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November 2021: Homeless Awareness Month
November 05, 2021
WHEREAS, according to the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness, homelessness continues to be a challenge even with a 19% decrease across Michigan in the number of persons enduring homelessness in 2020; and,
WHEREAS, while 2020 presented numerous barriers such as the pandemic, there was also success in closing the front door to homelessness based on the 2020 Ending Homelessness in Michigan Data report; and,
WHEREAS, through a combination of multiple factors and legislation, including eviction moratoriums and diversion programs, there was a 20% decline in people seeking emergency shelter services, 72% increased rental assistance requests, and 95% increase in requests for "at risk/homeless housing related assistance programs"; and,
WHEREAS, racial disparities continue to be evident for those experiencing homelessness in Michigan with Black people disproportionately making up 48% of the total homeless population yet accounting for only 14% of the overall population in Michigan in 2020 and,
WHEREAS, a lack of affordable housing is a significant community issue impacting persons seeking housing especially during the COVID-19 pandemic; and,
WHEREAS, the Michigan Campaign to End Homelessness set its course to continue work on ending homelessness in 2021, with a strategic focus on increasing access to housing, using cross-sector collaboration, enhancing the homeless delivery system, and increasing prevention and diversion efforts to mitigate the risk of becoming homeless; and,
WHEREAS, the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the governor-appointed Interagency Council on Homelessness, the Michigan Homeless Policy Council, and the Campaign to End Homelessness are some of the many dedicated organizations in our state whose efforts continue to make a difference in the lives of many residents enduring homelessness in our communities; and,
WHEREAS, during this month of November, we must show our gratitude for the dedicated and impactful work of our front-line staff and provider partners serving those enduring homelessness during a global pandemic in recognition of the 2021 theme "Harnessing the Power of your Community";
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, Governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim November 2021 as Homeless Awareness Month in Michigan.