Now in his second term in Congress, this week, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., tried to focus on homelessness.
Lawson took part on a U.S. House Financial Services Committee focused on “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,” the congressman’s office noted.
“Homelessness in America is a national crisis,” Lawson insisted. “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.”
Lawson pointed to statistics from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Department which showed almost 553,000 Americans experienced homelessness last year.
“Minorities were disproportionately represented among people experiencing homelessness in 2018,” Lawson’s office noted. “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.”
Lawson was joined by Ann Marie Oliva, a senior policy advisor from the Corporation for Supportive Housing; Nan Roman, the president and CEO of National Alliance to End Homelessness; Joshua Stewart, the director of policy for the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans; Justin Rush, the public policy director of True Colors Fund; Carolyn Darley from the National Coalition for the Homelessness; and David Lucas, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for an Entrepreneurial Society at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University.
First elected to Congress in 2016 after defeating longtime U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., in the primary, Lawson’s district stretches across North Florida from Jacksonville to Gadsden County.
Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com.