The McKinney-Vento Act was created in 1987 in response to pressures on the federal government to respond to the nations growing homeless crisis.
Congress passed the Homeless Person's Survival Act legislation in 1987. After the chief Republican sponsor of the bill died, the Act was renamed for him - the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act. In 2000, when the Democratic supporter of the bill passed away his name was added. It remains today as the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. It is still the only major federal response to homelessness.
There are nine sections to this legislation:
- Title I - findings about homelessness are given, justifying the creation of the Act. A definition of homelessness is included.
- Title II - establishes the creation of the USICH
- Title III - establishes the Emergency Food and Shelter Program through FEMA
- Title IV - creates emergency and transitional housing programs through HUD. It also establishes the Supportive Housing Demonstration Program, Supplemental Assistance for Facilities to Assist the Homeless, and Section 8 Single Room Occupancy Moderate Rehabilitation. (NOTE: These three programs were consolidated in 2009 to form the CoC by way of the HEARTH Act.)
- Title V - obligates federal agencies to identify unused federal property and to make that property available to state and local governments and non-profit organizations for assisting the homeless.
- Title VI - authorizes the Department of Health and Human services to provide health care and mental health services to the homeless.
- Title VII - authorizes educational and job training assistance to the homeless.
- Title VIII - amends the food stamp program to facilitate participation by the homeless.
- Title IX - extends the Veterans Job Training Act to the homeless.
Also in 1986, the Homeless Housing Act was adopted. This legislation created the Emergency Shelter Grant program and a transitional housing demonstration program; both programs were administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
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