WHEREAS, in no town, city or state in America can an individual or family working full-time and earning the minimum wage, or receiving assistance under the Supplemental Security Income or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families programs, afford a oneor two-bedroom apartment at the fair market rental rate established by the United States Department of Housing and Urban and Development (HUD); and

WHEREAS, in its “Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness in America’s Cities,” the United States Conference of Mayors reports that requests for shelter by families with children went unmet 32 percent of the time in 2004; and families with children is the fastest growing segment among the homeless; and 56% of the reporting cities states that homeless families may have to break-up in order to find shelter; and

WHEREAS, at least 3,500,000 persons are likely to experience homelessness during a year in the United States, 40 percent of which are children; and

WHEREAS, families with children who cannot access shelters cannot consider the streets an option, are often found doubled- and tripled-up with friends and relatives, and frequently move between multiple locations; and

WHEREAS, families without stable housing face transportation barriers which make job retention and children’s school continuity difficult; and

WHEREAS, addressing homelessness of families at a local level is complicated by the multiple definitions of homelessness used by various federal departments and programs; and

WHEREAS, United States Department of Education includes in its definition of homeless those students/families who have lost their housing and stay with friends or relatives, as well as t hose living in motels due to lack of alternate adequate accommodations; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the United States Conference of Mayors does hereby request that the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness and the President call for all federal departments and funding sources to adopt a common definition of 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