FHPAP Updates with Ranee Rock, MCH Advocacy Fellow

The last few weeks we have been busy at the Capitol with the Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program (FHPAP). Ranee Rock, MCH Advocacy Fellow, prepped a testifier a few weeks ago, and she also testified herself last week in front of the House and Senate committees. Keep reading for an update from Ranee and a recap on FHPAP.

Find a note from Ranee here:

Hello! Ranee Rock here, sharing my experience with preparing someone to testify at the legislature, and testifying myself. Testifying myself definitely seemed scary at first, but after doing it a few times, that fear went away. It was amazing to have an opportunity to testify before the House and Senate because that means your voice is being heard, and that what you have to say is not falling on deaf ears. You also have an opportunity to say exactly what you want to say and it is important to get your message across at that time.

On the other hand, preparing someone to testify is a lot more nerve wrecking than I thought. I found that getting a testifier’s personal story across and ensuring what needs to be said, pertaining to the bill on the table, is a balancing act. I was nervous because I knew my testifier would throw in an ad-lib and crossed my fingers that her ad-lib would be in line with the whole testimony and it was! She did me proud though.

The one piece of advice I would offer to a new testifier: do not allow your nerves to get the best of you and do not edit your testimony to much so that your personal story or the reason for your testimony does not get lost in the process. Know that you what you want to say is going to be heard and when you sit down to write out your testimony you decide on what point you would like to make and hit a home run on that point. And please do not be too stressed out because your stress will carry over!

I loved this opportunity to testify, and I hope I get more opportunities in the future. If you have any questions or fears about testifying – let me know and I’ll try my best to help you. 

FHPAP has bills in the House and Senate Omnibus bills, and at this time it looks like we will get somewhere between 8M and 9M at the end of session. Note: the Senate has 8.8M (we will push for a tribal carve out) and the House has 8.8M (with 10% for tribal carve out). While our ask was much larger this session, this means we are hopeful to receive around 90% of the available budget.