Learn about HPMD events, COVID vaccines, the latest from D.C., & more.
Learn about HPMD events, COVID vaccines, the latest from D.C., & more.
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December 17, 2020 | Volume 24, No. 12 | Archives
Larry Adams (yellow shirt, center) with many of his NHCHC National Consumer Advisory Board friends and colleagues. This edition of Mobilizer is dedicated to Larry and the many others who passed away in 2020 due to the challenges of homelessness.
New Possibilities in 2021
“No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that's our real disaster.”
― Dalai Lama XIV

It feels appropriate that 2020, a year marked by incredible tragedies and hardship, also marks the 30th anniversary of Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day. If you feel disgusted to be living in a nation that is both exceptionally wealthy but also permissive of people dying in the streets, then you are not alone. No one can bring back lives lost to homelessness or the lives lost on the front lines, but it is possible to live in a nation where this doesn’t happen. We can distribute millions of vaccines to stop a deadly virus in its tracks. We can implement policies that end the evil of homelessness. Big changes are possible, such as: Medicare for All! Decriminalization of drugs! Universal housing vouchers! Reparations! The National Health Care for the Homeless Council is committed to hope and positive change in 2021— see you there.
Last month we asked you what you’re grateful for. Here are some responses:
  • “For discovering new ways to connect and ‘see’ people virtually.”
    Delmar, NY
  • “For the scrappy, pragmatic, tenacious nature of so many medical respite programs who are figuring out how to make things work right now in the face of challenge after challenge after challenge.”
    Nashville, TN
  • “For my colleagues – I am in a work environment where we all have real trust and respect for each other.”
    Baltimore, MD
  • “As a marginalized elder, I am grateful to have survived to see so many diverse people come out and use their power of vote to bring change. I am grateful for the hope of a brighter tomorrow.”
    Lakota Tribal Elder, Northern Michigan

Homeless Persons' Memorial Day
The 21st of this month marks the 30th anniversary of Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day — an annual day of recognition for people who die without a home. This is an important day to remember those who have died without stable housing, reflect on the shocking inhumanity of homelessness, and call for meaningful policy changes to ensure that no life is lived or lost in homelessness.

For decades, we have had insufficient data to demonstrate the scale of the problem and develop holistic solutions. It is well past time to intentionally address homeless mortality as a nationwide issue. To that end, the National Homeless Mortality Work Group developed a Homeless Mortality Toolkit to consolidate best practices and lessons learned from local communities in developing official mortality reviews. Use this toolkit to gather better data about homeless mortality, demonstrate what is known about homeless deaths, and recommit to large-scale investments in housing and supports to end the overwhelming number of preventable deaths in the homeless community.

View our 2020 HPMD Advocacy Agenda to learn more about ending homeless mortality and advocate for local solutions.
Get Involved:
  • If you have names of people without homes in your community who have passed away this year, please send them to kcavanaugh@nhchc.org so we can include them in the national memorial.
  • Attend the HPMD Virtual Memorial on Monday, December 21, at 4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT, hosted by the National Coalition for the Homeless. Register here!
  • Join the conversation on Twitter on December 21, between 12 p.m. ET and 1 p.m. ET at @NatlHCHCouncil. We will ask questions and encourage you to tweet your responses, tag others, and use the #HPMD2020 and #NoMoreHomelessDeath hashtags.
A Dedication
Today’s Mobilizer is dedicated to those we lost to the evils of homelessness in 2020. One of those individuals was Larry Adams.
“Larry was a fixture at many national conferences. He shared a video he envisioned to continue the support people need after they leave homelessness. His smile and passion for empowering consumers as leaders in this work will be missed.” -- Katherine Cavanaugh, Consumer Advocacy Manager at the Council.
Read a tribute to Larry in the Boston Globe and help us remember the light and progress that he and countless other consumer advocates bring to our work.
News to Know
This week a bipartisan group of senators released a compromise COVID-19 relief bill that includes an extension of the CDC eviction moratorium through January 31st and $25B in emergency rental assistance (text of the two-piece bipartisan package: $160B piece and $748B piece). While these provisions are nominal compared to what we’ve been advocating for the last nine months, it’s critical that something passes as soon as possible. Leaders in Congress are working to pass the agreement along with the budget before the budget deadline – lest a government shutdown – on December 18th.
TAKE ACTION: It is important that we tell Congress to immediately pass the bipartisan COVID‑19 stimulus that includes an eviction moratorium and $25 billion in rental assistance. Find a summary of the provisions in the bill here and Call Congress through NLIHC’s action portal and urge them to enact the long-awaited COVID-19 relief bill NOW!

New fact sheet to use in your advocacy: COVID-19 Relief Money & Support for the HCH Community

New Research Shows Connection between COVID-19 and Evictions: New research shows that expiring eviction moratoria are associated with over 400,000 additional cases of COVID-19 and just under 11,000 additional COVID-19 deaths. There is no question that the country faces imminent peril as we approach the expiration of the federal eviction moratorium on December 31 — estimated to put 2-5 million households at immediate risk of eviction. Take Action (above) to prevent death and misery.
Biden Administration Announces Health and Housing Cabinet Nominees: Last week, President-Elect Joe Biden announced California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as his nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). Becerra is a long-time supporter of single-payer and most recent defender of the Affordable Care Act. Read about Biden’s other health care nominees. Biden also announced Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge as his nominee for secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Fudge is a respected leader and advocate for low-income and underserved populations. However, Biden has received criticism for the nomination of Fudge as a display of tokenism. He has also received criticism for his reliance on former Obama Administration officials.
COVID-19 Vaccines Receive Approval from the FDA: The FDA granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for one COVID-19 vaccine and is expected to grant another in the coming days, which will bring millions of vaccines to the U.S. before the end of 2020. Both vaccines require two doses for maximum immunization, administered several weeks apart. These initial doses are prioritized for health care professionals. States have prioritized vaccine allocation to those most at risk since enough doses for all priority groups are not expected to be available until the middle of 2021. The Council is advocating for homeless health care providers, homeless services staff, and people experiencing homelessness to be prioritized for the vaccine. Even with adequate doses, vaccination will require a robust communication strategy to address mistrust around receiving this new vaccine. Learn more about the vaccine in our recent issue brief and participate in tomorrow's webinar (or listen to the recording).
Congressional Budget Offices (CBO) Release Report on Single-Payer: Congressional Budget Offices (CBO) Releases Report on Single-Payer: In 2019, CBO released a publication on key considerations for designing a single-payer system. Last week, CBO released a new technical report, describing their methods for analyzing budgetary costs. Find more studies on single-payer on HEALTHCARE-NOW’s information portal and find the Council’s most recent single-payer resources on our website.
New Council Policy Resources
What We're Reading
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Regina Reed, MPH
Health Policy Manager
National HCH Council
Baltimore, MD
(443) 703-1337 
This publication and all HCH advocacy are funded by dues from Organizational Members of the Council and by private donations. Consider joining the Council to support this work.
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