In the spirit of the above feature about the CAPWIZ tool of the Society of St. Vncent de Paul give voice to those who have no lobby and  reflect on these two CAPWIZ Alerts from the National Council of SVdP.

1. Capwiz Alert from the National President of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Don’t Cut SNAP Funds

Dear Vincentians,

Congress’ Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (the so-called Super Committee) has to produce a plan to reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion by November 23.  We’re deeply concerned that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) might be targeted for massive funding cuts or structural changes that could result in enrollment being capped and many struggling with hunger being kicked off the program. These changes would hurt the families still feeling the effects of the recession and the nearly 49 million Americans who lived in households struggling with hunger.

The collective voice of the faith community and others need to speak out in defense of SNAP, which has proven to be an incredibly successful safety net program. And that’s why I’m contacting you to ask you to contact your Congressional representatives.

When you click on the “Take Action” alert in the upper right of your computer screen, you will see the template for a letter that you can send to your Senators and Congress members.

Yours in St. Vincent and Blessed Frederic,

Sheila K. Gilbert
National President

2. Protect HUD Housing Counseling

Dear Vincentians,

Funding for HUD Housing Counseling is at a critical point.  The House budgeted no funds for HUD Housing Counseling, while the Senate put in $60 million.  If Congress fails to provide this critical funding, this would mean that HUD Housing Counseling will be zeroed out for a second year in a row and, as a result, tens of thousands of people will not receive these important services. Housing counseling is an integral part of supporting the recovery of the housing market — which, in turn, is critical to the nation’s economic recovery.  Without it, more individuals will slip into housing emergencies and even homelessness.

The HUD Housing Counseling Program is the only federal program that provides explicit support for the following services:

  • Pre-purchase counseling and education for first-time homebuyers
  • Post-purchase counseling and education for homeowners
  • Reverse mortgage counseling for senior homeowners
  • Renter counseling, including for families transitioning out of homeownership
  • Counseling for homeless individuals and families seeking shelter or other transitional housing

Discussions between the House and Senate leadership on the budget are going on right now.

We’re asking you to do three crtical things to push for full funding for HUD Housing Counseling:

 1. Call both of your Senators and ask them to support at least $60 million for HUD Housing counseling in the final budget discussions. If you know or have had dealings with someone in the Senate office, be sure to ask for them directly.

To get the phone numbers for your Senators, go to http://www.govtrack.us/congress/findyourreps.xpd or call 877-851-6437 or 866-220-0044.

2. Call the House members in every Congressional district where you or members of your Council or Conference have counseled people.  Ask them to tell their leadership to support the full funding of $60 million for HUD Housing Counseling, which was the amount in the Senate budget.

To get the numbers for your House members, go to http://www.govtrack.us/congress/findyourreps.xpd or call (877) 851-6437 or (866) 220-0044.

3. Forward this message to others.

Background information:

For more information about the effectiveness of the housing counseling program please visit: http://bit.ly/housing_counseling_briefing   

(Since we are asking you to call your Senators and Congresspeople, please ignore the “Take Action” button in the upper right of your computer.)

Yours in St. Vincent and Blessed Frederic,

Sheila K. Gilbert

National President

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