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Message to the Presidential Candidates

Written by Annie Leomporra on . Posted in Advocacy, Awareness, Civil Rights, Community Organizing, Criminalization, Education, Food Sharing, Outreach, Policy Advocacy, Prevention, Public Education, Tent Cities, Violence Against the Homeless

An open letter to the candidates running for the office of the President of the United States:

We invite you to take this opportunity to reach nearly 15% of the voting public. On Wednesday, February 17th from 7:00 pm eastern time through 9:00 am on Thursday, February 18th, we hope that you will participate in the 18th annual Homeless Marathon (news.homelessnessmarathon.org/).

There are anywhere between 500,000 and 3.5 million people who will experience homelessness in the United States this year. Not to mention the almost 50 million Americans who are struggling to make ends meet, and countless more who are just one paycheck away from losing their homes!

The Homeless Marathon gives you a chance to reach thousands of these homeless and low-income voters who are looking for solutions at the Federal level. The Marathon will be broadcast on almost 100 radio stations in 40 states, online and abroad.

You are also welcome to join a rally in Lafayette Park, in front of you potential future home, the White House, on Thursday, February 18th at 8am. The producers of the Homeless Marathon will be holding a straw poll throughout the broadcast, and will be announcing the (unofficial) president that homeless and low-income voters across the country have chosen.

The Homeless Marathon is America’s only national broadcast focusing on homelessness and poverty. Please take the time to participate in this once in a life time opportunity to share your policy objects with the nation on homelessness and poverty. Your message will be shared all around the country to the most vulnerable population, people experiencing homelessness. As you know, every vote counts and your message and policies can save thousands possibly millions of lives.

For more information please visit: news.homelessnessmarathon.org or www.nationalhomeless.org.
Thank you for your attention to the needs of all Americans!

Sincerely,

The National Coalition for the Homeless

 

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

MLKonPovertyNCH

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!

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