On June 10, Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) introduced the bi-partisan Emergency Family Stabilization Act. This legislation creates an emergency funding stream to provide grants for organizations that assist children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will be overseen by the Administration for Children and Families, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The legislation aims to provide emergency funding to underserved populations and areas, including those in rural and tribal communities. UIOs are included in the bill and are considered family stabilization agencies, therefore UIOs would be eligible for competitive grants through this legislation. The National Council of Urban Indian Health is an endorsing organization for the Emergency Family Stabilization Act and fought for the inclusion of UIOs in the legislation.
“We applaud Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) in advocating for support for children, youth, and families in crisis or experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Amidst a deadly pandemic, urban Indian organizations are continuing to serve families and individuals experiencing homelessness. As many homeless shelters are closed, American Indians and Alaska Natives depend on the life-saving culturally-competent care and community services they are receiving from our programs right now. We are hopeful that Congress will act quickly to get the resources to the children, youth, and families who need them most,” said Francys Crevier, Executive Director of NCUIH.