Mayor’s 2020 Budget Announcement: What Does It Mean?
Mayor Bowser released her proposed budget for fiscal year 2020 on March 20th. This document outlines her spending priorities for the coming year. Recently, the Mayor said, “in a city as prosperous as ours, we can do better by our homeless neighbors.” We could not agree more.
Housing is health care – and can literally mean the difference between life and death. But, like most things, housing costs money. This is why we work so hard to influence DC’s budget – to make sure it prioritizes the urgent needs of our neighbors. Without enough funding, there isn’t enough safe, stable, and affordable housing to ensure folks like our guests can access the dignity of a home.
In partnership with supporters like you, Miriam’s Kitchen has mobilized the 102 organizations and 5,000 members of The Way Home Campaign to let the Mayor know that ending chronic homelessness needs to be a top priority. Over the past 6 months, we’ve delivered over 700 petition signatures, convened over 100 people at budget events (like the Budget Engagement Forum pictured above), and continued to follow the leadership of those who have experienced housing instability. This collective advocacy ensured the Mayor invested $9.2 million in housing solutions for 345 individuals and 180 families experiencing chronic homelessness. This is a step in the right direction, but falls far short of what is needed to significantly reduce homelessness, funding just 40% of our recommended investments. While this wasn’t the bold budget proposal we had hoped for, we know that our advocacy has had an impact.
Now it’s time for us to turn our attention to the DC Council and ensure they preserve the Mayor’s investments and fund the additional units and services needed to put DC back on track to end chronic homelessness. Stay tuned for ways to join us in urging the DC Council to make up these critical funding gaps!