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Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CLARKE of Michigan. I offer this amendment on behalf of citizens who feel that they have no voice in this Congress; people who have given up hope altogether. These are citizens who earn money by scavenging through alleys to find empty bottles and cans and get their return deposits. They survive by rummaging through garbage dumpsters to find food to eat. These are citizens who have no place to live. They're on the street.

According to the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, every night in the city of Detroit there are nearly 20,000 people who are in need of shelter and who are homeless. Nearly a quarter of these people are children. And what is perhaps most tragic is that many of these citizens--and I have spoken to them as I have seen them in the alleys--are men who have sacrificed themselves and proudly served this country in the military. Many of the homeless in the city of Detroit are veterans.

Some of the folks on the street I know personally. I grew up with them. They need help. They need substance abuse treatment. They need a place to stay. And in Detroit, because of the housing crisis, because foreclosures forced many people out of their homes, we also have many apartment buildings that are now vacant--vacant, but could be rehabilitated and renovated to provide a home to our veterans who are currently on the street.

This amendment that I offer will add $5 million to homeless assistance grants to provide our homeless veterans with a home, but also with the hope and dignity that all Americans deserve.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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