Homeless Alliance of WNY Projects Funding Losses from Sequester
The Homeless Alliance of WNY has started a campaign to contact local federal representatives to seek assistance to save homeless programs from devastating cuts from the sequestration that went into effect last Friday. The Alliance has calculated that communities in New York State stand to lose $8.5 million in homeless funding with $700,000 of those cuts coming to Erie and Niagara County homeless programs.
These cuts would have widespread effects on homeless shelters, transitional housing, domestic violence programs, runaway youth and supportive housing for those with long term disabilities. The National Alliance to End Homelessness is predicting 145,000 people nationally will become homeless because of the cuts.
It is difficult to estimate locally how many people will become homeless until the programs are actually cut but it is safe to say hundreds will be left without housing options and that doesn’t even take into account people that become homeless during the coming year.
Last year over 5,000 people in Erie County were homeless with 45% being homeless for the first time. Homeless Alliance Executive Director Dale Zuchlewski said, “While everyone recognizes the need to bring spending under control, the budget should not be balanced on the backs of the nation’s most vulnerable people.”