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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 99-267
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Tuesday
Or contact your local HUD officeDecember 14, 1999


See public service announcements (was linked to videos on the HUD website that are no longer available).

NEW YORK - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced that 18 of the most well-known people in America have agreed to appear in television public service announcements to focus attention on some of the most forgotten Americans - homeless men, women and children.

The following actors have already taped public service announcements (PSAs): William Baldwin, Whoopi Goldberg, Kevin Kline, Sarah Jessica Parker, Glenn Close, Ted Danson, Ray Romano, Nathan Lane, and Matthew Broderick. In addition, former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, Miss America Heather French, boxing announcer Roy Jones, Jr., and model Heidi Klum have taped PSAs. Actors Marisa Tomei, Rosie O'Donnell, James Gandolfini, and Roma Downey plan to tape PSAs, as does model Christie Brinkley.

Baldwin and Tomei joined Cuomo at a news conference in New York City to announce the launch of the PSAs. The PSAs will run in both 10-second and 30-second versions.

"Every homeless person is an individual with desperate needs, and each should be treated as an individual," Cuomo said. "HUD, local governments and non-profit groups are doing this every day, giving people new opportunities to get housing, needed services, and jobs. If more Americans join this effort, we can make a difference in the lives of homeless people around the country."

The HUD campaign is called Put a Face on Homelessness. The PSAs that are part of the campaign will encourage viewers to call HUD at 1-800-HUD-1010 or to log onto HUD's website - www.hud.gov - to get information on what they can do to help homeless people get housing, move toward self-sufficiency, and improve their lives.

By identifying their home Zip Code, people contacting HUD at the phone number or on the Internet can get the name and phone numbers of nearby homeless facilities, so they can volunteer their time or make a donation to help homeless people.

The campaign is being carried out in partnership with HUD's December to Remember campaign, which reminds people of the needs of homeless people during the holiday season.

The National Association of Broadcasters has pledged its support of the campaign. The Association will distribute the PSAs to hundreds of television stations across the country to increase public awareness of homelessness and to encourage Americans to become involved in homelessness assistance programs this holiday season and throughout the coming year.

In addition, the CBS television network has agreed to begin airing the PSAs in coming weeks and throughout the winter.

In one version of the PSAs, the celebrity appearing says: "Many people recognize my face. But there are thousands of men, women and children who we walk past every day, but really never see. They are the invisible, the faceless, the homeless. Walking past them won't solve the problem. They need our help. This winter, put a face on homelessness. Call or go online to learn about an award-winning HUD program that's helping homeless people in your community. "

Production of the PSAs is being funded by the Ford Foundation through the Council for Excellence in Government, which sponsors an annual competition to recognize outstanding government performance. HUD's Continuum of Care program recently won the prestigious Harvard University/Ford Foundation Innovations in American Government Award.

HUD's Continuum of Care program partners with communities to help homeless people around the nation get housing and needed services and works to help them become self-sufficient.

The announcement of the PSAs follows the release of a landmark report by Cuomo last week that is the most comprehensive study ever of homelessness in America. The report is titled The Forgotten Americans - Homelessness: Programs and the People They Serve, and is filled with revealing statistics that tell the story of people around the nation who have fallen through the social safety net into homelessness.

The study reported that most people who become homeless have suffered severe hardships - including physical and sexual abuse, childhood trauma, poverty, a poor education, disability and disease - but are successful in escaping homelessness when they get help from federal and other programs.

The report also said that when homeless people get housing assistance and needed services - such as health care, substance abuse treatment, mental health services, education and job training - 76% of those living in families and 60% of those living alone end their homeless status and move to an improved living situation after completion of the assistance program.

HUD's Continuum of Care initiative, which was developed by Cuomo when he was an Assistant Secretary at HUD, is the centerpiece of the federal policy on homelessness. It has helped more than 300,000 homeless people get housing and jobs to become self-sufficient.

HUD has invested nearly $5 billion in programs to help homeless people since President Clinton took office - more than three times as much as the $1.5 billion HUD spent on homeless assistance programs from 1987 to 1993. HUD's Fiscal Year 2000 Budget provides for $1.02 billion in funding for homeless programs - a $45 million increase over 1999.

For more information about HUD's public service announcements, please visit our web site at www.hud.gov


Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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