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Posts Tagged ‘Membership’

Why Membership Matters to Katherine:

Written by NCH Staff on . Posted in Advocacy

NCH aims to create a national network of dedicated homeless advocates; read how intern Katherine is working to expand that network and why your Membership Matters to her work:

I am an Advocacy Fellow from the Bonner Foundation at the National Coalition for the Homeless. I am currently working on a project to create a program called Homeless People Action Network (HPAN). This is an initial organizing effort to connect existing local homeless-led advocacy groups and to create new local advocacy groups in different states and cities around the country. In other words, NCH wants to help people experiencing homelessness around the country to organize and congregate. We want to see less duplication of homeless advocacy groups and more collaboration among existing groups.

Ideally, these advocacy groups would be comprised of currently or formerly homeless people so that they could have the most authentic, direct voice for their concerns. Once these advocacy groups have been formed, the purpose of HPAN is to connect all of these advocacy groups into a central, independent, collaborative, national network that can act as a community and a guide for those seeking help and services. NCH would initially provide leadership training and support for HPAN groups. Once HPAN is formed and functioning independently, NCH would remain as an affiliate and resource center.

HPAN is a call for the homeless to be their own advocates. Membership in NCH would be greatly beneficial to the HPAN movement because it would increase public awareness and provide the funds for a greater range for outreach across the country. Membership in NCH not only extends to donors, but to people experiencing homelessness, for free. NCH can refer homeless members to their local HPAN groups to receive the support they need.

I am so lucky to be a summer intern. I feel as if I was waiting to do this kind of work for a long time. I am learning so much, since it is my first real job outside of my involvement in direct community service. Working here gives young adult students the chance to increase their awareness on social issues and policy, and to build upon skills such as research, event planning, and public relations.

Why Membership Matters to Bobbie Ibarra and the Miami Coalition for the Homeless:

Written by NCH Staff on . Posted in Advocacy

Bobbie Ibarra is the Executive Director at the Miami Coalition for the Homeless. Below she answers our questions on why she supports NCH and how she makes her Membership Matter everyday. 

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?

Our organization has been involved with the Coalition for several years. In fact, our former Executive Director served on the Board of Directors. We are involved because we believe in the Coalition’s mission. It is important to our advocacy to stay aware of, and in partnership with, like-minded organizations.  We also appreciate having the great access to the AmeriCorps VISTA program as it has enabled us to accomplish more advocacy with less expense.

Why do you believe that your Membership Matters at NCH?

As stated above, like minded organizations build stronger advocacy platforms. I will say that there is a fine balance between membership fees and one’s perceived value from an organization, so I very much appreciate the Coalition reaching out to get a pulse on its members.

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

I mostly interact with Michael Stoops, which has been phenomenal! Also Judy Bodnar (VISTA Leader located in Orlando) has been a tremendous help to us in the VISTA arena. Both she and Michael have mentored me, educated me and supported me and our Coalition in many ways. Whenever we need to connect with other resources across the nation on advocacy issues Michael has always been able to connect us and Judy has guided us in our VAD (VISTA job description) development, among many other aspects of the VISTA program.

Organizations, such as the Miami Coalition for the Homeless, support the movement to prevent and end homelessness by being a member of NCH, but they also benefit from their membership. To become an individual or organizational member click here!

Why Membership Matters to Allison:

Written by NCH Staff on . Posted in Advocacy, Civil Rights, Hate Crimes

Read why Membership Matters to law student, Alison Dinmore, and how she is working to support the National Coalition for the Homeless:

“Membership with the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) not only exposes members to issues affecting the homeless, but provides them with resources for how to affect change.  This summer, I am working on a handbook to assist communities and advocates combat acts of criminalization against the homeless.  The handbook is designed provide tools to educate, assess, and challenge unconstitutional laws in different communities across the United States.  The handbook will also provide resources and strategies for how to deal with the immediate effects of criminalization efforts for unhoused individuals who are negatively affected by these laws.

In addition, I will be analyzing policy regarding hate crimes and voting rights for the homeless. Understanding policy efforts at varying levels across the country can provide insight on successful, as well as unsuccessful attempts to firmly recognize and ensure basic human rights for the unhoused.  Understanding can lead us to create arguments, solutions, and ultimately laws that protect our most vulnerable citizens.

Membership not only means access to information that is invaluable for educational purposes and policy change, it also means being apart of a movement of dedicated advocates and giving a voice to homeless individuals.  Together, armed with common sense solutions and compelling arguments, we can affect broader reaching change that deals with the immediate affects of and ultimately putting an end to, homelessness.”

To become a member of NCH click here!

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