Welch, Gianforte Introduce Bill to Boost Small-State Minimums For Federal Program to Combat Homelessness
WASHINGTON – Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.), joined by Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.), last week introduced bipartisan legislation to boost funding for homeless programs in small states. The legislation would increase the small state minimum funding for the federal Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program from $300,000 to $750,000.
The PATH Fairness Act (H.R. 3592) would increase federal funding to small states like Vermont for the PATH program. Established in 1990, PATH provides funding for local efforts to help homeless, mentally ill Vermonters and those at risk of becoming homeless.
Vermont and 21 other states currently receive the minimum level of PATH funding of $300,00 per year. While larger states have received increases in PATH funding in recent years, the formula used to calculate funding overlooks rural states.
"Homelessness is a human tragedy affecting communities across the country," Welch said. "The unique homelessness challenges faced by small and rural states are neglected under the PATH’s outdated formula. This bill will get much needed additional assistance to local agencies in Vermont who are performing heroic work fighting this endemic problem."
“Homelessness is one of the devastating consequences for Montanans who suffer from mental illness and substance abuse. We need to provide resources for treatment and support,” Gianforte said. “Unfortunately, Washington doesn’t always understand the needs of rural America. The decades old funding formula for the PATH program needs to be changed so Montanans have the same access to services as those in urban states.”