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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

Our Holiday Wishlist (and three reasons to give)

Written by admin on . Posted in Advocacy, Civil Rights, Donate, Outreach

Though our offices are closed for the Federal holiday, we are plotting how we will work towards a true end to homelessness in 2016.

Here is our holiday wish list for the coming year:

  1. For each one of the Presidential candidates to explain how s/he will reinvest in affordable housing and work to end homelessness.
  2. That each of our cities stops ticketing, harassing and arresting our homeless neighbors because they have nowhere but public spaces to eat, sleep, store personal items and take care of their hygiene and bodily needs.
  3. That more landlords will lease their properties to renters who have housing vouchers.
  4. That Congress will fully fund, and preserve funding for, the National Housing Trust Fund.
  5. That more cities and states will adopt Homeless Bill of Rights legislation that protects people who are unhoused from discrimination.
  6. That Congress adopts a minimum wage that is a living wage based on local cost of living.
  7. For more community engagement around housing and homelessness through participation in the Faces of Homelessness Speakers’ Bureau, National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, and National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day.
  8. For all states to expand Medicaid under the ACA, and to invest in mental health infrastructure.
  9. That Federal and municipal governments follow through on their promise to end chronic and veteran homelessness by the end of 2016.
  10. That cities expand emergency services to meet the needs of everyone who experiences homelessness or struggles to maintain housing, including youth, ex-offenders, families and the elderly.

Will you help us realize these goals?

Here are 3 quick reasons to support NCH:

  1. Have you visited our website this year to learn more about homelessness?
    It takes one staff member (there are 3 of us) at least one full day per week to keep our site updated – during that time, an average of about 1,500 people (per day) have accessed our pages. In 2016, we’ll be working to release updated reports and factsheets, as well as build a tool you’ll be able to use to quickly find info about homelessness in your community. Give to help provide research for other students, reserchers and advocates!

  2. Have you ReTweeted or shared our posts on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram?
    We daily search through current events to bring you the most up to date and relevant news about advocacy to end homelessness. We’re serious about reaching you where you are. We hope you’ll be serious about supporting our work through your favorite online giving site: Network for Good, PayPal, Razoo, GoodSearch, AmazonSmileJustGive, or find us on other sites using our Tax ID #52-1517415!

  3. Have you seen a Faces of Homelessness panel speaker tell their story?
    We work with partners across the country – from BBYO, the Religious Action Center and the CloseUp Foundation, to schools like Villanova and Georgetown Universities – to schedule over 300 Faces presentations each year. If you are one of the approximately 15,000 people who met a speaker this year, you benefited from NCH programs! Give today so that others will have the opportunity to hear James read his poem “Arugula Salad” or to give Steve a big bear hug!

Yet another organized encampment is uprooted

Written by admin on . Posted in Awareness, Civil Rights, Criminalization, Tent Cities

In recent years, as the fashion of criminalizing the people experiencing homelessness in the United States by local governments has grown more popular, the nation’s capital, Washington, DC, has largely respected the rights and needs of its poorest residents. Unfortunately, it seems that even as the city’s new mayor has publicly dedicated her administration to giving those experiencing homelessness within her jurisdiction the supports they need, her office is moving to displace the small number of men and women who have formed their own refuge from the city’s dangerous streets and chaotic shelters. A very troubling way to celebrate National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week (Nov. 14-22).

Postcard FrontErected atop an empty stretch of grass in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, co-existing alongside foreign embassies and luxury hotels, a small community of tents serves as home for a tight-knit, diverse community of unhoused Washingtonians. In recent weeks, that community has had to face the possibility of dislocation, despite the fact that many of the camp’s housed neighbors support them. According to WTOP, a local news station, Marina Streznewski, who serves as president of the Foggy Bottom Association, believes homeless residents are better off where they are than in the city’s notoriously overcrowded shelter system. “It may be cold out here, but it’s safer.”

By the time you read this, these men and women may already have been relocated. The city moved on Monday to close down the camp, but media attention and an alleged refusal by local law enforcement to assist the mayor’s office in the tear-down has meant that many of the tents remained in place at noon of the following day. However, members of the besieged community believe it’s only a matter of time before they and their belongings face an uncertain future back out on the street. Worse yet, vans sent to relocate residents have reportedly refused to tell them where they’d be taken if they complied with the city’s order.

If you are a resident of the District of Columbia, or if you care about the plight of these and other people experiencing homelessness in the most powerful city in the world, we encourage you to contact Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office by phone (202-727-6300), email (eom@dc.gov), or on social media (tweet @MayorBowser), and remind her that all of her constituents deserve to be treated with respect, and to be sure these and all unhoused residents of the area are offered safe and accessible shelter or permanent housing.

While you’re at it, you can sign our petition asking the District government to join Rhode Island, Connecticut, Illinois, and Puerto Rico in enacting legislation to end legal discrimination against our unhoused neighbors.

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