WHEREAS, mayors in partnership with the Bush Administration are committed to ending chronic homelessness in our nationís cities; and

WHEREAS, chronically homeless individuals, those with the most persistent forms of homelessness, are afflicted not only by poverty but also by severe conditions such as mental illness and substance abuse; and

WHEREAS, mayors and cities are on the front lines of the response to chronic homelessness; and

WHEREAS, in order to make housing for the chronically homeless work, supportive services are necessary to mitigate health, substance abuse, and mental health problems; and

WHEREAS, research suggests that supportive housing models to end chronic homelessness are highly effective and that the cost of providing supportive housing is substantially offset by savings in the most expensive systems of community care including hospitalizations, jails, and other correctional facilities; and

WHEREAS, these supportive strategies improve the quality of life for both the individuals being housed and the community at large; and

WHEREAS, the abolition of chronic homelessness requires collaboration and coordination at all levels of government, together with State Interagency Councils on Homelessness, community institutions, businesses, and faith-based organizations, to determine how best to implement prevention and intervention strategies; and

WHEREAS, approximately 190 cities have committed to create jurisdictionally-based 10-Year plans to end chronic homelessness in response to the resolution passed in the 2003 Annual Meeting and reaffirmed in 2004 in partnership with the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); and

WHEREAS, members of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, particularly the Veterans Affairs Administration, should further unify around the vision of ending chronic homelessness by aligning each agencyís program and funding priorities to support this vision; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors supports the increased investment in proven strategies that end chronic homelessness, such as permanent housing with supportive services; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors commends the proposed 8.5% increase in spending on targeted homeless assistance in the Administrationís FY2006 budget, including $200 million proposed for the Presidentís Samaritan Initiative, which is targeted toward permanent supportive housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors continues to endorse legislation that creates new funding sources for supportive services for the homeless, such as the Services for Ending Long-term Homelessness Act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress to re-authorize the McKinney-Vento Act with provisions for regulatory relief that would allow existing federal funds appropriated through the McKinney-Vento Act to be fully expended and more efficiently utilized each budget year; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors, having endorsed over 100 plans to end homelessness across the country in support of the Bush Administrationís pledge to end chronic homelessness in ten years, request that Congress, also through the re-authorization of the McKinney-Vento Act, fund an innovative grants program that would provide demonstration grants to communities across the nation implementing ten-year plans to end homelessness.

©2005 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Tom Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352