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Posts Tagged ‘Advocacy’

Why Membership Matters to Steve Thomas:

Written by NCH Staff on . Posted in Advocacy, Speakers' Bureau

Steve Thomas is a member of NCH’s Faces of Homelessness Speakers Bureau and an active advocate for the rights of homeless citizens. Read his story and hear why Membership Matters to him:

“I first became involved with NCH almost five years ago. After being addicted to drugs and alcohol for forty years and having had that lead to my living on the streets of DC, homeless, for almost two years, an outreach worker found me and got me into treatment. While undergoing treatment, I was introduced to a speaker from NCH that introduced me to the organization. Immediately I realized that NCH respected me as a human being. That my past addiction issues and homelessness didn’t matter in my assessment as a person. I learned that we all had a story, and that the telling of that story of my addiction leading to homelessness could be used to educate the public. To put a face to homelessness was an essential tool in the war to end homelessness. What I didn’t know or expect was the boost to my self-esteem (which had been very low my entire life) and the first time feeling of self-worth.

NCH ignited and fueled my passion for homeless advocacy. NCH taught me to be self respectful and to expect that of others. The last five years of being a member of NCH and being a speaker with the NCH “Faces of Homelessness” Speakers Bureau has made me a better person, a more concerned person, a more informed person and a more caring person. All this has allowed me to be a forceful advocate for the homeless, THE FORGOTTEN CITIZENS.”

Find your voice and support men and women like Steve by joining NCH and make your Membership Matter!

Why Membership Matters to Jeremy Haile:

Written by NCH Staff on . Posted in Advocacy

For the Membership Matters campaign, we have asked our current members why they support NCH.  In today’s installment, current Board Member Jeremy Haile shares his 15 year history with NCH, and talks about why he continues to support NCH:

“Some fifteen years ago, Michael Stoops came to Midland,Texas, and it changed my life. Midland is a town known more for its oil bust than for its political activism.  But that’s where I first heard Michael speak about the acute problem of homelessness, its causes, and what could be done to address it.  Michael was like a prophetic voice in the wilderness.  His intelligence and passion awakened in me a desire to join the fight for justice for marginalized people.

I doubt this story is unusual.  For decades, the National Coalition for the Homeless has been bringing attention to one of our nation’s greatest injustices — that too many people do not have a home.  Thanks to NCH, thousands of people, young and old, have been awakened to this challenge.  Many have made addressing homelessness their life’s work.  When NCH was established, federal funding for emergency shelters and affordable housing barely existed.  Now, thanks largely to NCH, such funds provide homes and services to people and families who need them.

Though much work remains to be done, the National Coalition for the Homeless is committed to protecting those who don’t have a home and fighting until all of us do.  NCH is truly the voice of and for the homeless.  That’s why I am honored to support them.”

Why Membership Matters to Fred Karnas:

Written by NCH Staff on . Posted in Advocacy, Awareness

Fred Karnas has been involved at NCH for decades. His long term commitment to ending and preventing homelessness is inspirational and we at NCH are grateful to have members as supportive and enthusiastic as Fred. Below he explains why Membership Matters to him:

How did you first become involved with the National Coalition for the Homeless? In what ways do you continue to be involved with the Coalition?

In the mid 1980s, in Arizona, I worked closely with Louisa Stark, NCH’s first Board President.  She shared many of NCH’s early reports and activities.  In 1989, I participated in the Housing NOW! March in DC, which NCH co-sponsored, and I had the opportunity to meet many NCH Board members and staff.  Then in 1991, I became NCH’s Executive Director, having the privilege of serving for nearly 5 years in a leadership role with some of the most courageous and committed social justice advocates in the nation.

Why do you believe that your Membership Matters at NCH?

Sadly, even after nearly three decades of work by many, the abomination of homelessness remains with us.  Membership in NCH is critical because in the cacophony of voices on how best to end homelessness, the voices of those most affected are often drowned out.  Supporting NCH provides people who are, or have, experiencing homeless, a critically important platform to be heard. 

How do you interact with NCH? In what ways have you benefited from being a member?

I could list many many ways that I have benefited from NCH’s work, from the excellent reports on homelessness-related topics that others often ignore to an increased understanding of the importance of addressing crimes against homeless persons.  But, for me personally, the greatest benefit has been the connection to advocates across the country who are doing heroic work day in and day out to end homelessness.  I have learned so much from other NCH members over the years that has informed my work and motivated me to continue to walk the walk.

Thank you Fred for being such an integral part of NCH!!  To join NCH and help us prevent and end homelessness click here and find out why Membership Matters!

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