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!