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Archive for January, 2016

Bad weather resources and 5 Tips for Helping

Written by admin on . Posted in Uncategorized

El Niño rains in California, blizzard conditions in the northeast, mother nature seems to be reminding us that outdoors is no place for humans to live.

If you are in need of shelter, or if you see someone needing assistance, here are some tips:

  • If you or someone else appears to be in a dangerous situation, do not hesitate to call 911. 
  • In some cases, it will be safer for people to remain in their outdoor encampments. Be sure you have or help folks with getting enough warm clothing and bedding.
  • Be courteous! Treat folks with respect and compassion!
  • Arm yourself with warm cloths (hats, gloves, etc), food or food vouchers, and most importantly, information about local emergency shelters and hotlines. See below!
  • There is generally not enough shelter beds for the number of people experiencing homelessness, most cities will have some time of warming center or overflow shelter, but your city may not.

We have a larger list of local resources in our Directory, or see below a quick list of emergency hotlines in each state (if you do not see your city, a good rule of thumb is to contact your city or county government, or find your local Continuum of Care):

Phoenix, AZ 602-263-8900
Los Angeles, CA 1-800-548-6047
San Diego, CA Dial 211
San Jose, CA 408-510-7600
San Francisco, CA Dial 311
Denver, CO Dial 211
Washington, DC 1-800-535-7252
Jacksonville, FL Dial 211
Atlanta, GA Dial 311
Chicago, IL Dial 311
Indianapolis, IN Dial 311
Louisville, KY Dial 311
Boston, MA Dial 311
Baltimore, MD 410-433-8145
Detroit, MI Dial 211
Minneapolis, MN 612-348-4111
Kansas City, MO 816-474-4599
Charlotte, NC 704-432-7233
Omaha, NE Dial 311
New York, NY Dial 311
Las Vegas, NV 702-828-1556
Columbus, OH 1-888-474-3587
Oklahoma City, OK 405-415-8410
Portland, OR Dial 211
Philadelphia, PA Dial 311
Memphis, TN 901-260-4663
Nashville, TN 615-880-2526
Austin, TX Dial 311
Dallas, TX 214-428-4242
El Paso, TX 915-546-8150
Fort Worth, TX 817-810-9797
Houston, TX Dial 211
San Antonio, TX Dial 311
Seattle, WA Dial 211
Milwaukee, WI Dial 211

Being A Good Neighbor

Written by Je'Lissa on . Posted in Advocacy, Civil Rights, Community Organizing, Housing, Poverty

Compassion and charity have never been enough to address the realities plaguing a society’s most vulnerable citizens long-term. Efforts toward obtaining a living wage, developing more affordable, secure and safe housing, ending community violence and law enforcement brutality, and protecting the rights of people experiencing homelessness must be transformative for lasting change. How we address poverty and its emerging issues, and all forms of oppression is measurement of how we see ourselves in relation to each other in community as neighbors, and ultimately as fellow human beings.

In 1956 as he prepared for the Montgomery bus protests, Dr. King delivered his sermon “On Being a Good Neighbor” and identified our neighbor as “Anyone who lies in need at life’s roadside.” As he reflected on the issues of the day, he asked his listeners, “What would happen if we do not take a stand?” That question is still pertinent today, as we reflect on the Trayvon Martins, the Sandra Blands, the victims of gun violence, the growing number of children without permanent housing, and the women and men burdened with fines and arrest records for inhabiting public spaces. These are a few of our neighbors who can be counted among the most vulnerable and in need.

Unfortunately, it seems that we sometimes struggle with what it means to be a good neighbor to those who are like us, and much too often to those who are not like us. Maybe we feel powerless, are fearful, blame the victimized, or have been lulled into complacency and passivity. Fortunately, history bears witness to what committed people awaken to the call for greater humanity can accomplish.

As we engage in activities across the nation commemorating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, two questions arise, “How open are our ears, minds, and hearts to today’s voices echoing his call for social and economic justice? And, what are we willing to do to get it done?” Dr. King’s question nearly sixty years ago allows us to individually and collectively identify if we can be counted among the active participants to bring about change for our day. This year as we celebrate his life and legacy let us become awaken to the call for justice in new ways. Whether we find ourselves involved in community, seated at tables of power, members of faith communities, or on social media, let us shake the trees of fear, complacency and passivity with active involvement in causes and movements that seek solutions. Let us be active for change, and by doing so take a stand that reflects the essence of being a good neighbor.

– DeBorah Gilbert White, Founder and Coordinator of HerStory Ensemble

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