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Martinez: U.S. Fails Its Homeless

July 20, 2001

WASHINGTON (AP) _ America is failing its homeless, Housing Secretary Mel Martinez said Friday.

The federal government has spent $13 billion since 1987 on the homeless, ``but we have not made much progress,″ Martinez told members of the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

Martinez said he was reactivating the Interagency Council on the Homeless. The council last met five years ago. It was established in 1987 to coordinate services among various agencies and Congress had ordered the renewal.

The 50 homeless programs in eight agencies will be reviewed, Martinez told the alliance.

Alliance President Nan Roman said she was encouraged by Martinez’ promise to fight chronic homelessness and continue funding for homeless efforts in the housing agency.

``We certainly hope it’s more than rhetoric,″ she said.

An estimated 3.5 million people are homeless at some point each year in America.

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On the Net:

HUD: http://www.hud.gov

Alliance: http://www.naeh.org/

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