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Archive for April, 2014

National Campaign for Youth Shelter

Written by NCH Staff on . Posted in Advocacy, Awareness, Community Organizing, LGBTQ, Policy Advocacy, Shelter, Youth

National Campaign for Youth Shelter

NCH is proud to work with the Ali Forney Center to launch the National Campaign for Youth Shelter, a collaboration that will build a grassroots campaign to demand a national response to youth homelessness.

 The National Campaign for Youth Shelter calls include the following:

  1. A federal commitment to provide all youths age 24 and under with immediate access to safe shelter, affirming the principle that no young person in the United States should be left homeless in the streets.
  2. An immediate commitment to add 22,000 beds with appropriate services. (This number corresponds to the number of youths identified in the most recent Point In Time Count of homeless persons conducted by the federal government).
  3. A more accurate and comprehensive effort to count the number of homeless youth in the nation in order to determine the number of beds that are needed over the next decade.

The campaign is going to hold rallies in New York City and Washington, DC, to launch the campaign as a priority within the LGBT movement. The New York City rally will be held on June 2. Details to come.

LGBT youth are disproportionately over-represented in the homeless youth population, with as many as 40% of the nation’s homeless youth being LGBT, while only 5% of the overall youth population is LGBT.

Currently, there are only approximately 4,000 youth shelter beds in the United States, yet as many as 500,000 unaccompanied youths experience homelessness each year.

“It’s indefensible that our nation would abide hundreds of thousands of young people to be homeless and on their own,” says Jerry Jones, executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless. “The National Campaign for Youth Shelter will highlight the urgency of basic emergency shelter as we work toward permanent solutions to this crisis.”

The National Campaign for Youth Shelter has gained the support and endorsement of over 30 organizations, including: GLAADthe Alliance for a Just SocietyCampaign for America’s FutureCampus PrideCenter for Community ChangeCenter for Popular DemocracyCenterLink: The Community of LGBT CentersCoalition on Human NeedsCovenant HouseEmpire State Pride AgendaFamily Acceptance ProjectFamily Equality CouncilGarden State EqualityGay Men’s Health CrisisGLSEN, the Hetrick Martin Institute, Housing Assistance Council, It Gets Better Project, Matthew Shepard Foundation, National AIDS Housing Coalition, National Black Justice Coalition, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Health Care for the Homeless CouncilNational Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, National Low Income Housing Coalition, NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, Partnership for Working Families, Rebuild the Dream, the Ruth Ellis Center, Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, Treatment Action Group, USAction, and You Can Play Project.

“It is unprecedented to have so many LGBT organizations join together with prominent national housing and anti-poverty organizations to fight for the humane treatment of impoverished youths.” says Carl Siciliano, executive director of the Ali Forney Center. “With all this support, the National Campaign for Youth Shelter will build a movement to finally prevent youths from being left to suffer homelessness without access to shelter. The wealthiest nation on earth must not allow its youths to be left out in the streets.”

Tweet: The National Campaign for Youth Shelter is fighting for every young person to have access to safe shelter. http://ctt.ec/58RG8+

Film Review – 3:13 by David Jaure

Written by NCH Staff on . Posted in Awareness

David Jaure’s film, 3:13, tells the story of a man falling on hard times. Together, we experience the emotionally taxing moments of losing work, facing familial tension, and many other struggles that those who find themselves homeless confront. There is no one face of homelessness, but the character in this film feels familiar and his story resonates. Despite the many different ways one can fall into homelessness, there are several common experiences that the majority of people living in a state of homelessness may likely share. They are discriminated against by individuals, businesses, and law enforcement. They are stereotyped and treated poorly by people who are blinded by their prejudices. They are victimized because of the vulnerable position that they are in. This film walks us through a day in the life of one man who has lost everything to show us the unjust nature of homelessness and how it is perceived by many in this country.

NEW REPORT: Discrimination in Washington, DC

Written by NCH Staff on . Posted in Awareness, Civil Rights, Policy Advocacy, Report

Discrimination and Economic Profiling Report

Discrimination and Economic Profiling among the Homeless of Washington, DC is a new report documenting the extent to which homeless individuals in Washington, DC feel that they have experienced discrimination as a result of their housing status. In the fall of 2013, The National Coalition for the Homeless and graduate students of George Washington University Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration created a survey to examine experiences of discrimination by housing agents, employers, health service providers, and law enforcement due to housing status.

Homeless individuals have long told staff at NCH that they perceive discrimination brought on by their housing status. In light of this, the National Coalition for the Homeless has been tracking discrimination against homeless individuals for years.

One homeless individual explains that homelessness can mean being turned away at the door of a “coffee shop … due to my attire, push cart, my extra bags.” This type of discrimination is typical in the life of a person experiencing homelessness.

This recent study revealed that discriminatory actions most often came from private business and law enforcement. Specially, 70% of the respondents felt they had been discriminated against by private business and 66 % of the respondents felt the same discrimination from law enforcement.

The National Coalition for the Homeless advocates for Washington, DC and other states to consider passing a Homeless Bill of Rights, which would guarantee equal treatment for people who are un-housed. This new law would not create special rights or privileges, but rather protect homeless people from discrimination while seeking employment, emergency medical care, and the right to move freely in public.

View the full report here!

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