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NCH Headquarters Resembles a Portrait Art Gallery with a Homelessness Theme

Written by NCH Staff on . Posted in Advocacy

Over the years, NCH has had many homeless-related artwork either loaned or donated to us.   If you come visit us at our office located in the Church of the Pilgrims here in Washington, DC, you will find the following exhibits at the NCH office, and in the Church’s Bird Room Art Gallery and Pilgrimage Retreat Center.  Each year several thousand people get the chance to view our artwork.

If you are interested in checking out our artwork or borrowing our artwork for a special event, please contact us.  Also, if you are an artist who has done homelessness related artwork or know of an artist who has, please consider loaning or donating the artwork to us and or letting your artist friend know about our interest.

Portraits of Homelessness, Frank Russell Four paintings depicting homelessness in Baltimore grace our walls.  Mr. Russell also has loaned his paintings and drawings to Health Care for the Homeless in Baltimore.

“Giving Back”, Alan B. Tuttle—These five paintings depict the lives of homeless people with the goal of raising awareness of the problem of homelessness.  Alan resides and works in Oxbow, New York.

Home Street Home (1984), by Fran Adler and Kira Corser.   24 artworks, each with a photograph and poem.  This exhibit is a collaborative photography-poetry exhibition by photographer Kira Corser and poet Frances Payne Adler.  This exhibit was an artistic response to the homelessness crisis in San Diego in the mid-1980’s.

Homeless T-Shirt Quilts, by the late Dorothy Hand.    Since NCH’s founding in 1982, staff and board members have traveled the country to mobilize the grassroots to do advocacy on homelessness issues.   During these travels we came across a number of poverty-related t-shirts that reflect our extensive grassroots network.  As you can only wear one t-shirt at a time, we thought a better idea would be to have these cutting-edge t-shirts made into quilts.

All six quilts were done by the late Dorothy Hand, a quilter from Cincinnati.  She created the quilts in an effort to raise awareness of the homelessness issue.  Her daughter and granddaughter continue to make quilts for NCH.   So if you have a favorite homelessness/poverty-related t-shirt, please send our way.

Images of Homelessness (1999), Tammy DeGruchy (Grubbs).   The Images of Homelessness is the largest (22 portraits) ever oil painting exhibit on homelessness..  Artist DeGruchy painted the exhibit for the National Coalition for the Homeless. The exhibit raises awareness on homeless issues and represents who becomes homeless.

Tammy Grubbs now resides in Pipestone, Minnesota.   She continues to volunteer doing portraits for NCH.  Two of her paintings have been turned into posters that are available for purchase on NCH’s website.

Locked Out, Pat Apt—a 14 piece exhibit—linoleum prints (black ink on brown wrapping paper).  This exhibit seeks to explore how in a society as wealthy as ours, that allows persistent hunger and homelessness to exist.

NCH Summer Interns – 2011

Written by NCH Staff on . Posted in Advocacy, Awareness

We’re really sad to see you all go!  NCH has been lucky enough to welcome the following interns to our offices.  This group has shown an incredible level of dedication and skill in helping us to get some great work done this summer.  Thank you for all your hard work, and best of luck in your future endeavors (maybe there is another Secretary of HUD among you?!)!

Laura Epstein

Laura is a sophomore at Claremont McKenna College outside of Los Angeles, where she is studying government and religious studies. At school, Laura is very involved with Hillel and the College Democrats. She first got involved in NCH through attending Speakers’ Bureau presentations, and she is thrilled to become more involved with causes related to homelessness through her internship at NCH this summer. Outside of the office, she enjoys exploring D.C. and teaching violin lessons. She has been working on writing up hate crimes and publicizing National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week.

Daniel Honeycutt

Daniel is a sophomore at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, where he is majoring in Political Science and Music. He plays trumpet and sings in many music ensembles at Allegheny, including jazz band and choir. Daniel hopes to attend law school or graduate school for Political Science following graduation. He recently moved to Maryland from much colder Maine, where he was once an intern for Senator Olympia Snowe. His previous political experience motivated him to seek out a great nonprofit to intern with for the summer, and NCH was a perfect fit. Dan is currently tracking voter ID laws for the 2011/2012 Voting Packet and updating the 2010/2011 Criminalization of Homelessness Report.

Elizabeth Ballinger-Dix

From Seattle, Elizabeth is a junior at Amherst College in Massachusetts, majoring in English. After graduation, she is considering work in international development or conflict resolution. While searching for a way to work on poverty this summer, she learned about NCH through her college’s Center for Community Engagement. After work she likes cooking, reading, wandering around, and talking to anyone who will give her five minutes. Her main focus this summer is updating the website.

Brooke Templin

Brooke is a rising junior at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, majoring in English. She is also pursuing a minor in Biology. Her time at the National Coalition for the Homeless is a part of her commitment and participation in the Bonner Foundation Program, a community service based scholarship program. Brooke first became interested in issues of homelessness when the Speaker’s Bureau came and spoke at Allegheny. Since then, she worked with the Bonner Foundation at a local family services agency in Meadville that provided rental assistance. She is excited to be in Washington, DC learning about the issues and being a part of the advocacy community for people experiencing homelessness. Currently she is working on updating factsheets and the website layout. In her free time, she loves reading and exploring the many sights of DC.

Erin Linnehan

Erin is a rising senior at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. She is a Political Science and Religious Studies double major with a concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies. At school, she is a Varsity athlete on the Women’s Track and Field team at Holy Cross, directs the campus community service organization, and sings in her college a Capella group. Erin enjoys the company of family and friends and loves to spend time playing pick up sports. This summer, she has primarily been updating the Foreclosure to Homelessness 2009 report which the organization hopes to release by next year.

Marianne DeAngelo

Marianne DeAngelo is a junior at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN majoring in Sociology and minoring in Communications and Studio Art. She became interested in NCH after researching hate crimes against people experiencing homelessness for two classroom speeches. At Vanderbilt, she has participated in Habitat for Humanity Spring Break, is a captain of the Club Lacrosse team, and is the Recruitment Chairwoman of her sorority. After college she hopes to find a career that relates to her interest in criminology. This summer she has been using her communications experience to improve our “Faces of Homelessness” Speakers’ Bureau.

Shane Poole

Shane graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.S. in political science and psychology.  In the fall he will be entering his second year of law school at Howard University.  Shane plans on devoting his legal career to social change as an advocate for the poor.  He believes that racial unity and education are the keys for progress, and that everyone in America could be given an equal opportunity to make something out of life.  Greatly inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr., Shane understands that peace, compassion, and love must be spread to all.

The 10 Most Ridiculous Anti-Homeless Laws

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

The National Coalition for the Homeless would like to offer a preview of our upcoming report on the criminalization of homelessness by choosing the top ten most ridiculous anti-homeless policies enacted in cities across America. Our criminalization report will offer narratives for many more cities and occurrences than the ones listed here, as well as rank the nation’s ten “meanest” cities. This post counts down our choices for the ten most ridiculous anti-homeless laws/actions.

These five anti-homeless policies are only the tip of the iceberg. Check back in with the Bringing America Home Blog next week for five even more ridiculous laws and actions that not only ignore human rights, but constitutional ones as well.

10 Most Ridiculous Anti-Homeless Laws
~From 2010 through June 2011~

10.  “Homeless Meters” – Multiple Cities

San Antonio TX, Virginia Beach VA, Anchorage AK, and many more cities across America are installing converted parking meters to collect donations for homeless service organizations. These meters are being marketed as a possible solution to panhandling by encouraging do-gooders to give their spare change to established groups instead of directly to the homeless to avoid the possibility of their money being spent on drugs and alcohol.

Donating to vetted homeless service organizations is a positive thing, so we at NCH want the placing of “homeless meter” programs on this list to not necessarily mean that we are against the use of parking meters to collect donations. But we also urge the public to be aware of the negative effects of these efforts.

Personal interaction, which these meters may eliminate, can be just as important to a person experiencing homelessness as an actual monetary donation. A short talk can go lengths and bounds to renewing a feeling of inclusion in society, a feeling that is all too often lost among the sometimes invisible homeless. Donations to service organizations are always encouraged, but we should never let these meters discourage acknowledging that those who ask for money are fellow human beings. Just as ignoring the issue of homelessness will not help end it, ignoring the people directly affected by homelessness will not help them help themselves.

9.  RV Sleeping Ban – Venice, California

In 2010, Venice CA began strict enforcement of an ordinance banning sleeping in RV’s. This action is reportedly due to resident claims of annoyance from noise and inconvenience from the bulky vehicles. But many homeless live in RV’s, and they need to be close to the city so they can access services. Not allowing them to park and sleep in the city makes getting help all the more difficult. The ordinance was enacted due to reports of some RV owners dumping their sewage in public, but this ban punishes Venice’s homeless who have to choose between living either in their RV or on the streets. This homeless population is assuredly much larger than a couple of bad apples who do not care where their waste ends up.

8.  Smoking Ban – Sarasota, Florida

A ban on smoking in some public areas in Sarasota FL may sound fine at first: after all, New York City recently banned smoking in public parks. But the real issue here lies within the City Commission’s intentions, not the validity of the effects of second-hand smoke or cigarette butt pollution. The ban was originally proposed in conjunction with park bench removal at Selby Five Points Park (#6) to discourage the homeless from using the public area. The ban was later expanded to all public parks out of fairness, but this ordinance still remains far from fair: a city-owned golf course was given an exemption because, according to City Manager Bob Bartolotta, “so many of the golfers are smokers.” What is so special about golfers that they should not be required to follow the laws that are in place across the rest of Sarasota’s public parks?

7.  Water Sprinklers – Manteca, California

“Creative” is one way to think of this method of keeping the homeless from sleeping in public parks in Manteca, CA. “Cruel and unusual” is another. In order to discourage the homeless from camping in Library Park, the city purposely changed the water sprinkler schedule so that people could not sleep in the park without an unwanted shower. The policy also includes shutting off power in the park’s gazebo to keep the homeless from using it to charge their cell phones.

6.  Bench Removal – Sarasota, Florida

In response to complaints about gatherings of “vagrants” in public parks from downtown Sarasota FL condo residents, the city decided to remove the presumed host of these gatherings: benches. Sarasota went forward with its plan to remove the benches in Selby Five Points Park in May 2011 in order to please those who pay “the highest property tax value in the county” by discouraging the homeless (and apparently everyone else) from using the park. Combined with a panhandling ban around parking meters and a smoking ban in certain public spaces, which the City Commission originally proposed to further discourage the homeless from using parks (#8), it is all too clear that the Sarasota Commissioners are willing to go to ridiculous lengths to keep their poorest citizens out of the sight of their wealthiest.

For more information on the criminalization of homelessness, you can visit our 2009 Homes Not Handcuffs Report and our 2010 report on Food Sharing Prohibitions.  Be sure to check back next week for the top 5 Most Ridiculous Anti-Homeless Laws!

By Daniel Honeycutt, NCH Intern


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