On Tuesday, May 28th, the DC Council voted on DC’s final Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget. The District’s budget, which is proposed by the Mayor and finalized by the Council, will end chronic homelessness for 615 individuals, 180 families, and fully fund DC’s homeless street outreach network! This is a huge step towards realizing our vision of a city where no one lives or dies without the dignity of a home.
This budget is the result of months of collective advocacy from The Way Home Campaign’s 102 partner organizations and over 5,500 individual supporters. Because of your advocacy, this budget represents the largest one-year investment in Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) for single adults in DC’s history. Thanks to your advocacy, 615 individuals and 180 families will now have a safe, permanent place to call home.
The Big Picture
DC’s FY 2020 budget reflects a growing consensus that housing ends chronic homelessness and saves lives. Due to this budget, 615 individuals will move from the streets and shelters to their own homes. 615 individuals who have survived without housing for years, often decades, will now have the apartments they deserve. And 615 individuals at risk of dying without housing will now have safe spaces in which they can rest, recover, and thrive. Additionally, fully funding DC’s homeless street outreach network ensures that DC will continue to connect our neighbors with the greatest risk of dying on the streets to housing and other life-saving services.
In addition to prioritizing proven interventions to end chronic homelessness, the DC Council listened to our demands and “found the money” by scaling back the wasteful tax-incentive for high-tech companies and making the moral choice to reinvest this money in basic human needs, such as PSH, birth-to-three, and school-based meal health services. We thank Councilmember Nadeau for her leadership on this issue and her ongoing commitment to ending chronic homelessness. The Council’s budget is a significant improvement on the Mayor’s proposed FY 2020 budget and illustrates that our advocacy works, and your voices make a difference.
The chart below compares the DC’s budget with The Way Home Campaign’s recommended funding amounts (hereafter referred to as “TWHC Recommendation”) as well as the overall need for each housing intervention.
TABLE 1. FY2020 BUDGET PROPOSAL VS. TWHC RECOMMENDATION VS. OVERALL NEED (UNITS)
DC’s FY 2020 budget is a win for ending chronic homelessness. Still, we know that no one experiences homelessness in a vacuum. To realize a city where all residents can thrive, we must invest robustly in all our neighbor’s needs. We are deeply concerned by the underinvestment in low-income housing, repairs to public housing, and housing programs for survivors of domestic violence.
To read more about how DC’s budget will address homelessness in our community, in addition to the ways it still falls short, please read our full analysis of DC’s FY 2020 budget, available here.
We’ve had a busy budget season and, to celebrate this moment in time we invite you to join us on June 12th at 5:30 for a Campaign get-together at Exiles Bar (1610 U St. NW). For more details and to RSVP, click here. Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be available free of charge.