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Posts Tagged ‘Interns’

Meet NCH’s Fall Interns

Written by NCH Staff on . Posted in Uncategorized

AdamAdam Goldstein
American University
Majoring in Political Science with History Minor
Class of 2017

I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and grew up in the suburbs. Living in the suburbs puts people in a bubble. They are not exposed to daily reminders of the homeless problem in the United States. I was one of those people.

Growing up in such an insulated community prevented me from seeing anything beyond the average panhandler when I dared venture into the city to go to a restaurant or sporting event. This vague view of the homeless community was shattered once I began to become more cognizant of politics and the wider social issues plaguing many Americans today. After taking a sociology class in the spring of 2014 I knew I wanted to work on this issue. Understanding the structural problems behind homelessness is the first step towards solving them. When a panhandler in the city asked for change, I wanted to know why they asked for money.

At the National Coalition for the Homeless I help to add homelessness to the list of protected characteristics in the District of Columbia’s Human Rights Act. Preventing discrimination is an important step towards busting the cyclical nature of homelessness. My goal in the future is to continue to help those at the bottom of the economic and social totem pole reach success, and what better place to start than at NCH, right in the nation’s capital?

 

Annie LeomporraAnnie
Northeastern University
Masters in Urban and Regional Policy with emphasis on Homelessness
Class of 2015

I grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and I finished my undergraduate degree at the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul Minnesota with a degree in Justice and Peace Studies.

My internship with the National Coalition for the Homeless has given me incredible experience in lobbying, writing reports and researching civil rights issues surrounding homelessness. I am currently working with Michael Stoops and the People for Fairness Coalition on trying to add homelessness to the District of Columbia’s Human Rights Act. This legislation would make DC the first city in the country to declare people experiencing homelessness as a protected class. I have also had the honor of assisting with the now published 2014 food-sharing report, Share No More: The Criminalization of Efforts to Feed People In Need.

Anyone who is interested in homelessness issues should consider interning at the National Coalition for the Homeless. You’ll gain incredible experience working for a national nonprofit with an unbelievable staff and you’ll make great contacts in the District of Columbia.

 

JarredJarred Myers
Indiana University, School of Public and Environmental Affairs
Majoring in Law & Public Policy
Class of 2016

I have been enjoying my time with the National Coalition for the Homeless, where I serve as the intern for the National Campaign for Youth Shelter. The amount of hard work and dedication that goes into this great organization continues to teach me great values in working to assist individuals who are currently facing homelessness. As someone who comes from a family of public servants, I have always had an understanding that there will be individuals who have gone through and who are currently going through rough times. However, since I have started my time here at the National Coalition for the Homeless, I have started to catch glimpses at what it takes to live a life serving others. Although I have volunteered at many organizations working to provide assistance for homeless individuals and their families, I would not have imagined being able to view what homelessness was like on a national scale. The National Campaign for Youth Shelter has taught me that there is much more to be done in the prevention and the eradication of homelessness. There needs to be better research and a better understanding of the lives of individuals who are struggling to do what is necessary for them to live a life much more desirable than the one on the street.

 

Auburn TrotterAuburn
University of Central Arkansas
Majoring in Public Administration
Class of 2016

I was granted the opportunity to intern with the National Coalition for the Homeless as a member of the Washington Center Program here in DC. Whilewith NCH, I will be serving as a policy intern for the affordable housing and rental assistance campaign. After graduation,I aspire to work for a non-profit organization that serves both domestic and international citizens, emphasizing on community development. Whether that’s educationally, economically or with programs thataid in reducing homelessness.

When I found out that I was going to be living in DC for three months, I was extremely excited. I came to the city looking to explore and learn about all the beautyit has to offer. Working for NCH has immersed me into the DC culture and I am loving it!I’m very excited to see what I will learn within the coming months of working at NCH. The rental assistance and voucher campaign has become like my baby and I plan to help this campaign succeed!

 

DeirdreDeirdre Walsh
Catholic University of America
Majoring in History with Peace & Justice Studies Minor
Class of 2015

Growing up outside of Boston, Massachusetts I participated and led various community service projects and organizations. I knew that I wanted to continue volunteering in college, but I did not know that it would become such a big part of my life. Upon starting as a student at The Catholic University of America, I began working with weekly service opportunities such as delivering meals to homeless men and women throughout Washington, D.C. I connected with the people I served and learned more about the obstacles they experienced living on the streets and in poverty. I wanted to do more for them. Their stories and hardships gave me a drive to not only work to make sure their daily needs were met, but also advocate for change to help them out of poverty and end the discrimination they experienced.

As an intern with the National Coalition for the Homeless, I have the opportunity to engage with passionate leaders and community advocates who have made ending poverty their goal. The experience to understand grassroots organizing and witness change as it happens is invaluable and will provide me with the tools to pursue advocacy as a career after I graduate. Although NCH is a national organization, it still maintains its personal connection with the people and cause it advocates for. My time here has taught me to always remember who you are working for and to know that when you advocate for change, you advocate for a person.

Solidarity and the Homeless Challenge Experience

Written by NCH Staff on . Posted in Awareness

Solidarity and the Homeless Challenge – by Matt Gatti, NCH Intern

From May 28-30, I completed the National Coalition for the Homeless’ Homeless Challenge, spending forty-eight hours on the streets of Washington D.C. with nothing but the clothes on my back and a black trash bag containing an old sleeping bag. Knowing that I would be working for NCH this summer as an intern, I decided to make the challenge a prerequisite to my two months with the organization.

So, I spent two days on the street. I panhandled, dumpster dove, ate at shelters, walked through the pouring rain, hung out at libraries and museums, got kicked off street corners for panhandling or simply loitering, and slept on the pavement with the rats. Those forty-eight hours had their ups and downs. On one hand, panhandling was embarrassing and shameful. Sleeping outside on the street was miserable, and I began to smell my own body odor after only a day. On the other hand, I was on the receiving end of incredible acts of generosity and got to meet some great people. One particular morning, a woman purchased me and my friend breakfast as we posed as a couple. Another time, a shelter staff spent at least twenty minutes trying to find an extra blanket for my friend whose covers had not been sufficient the previous night.

Now, I refuse to try to convince anyone that I completely understand homelessness after just forty-eight hours of immersion. I knew going in that after two days I would head home to my friends and family. With this in mind, I was only ever on the lookout for my closest, most immediate needs. I never had to figure out a way to get off the street because I already knew how I would do so. I do not truly understand what it means to be homeless, without any kind of safety net, and I probably never will.

Despite this, I found great value and education in this experience. Growing up in the D.C. area, my contact with those experiencing homelessness never expanded far beyond serving meals on McKenna’s Wagon or slipping a dollar to a panhandler on my walk to the Metro. These experiences are a part of only one lens from which one can view this issue. There is a large difference between serving a meal at a shelter and eating a meal at a shelter, and that is what I would like to suggest. In the shelter setting, we too often allow barriers to disconnect us from one another. We become service providers and service recipients, and this alienation hinders our ability to live with and interact with each other. We forget the only real difference that separates us is housing status. The Homeless Challenge allowed me to experience a small dose of solidarity with the almost seven thousand people who live without a home in our nation’s capital.

Delaware Introduces a Homeless Bill of Rights

Written by NCH Staff on . Posted in Advocacy, Civil Rights, Policy Advocacy, Public Education

Delaware Introduces a Homeless Bill of Rights – by Kristin Howard, NCH Intern

Delaware, nicknamed the First State, may soon be the fourth state to pass a Homeless Bill of Rights. Introduced in the House on June 3, 2014 by primary sponsor Representative Stephanie Bolden, the Bill’s chief objective is to ensure that people experiencing homelessness receive the same rights and privileges as everyone else. They should not be on the receiving end of discriminatory, disparate treatment simply because they are without a home. While equality is the overall goal, the Bill is comprehensive; it enumerates certain rights that the homeless should never be denied.

These enumerated rights address temporary shelters, public spaces, and other fundamental rights that the rest of the population is regularly afforded. Under this Bill, the homeless will have the ability to move freely in public spaces without harassment and will have protection against discrimination based on current housing status when either dealing with government officials and agencies, such as police officials, or when seeking employment and permanent housing. Furthermore, when accessing temporary shelter, discrimination based on race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, national origin, or housing status will be prohibited. And while residing in these temporary shelters, individuals are further entitled to a reasonable right to privacy with regards to their personal possessions, along with protection from unlawful disclosure of records and private information. Additionally, the fundamental right to vote cannot be denied to the homeless population for lack of permanent address; a park or temporary shelter may be utilized for registration purposes. Lastly, emergency medical care must be provided and cannot be withheld due to housing status.

Delaware’s Homeless Bill of Rights, which is currently pending in the Housing and Community Affairs Committee, amends Title 6 by adding Chapter 78. It will provide the basic legal and civil protections that never should have been denied in the first place.

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