February 13, 2019

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson Speaks Out Against Homelessness During Financial Services Congressional Hearing

Today, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-05) addressed homelessness during the Financial Services Committee hearing: “Homeless in America: Examining the Crisis and Solutions to End Homelessness.” The hearing served as an opportunity to raise awareness to the issue and put forth proactive solutions to address this important topic.

“Homelessness in America is a national crisis,” Rep. Lawson. “In the richest nation in the world, it is unacceptable that there are people living in the streets – veterans, women and children. It is imperative that we dedicate more funding to housing programs and ensure the availability of affordable housing.”

In the past year, there were 552,830 people who experienced homelessness in a single night in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report. Minorities were disproportionately represented among people experiencing homelessness in 2018.  African Americans comprised 40 percent of all people experiencing homelessness, while Hispanic or Latino people comprised 25 percent.

The hearing offered members of Congress the opportunity to hear from experts and advocates regarding the continuing challenges in tackling homelessness in America, and their recommendations.

Panelist were:

• Ann Marie Oliva, Senior Policy Advisor, Corporation for Supportive Housing;

• Nan Roman, President and CEO, National Alliance to end Homelessness;

• Joshua Stewart, Director of Policy, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans;

• Justin T. Rush, Public Policy Director, True Colors Fund;

• Carolyn Darley, Speaker Advocate, National Coalition for the Homelessness; and

• David S. Lucas, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute for an Entrepreneurial Society, Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University.


This was the first Committee hearing of the 116th Congress and the Committee’s first ever full Committee hearing on the issue of homelessness in this country.