As many of you know I work for a non-profit agency in a very rural area in Western Maryland. As many of you also know, I chose this job because I enjoy helping others, I get to be part of an organization that strives to help people to self-sufficiency in many ways, but the department I work with focuses on assets.
Last February I received an email stating that President Trump wanted to cut funding for HUD agencies by more than 50%. For those of you that are not familiar with HUD or non-profit, HUD funds the majority of non-profit agencies across the Unites States. I was furious. That’s taking away funding for almost every single program that my department administers, including, but not limited to: First Time Homebuyers, Foreclosure Counseling, Weatherization, Garrett Energy Solutions, Home Repair and Rehab, etc… There are many more programs throughout our agency alone, this is only naming a few, and they are all funded by HUD.
In March I attended a conference and was informed that this would not only cut funding for the low-to-moderate income families in our nation, but it would also cause loss of jobs, as homeless shelters across the county rely solely on HUD funding! The reason that congress wanted to cut funding was because they were under the impression that HUD hasn’t helped any of the agencies, and why is the government pouring out millions of dollars into a program that does not produce results! Once again, I was infuriated. I knew that they were poorly mistaken, and so; I decided to do something about this.
I did my research and put together the facts, and I wrote a letter to Congress. I explained that in the past 5 years, in the state of Maryland alone, Non-profit agencies have helped 50,000 homeless citizens achieve affordable housing. That’s 50,000 people in Maryland that are no longer living on the streets due to funding from HUD. I cannot remember the statistics off the top of my head, but some of those once homeless citizens were able to achieve higher paying jobs and become first time homeowners. That is huge!! 50,000 in the small state of Maryland, can you imagine what the figures are for bigger states, such as: California & Texas?! I also went on to explain that not only would the homelessness rate in America increase if HUD funding was cut, but so would unemployment rates, as many homeless shelters would have to close. Inevitably, crime and drug rates would also increase. Is this how we go about making America great again? Yes, I actually said that!!
About a month ago I received a letter back from Congress thanking me for my letter, that it was one of hundreds they had received about HUD funding, and they were taking my thoughts and opinions into consideration. I was floored, I honestly didn’t think I would hear anything back from congress, but it made me feel better knowing that I got my emotions off my chest.
This morning I received an email from HUD explaining that congress has given them over $50 million dollars in funding to spread across HUD funded non-profit agencies in the nation. One of those agencies is the agency I work for!! How awesome is that?!
The next time you feel insignificant, or that your voice does not matter, please remember that one woman from a small area spoke up and her voice was heard. Not only did she help her county, she helped her state, and her entire country! Speak up, be loud, be heard my friends!! YOU are NOT insignificant, YOUR voice matters, YOU matter, YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!
Love and life lessons,