Homes Not Sweeps Actions Continue September 6 – 11, 2022
The National Coalition for the Homeless is declaring the first week of September a Homes Not Sweeps Week of Action. We will host demonstrators, protests, and marches across the nation to call attention to the unjust “sweeping” of homeless encampments.
“This is exactly the wrong approach and will only make the problems associated with homelessness dramatically worse,” said Donald Whitehead, the Executive Director of the National Coalition for the Homeless. “Attacking people who are homeless for personal gain is the most despicable thuggery I can imagine, and we shouldn’t let it happen without a fight.”
Actions are being held to ask federal and city officials to stop criminalizing homelessness. We are urging our communities to respond to the needs of our unhoused neighbors with trauma-informed service and care. The social service needs of the community need immediate attention, and the local leaders need to start addressing the affordable housing crisis in our cities. Ordinances that criminalize people for sleeping outdoors only exacerbate the issues that cause homelessness.
The National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH), an advocacy organization committed to ending homelessness, will host the Washington, DC, premiere of the documentary “No Address: Atlanta” by filmmaker Caletta Harris. Following the free film screening at American University will be a panel discussion featuring civil rights activists and homeless policy experts discussing the negative effects of sweeps on a community and the setbacks it causes in the life of those living on the streets.
NCH is partnering with local coalitions in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Austin, and Miami to warn the community that local governments are bullying, harassing and in some cases arresting taxpayers for the crime of being without housing. DC law enforcement are also harassing and regularly moving people around the city.
Our DC event will be on September 8 at 7 p.m. at the American University Woods Amphitheater at 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW. in DC. We have the Battelle Atrium if there is rain on September 8.
The participants in the panel discussion include:
- Filmmaker Caletta Harris, who also does a number of podcasts around poverty and homelessness.
- NCH executive director Donald Whitehead, who has 25 years working in homeless organizations and got off the streets of Cincinnati in the late 1990s
- Antonia Fasanelli, the executive director of the National Homelessness Law Center and a former activist in the Baltimore region will talk about their work stopping criminalization
- Professor Dan Kerr of American University and author of Derelict Paradise which details the history of homelessness in Cleveland will join the discussion
- Attorney and Georgetown Professor Joe Mead will talk about his history of work protecting the civil rights of those without housing in his career.
The event is free and will focus on the devastating impact criminalization has on the 66 cities currently endeavoring to “sweep” unhoused people out of sight.