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Archive for July, 2012

Why Membership Matters to Hunter Scott:

Written by NCH Staff on . Posted in Awareness

Hunter Scott is a student at American University and was an intern at NCH this past spring. Since his time working in NCH’s office, he has remained involved with the Coalition and the battle to end homelessness. Read Hunter’s unique perspective on why Membership Matters to young people:

I’ve had a passion for working for the homeless since I was an intern at San Francisco’s Project Homeless Connect, where I often used publications and tools provided by NCH to do the work of the organization. Many young people place importance on volunteering with direct service providers, hoping to help the homeless in a face to face capacity. After taking this attitude myself, I decided to get a different experience by interning at NCH during my sophomore year in college. While there, I worked on NCH’s social networking presence, measuring its impact as an effective advocate for the homeless online. During my internship, I learned how working in advocacy organizations, especially national advocacy organizations like NCH, provides the tools needed to create the broad social change that I hoped for after volunteering in direct service capacities. After I finished my internship, I took a grant writing and non-profit management class. I decided to partner with NCH for my projects to support its advocacy work. Today, I continue to support NCH because they provide the needed national progressive voice on all matters relating to homelessness, and will lead the way in bringing the homeless in this country home.

Why Membership Matters to Fred Karnas:

Written by NCH Staff on . Posted in Advocacy, Awareness

Fred Karnas has been involved at NCH for decades. His long term commitment to ending and preventing homelessness is inspirational and we at NCH are grateful to have members as supportive and enthusiastic as Fred. Below he explains why Membership Matters to him:

How did you first become involved with the National Coalition for the Homeless? In what ways do you continue to be involved with the Coalition?

In the mid 1980s, in Arizona, I worked closely with Louisa Stark, NCH’s first Board President.  She shared many of NCH’s early reports and activities.  In 1989, I participated in the Housing NOW! March in DC, which NCH co-sponsored, and I had the opportunity to meet many NCH Board members and staff.  Then in 1991, I became NCH’s Executive Director, having the privilege of serving for nearly 5 years in a leadership role with some of the most courageous and committed social justice advocates in the nation.

Why do you believe that your Membership Matters at NCH?

Sadly, even after nearly three decades of work by many, the abomination of homelessness remains with us.  Membership in NCH is critical because in the cacophony of voices on how best to end homelessness, the voices of those most affected are often drowned out.  Supporting NCH provides people who are, or have, experiencing homeless, a critically important platform to be heard. 

How do you interact with NCH? In what ways have you benefited from being a member?

I could list many many ways that I have benefited from NCH’s work, from the excellent reports on homelessness-related topics that others often ignore to an increased understanding of the importance of addressing crimes against homeless persons.  But, for me personally, the greatest benefit has been the connection to advocates across the country who are doing heroic work day in and day out to end homelessness.  I have learned so much from other NCH members over the years that has informed my work and motivated me to continue to walk the walk.

Thank you Fred for being such an integral part of NCH!!  To join NCH and help us prevent and end homelessness click here and find out why Membership Matters!

Membership Matters

Written by NCH Staff on . Posted in Advocacy

There are very real and important reasons why homelessness in America grew to such crisis levels during our lifetime and why it continues to exist today. There are also a number of basic ways that each of us can help locally to prevent, reduce and end homelessness nationwide. 
 
Beginning today, the National Coalition for the Homeless is launching Membership Matters, a new membership campaign to help Americans better understand homelessness as a national problem with local solutions. During this campaign we’ll introduce you to effective, meaningful and reasonable ways that each of us can make a lasting difference in the life of a family or individual who is either un-housed or at-risk of homelessness.
 
There’s a building sense among advocates and academics that the current national levels of funding and services is only enough to manage the problem of homelessness in America. The sustained lack of affordable housing, living-wage jobs and access to affordable healthcare is preventing America from moving towards a permanent and lasting solution to homelessness. NCH believes that there are profound consequences to managing this social crisis for too long: the United States is at risk of producing the first generation of chronically homelessness individuals and families who are housing resistant and a nationwide network of social supporters who questions whether homelessness can be ended.
 
Membership Matters is not a fundraising campaign. In fact we are adjusting the cost of joining or sustaining membership in NCH down to make your membership decision easier. If you are or were homeless or living in poverty, your membership fee is waived. All other membership rates for students, individuals, families, organizations and corporations have been reduced and are also negotiable to ensure the greatest levels of involvement and participation in NCH.
 
Over the next eight weeks, we’ll be rolling out NCH’s Membership Matters campaign with:
•     The Facts and Myths of Homelessness in America
•     Action Alerts to let your lawmakers know how to have the biggest impact
•     10 Recommended Strategies for Local Involvement that you can use at home
•     Frequently Asked Questions to help you understand the lives of the homeless
•     Top Story News tweets throughout the day.
•     Blog posts from staff, national experts and NCH members.
•     Membership surveys
•     Research, reports and white papers on topics of importance to ending homelessness.
•     …and lots more.
 
Don’t miss this opportunity to make a difference!  Become a member of the National Coalition for the Homeless! (Click Here)
 
Be a part of a growing movement of concerned people: current & formerly homeless, activist, advocate and all who are committed to ending homelessness. We want and need you to join, sustain or renew your membership today, because at NCH we believe that Membership Matters
 
Neil J. Donovan
Executive Director

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