New styles of advocacy fight drastic cuts in the federal housing budget:
WHAT: The federal government provides most of the money to combat homelessness and provide housing for extremely low income and disabled people. Unfortunately, that funding is inadequate. Only one in four families that qualifies for public housing actually lives in public housing and six million renters were housing cost burdened in 2015.
HOW: We support critical advocacy to maintain and increase this funding. These efforts are vitally important to combat the administration’s 2018 budget proposal, which recommends up to $7 billion of cuts to the federal housing budget.
- Support grassroots budget advocacy: We helped launch Public Advocates’ Federal Agency Rapid Response Project, an on-line effort to connect local and national housing and community development groups to work together to prevent the severe cuts threatened in the 2018 federal budget.
- Support new ideas: We invest in a campaign led by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and partners to advance a renter’s tax credit to benefit extremely low income households. The vast majority of federal housing-related tax benefits subsidize homeownership, which disproportionately benefits higher-income families.
Seed money helps curb extreme sentencing and incarceration for kids:
WHAT: Extreme sentences for youth and youth incarceration are antiquated practices that fail to provide safe communities or rehabilitate youth.
HOW: We helped launch campaigns to end extreme sentencing and close youth prisons.
- End extreme punishment and help with re-sentencing. Our seed capital for the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth and support for the Equal Justice initiative helped lay the groundwork for the Supreme Court’s decision that the mandatory sentence of juvenile life without parole is unconstitutional. Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Montgomery v. Louisiana, which held these rulings should be applied retroactively, we stepped up to help raise over $1.3 million for re-sentencing people who had received this unconstitutional punishment.
- Close juvenile prisons. We are seed investors in the Youth First Initiative, a national campaign that supports cross sectoral coalitions in states that advocate closing youth prisons and investing in community-based alternatives to incarceration. States like Connecticut, Virginia and Kansas are leading the way by closing youth detention centers and moving resources to more effective community programs.
New strategies help address criminal justice issues faced by women:
WHAT: Women in the criminal justice system face loss of their children, lack of housing, and other barriers when re-entering society. Women with family members in the system are isolated and under tremendous strain as the sole emotional and financial support for their families.
HOW: We invest in innovative projects that spotlight problems and work toward solutions.
- Helping women find their voices. Our support for Essie Justice Group bolsters a new effort to harness the collective power of women with incarcerated loved ones. It trains women as leaders and advocates, and equips them with tools and resources to heal family, community, and make social change.
- Protecting families. Our grant to A New Way of Life, an organization that provides critical aid to women leaving the system, supports research and advocacy on effective ways to promote family preservation when a woman enters the system, and family reunification when she exits.