to meet the need. . . . There 
are 10 to 15 thousand homeless 
people in the District. A conserva- 
tive estimate is 25 percent now 
work. So 50 slots is just a drop in 
the bucket." 



102 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 




3 9999 05981 828 4 



Congre£(£e of tfje Winitth i^tatti 

J^ouit of EepreKentatibeK 

Obuiiingtoiu BC 20515 



October 21, 1993 



Dear Member of the Interagency Council on the Homeless: 

As Members of the Speaker's Task Force on Homelessness, we are 
writing to encourage you to fully cooperate, support and maintain an 
interagency effort in the form of a homeless council, a task force 
or an otherwise appropriate body until such time as a council can be 
redesigned and funding assured. 

We supported the continuation of funding for the Interagency Council 
on the Homeless (ICH) and recognize that the termination of explicit 
funding for the ICH, as authorized by the Stewart B. McKinney Act 
since 1987, could be a set-back for federal programs for the 
homeless and for the federal plan that you have been ordered by the 
President to provide. 

We would like to recommend, to the extent you are able, that you 
detail and/or designate staff for an interagency effort to promote 
continued communication and coordination between federal agencies 
and departments. Notwithstanding the VA/HUD Conference Agreement's 
directive to HUD to assume the responsibilities of the ICH, a group 
of agency detailees/designees so formulated under the auspices of or 
at the direction of the Executive Office of the President would 
assure a higher priority for the needed interagency efforts. 

We look forward to a continued dialogue on this matter and to 
working with you in the future on federal policies to prevent 
homelessness and assist persons in our country who are homeless. 



Sincerely, 



t£^k^— /I 



fjU>-lJt f^- 






i^ 






103 




'3fis^im'ica Cfganiiatim 



A SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM 



October 25, 1993 

The Honorable Henry B. Gonzalez 
Chairman 

Subcommittee on Housing and Community Development of 
the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs 
United States House of Representatives 
2413 Rayburn House Office Building 
Washington, D.C. 20515 

Attn: John Valencia, Staff Director 

Dear Chairman Gonzalez: 

It was with great interest that I learned of Tuesday's hearing regarding the 
Interagency Council on the Homeless and the District of Columbia s Homeless 
Initiative. Since being selected as Miss America 1994 in September, I have 
been following both subjects closely, while traveling throughout this country 
speaking out on behalf of the plight of the homeless. 

As you consider the testimony and review the documents that will be submitted 
for your subcommittee review on Tuesday, I urge you to consider the needs of 
homeless families and children in America, the most silent of all homeless 
victims. 

As I'm sure you're aware, homeless families and children are the fastest 
growing segment of the homeless population in our country, currently 
accounting for 32% of all homeless on our streets. Yet the many short-term 
and emergency services to feed, clothe and house them often overlook their 
most basic needs. Consider that 41% of shelter operators in our country 
report that thev must break families apa rt in order to keep them within the 
shelter systenT And, 50% of these families' children (60% of whom are under 
age 6) oossess documented p sychosocial problems. 

I urge you and the members of your subcommittee to advocate long-term 
solutions that prevent homelessness in our country, with a special focus on 
the mothers, fathers and children who desperately want to break the cycle they 
exist in today. 

My very best personal regards for your continued success. 
Sincerely yours 



.ui/^^"^-^ 



Kimberly C(7Aiken 
Miss Americi 1994 

cc: The Honorable James Clyburn 



P.O. Box 119 Atlantic CHy, NJ 06404 (609) 345-7571 • FAX (609) 347-6079 , 
E«iablleh«d 1921 



o 



73-385 (108) 



ISBN 0-16-044223-0 



9 780160"44223( 



90000