Heartland Alliance

A Year of Big Change.

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 WORKING TO END HUNGER

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“There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we have the resources to get rid of it.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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HOUSING IS A HUMAN RIGHT

At Heartland Alliance, we believe that housing is a human right. That is why we work to dismantle barriers to housing and end homelessness through legislation, systems change, and direct services. Leveraging this multiple pronged approach is key to increasing housing stability and creating a society where we all have the opportunity to thrive in a safe space we can call home.

Learn about the work we are doing at Research & Policy to increase access to housing and end homelessness for all.

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Ending homelessness requires that systems more effectively and equitably connect all unstably housed people to employment and the income needed for housing stability.

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SUPPORTING COMMUNITIES WORKING TO END YOUTH HOMELESSNESS

As one of seven communities selected to participate in the Heartland Alliance Pathways Forward Challenge, the city of Boston, led by the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, is working to create more effective and equitable pathways to employment and income for youth and young adults experiencing homelessness. In Boston, Massachusetts, at least 345 youth and young adults stay on the streets or in the shelter system on any given night. Statewide surveys suggest, however, that many additional young people are doubled up or couch-surfing. The vast numbers of youth and young adults experiencing this “hidden homelessness” are often not prioritized for housing resources through the homeless service system. With support from Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity, Boston’s efforts seek to align the homeless service and public workforce systems to better connect young jobseekers, especially youth of color and LGBTQ youth, experiencing homelessness to the income needed for housing stability. We look forward to supporting Boston, and the Pathways Forward communities, in addressing social inequities to ensure that all youth have access to housing and economic opportunity.

Learn more about the work being done through the Pathways Forward Challenge.

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In collaboration with youth, state agencies, and community partner organizations, we’ll will create a youth-driven guide/toolkit for transition planning to support housing stability.

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SUPPORTING HOUSING STABILITY FOR YOUNG ADULTS EXITING THE FOSTER CARE & JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEMS

Social IMPACT Research Center is leading a project with the Cooperative Agreement to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI) grant, to explore transition planning processes and outcomes for young adults exiting the child welfare/foster care and juvenile justice systems. Through this work, we’ll be able to identify the ways the current transition process impact housing stability among youth, 18-24 years old.

Through developing partnerships with youth action boards and interviews with young people from around Illinois, our team, in collaboration with youth, state agencies, and community partner organizations, we’ll will create a youth-driven guide/toolkit for transition planning to support housing stability.

We look forward to sharing more details with you as this work continues over the next year! Until then, you can learn more about youth homelessness and the need for resources from the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness and the Voices of Youth Count.

Cooperative Agreements to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI), an award from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and Center for Mental Health Services (SAMHSA/CSAT & CMHS) to the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (IDHS/SUPR): SAMHSA Cooperative Agreement #SM063343
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We need your help to stop Housing and Urban Development’s harmful proposal to evict 25,000 mixed-status immigrant families from taking effect.

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ACT TODAY TO KEEP FAMILIES TOGETHER

We need your help to stop Housing and Urban Development's harmful proposal to evict 25,000 mixed-status immigrant families, including 55,000 children, from taking effect. The current federal administration continues to dismantle the protections and services put in place for those seeking refuge. This makes Heartland Alliance’s work to advance the rights and respond to the needs of marginalized populations more important than ever.

HUD's proposed rule will force families of mixed immigration status to break up to receive housing assistance, to forego the assistance altogether, or face eviction from their homes. This is just one of the many barriers the administration is putting into place to actively work against individuals who are displaced and seeking safety. It’s imperative that those who support human rights stand together and focus on demanding systemic change among the administration’s actions against refugees, immigrants and asylees.

Join us in defending our friends and neighbors by submitting your comments opposing this proposed rule today.

More on Our Work to Safeguard Housing

HEARTLAND ALLIANCE LED BILL SOLIDIFIES HOUSING AS A HUMAN RIGHT FOR THOSE WITH RECORDS

In Illinois, 50% of adults are estimated to have an arrest or conviction record, making it difficult for many to obtain quality, safe, secure, housing. This is, in part, because of discrimination within the housing market and lack of protections. Landlords currently use whatever information they get on a background check as a reason for denial – anything from a sealed record to an arrest with no conviction can be used to deny someone tenancy. Heartland Alliance’s policy team, as a member of the Restoring Rights and Opportunities Coalition of Illinois, took on this issue through the Housing is a Human Right Bill. The bill (SB1780)amends the Illinois Human Rights Act making it a civil rights violation for a landlord to deny housing based on three types of records: (1) arrest records; (2) juvenile records; and (3) records that have been ordered expunged or sealed.

Later this month, we will be releasing a report that will further explore the impact criminal records have on housing and how landlords in Illinois can work to connect individuals to fair and safe housing.

Learn more about Housing as a Human Right, and many of our other legislative successes.

 


PROPOSED CHANGE TO THE POVERTY MEASURE PUTS HOUSING, HEALTHCARE & BASIC NEEDS IN JEOPARDY.

Recently, we submitted our comments opposing the administration’s proposed change to the federal poverty measure. This measure is used to decide whether the income level of an individual or family qualifies them for certain federal benefits and programs and it sets the minimum amount of income that a family needs for food, clothing, transportation, shelter, and other necessities.

The contemplated change would lower the income eligibility cutoffs for key programs that help people meet their human needs, causing many individuals and families to lose benefits, like access to housing. Deepening financial hardships, increasing food insecurity, reducing access to health care and worsening housing stability are just some of the many devastating outcomes this change could bring and we hope that our comments, along with those submitted by advocates and providers from the across the nation, will help the administration realize the consequences of this change.

Learn more and see our comments here.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Our Team is Growing!

  • See our latest blog post to meet our new interns and fellows. They are an impressive group of people who are passionate about ending poverty, creating opportunity, and utilizing their vast skills and experiences to further the mission of Heartland Alliance.

We're Hiring!

Research & Policy in the News


Heartland Alliance’s Research & Policy Division engages in research on social issues and solutions, policy and systems change, and field building nationwide. The division is home to Heartland Alliance’s Social IMPACT Research Center, Policy & Advocacy team, and our National Initiatives on Economic Opportunity.

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