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Faces of Homelessness Speakers' Bureau


The poor too seldom are allowed to speak for themselves in our society; yet they are frequently their own best advocates.  This is why the Faces of Homelessness Speakers Bureau serves such a valuable role.  – Jonathan Kozol, June 10, 2000

The Speaker’s Bureau gives a voice to the unheard – Erika Lindgren, March 19, 2007

I made a sort of pledge in my mind after hearing these people speak: I’m never, ever going to walk straight past a homeless person if possible.  I’m going to stop and just talk, maybe see if I can offer them something of mine that I can afford, stuff like that.  I’m never going to be another self-centered person who looks straight through these people.  That was my pledge, and it was pretty much a summation of what I learned from these guys – Personal response from a 7th grade student at Lancaster Country Day School, May 3, 2006

Your presentation has influenced our time in Washington in such a positive way, and I firmly believe that we will all become better public servants as a result – Quinnipiac University’s Washington Center Group, January 2007

Your group reminded us that we are part of the battle undertaken by many others:  Our collective purpose was held before us as the mighty, righteous, challenge it is, and we felt the warm, radiant light of a future without homelessness – Deanna Ferber, Aebron House of Hospitality, May 31, 1995

I will never be the same; I want to have a job where I can help people every day – Jefferson School student, NYLC workshop, Summer 2004

This was really one of the most impacting seminars I have ever been to – Adams School student, NYLC workshop, Summer 2004

Because of the policy session it seems most of the students were inspired to lobby for homelessness issues when they met with their congressman later in the seminar.  Most of the students noted the Faces of Homelessness program was their favorite of the seminar – Julie Lowe, Panim group, December 23, 2005

We [Eastern Mennonite University] struggle to achieve our goal of educating students to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God” in a world that seems to increasingly prioritize power over justice and greed over mercy.  Your organization is a keen reminder to us of our mission and I know that we can learn from your example – Mark Metzler Sawin, Eastern Mennonite University, September 24, 2004

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go…Some may stay awhile, leave footprints on our hearts and we are never the same.”  Thank you for leaving your footprints – Sister Alberta Surowiec, fssj, St. Thomas Aquinas, February 2, 2005

Your organization is clearly a gift to the community – Elana Berenson, Panim, July 17, 2006

Thank you for adding to our awareness and opening our minds to a world outside what we have known – Student group from Ellensburg, Washington, July 1, 2003

Your speakers are living proof that NCH’s mission to amplify the voices of the homeless in halls of power is long overdue.  I was encouraged to think that these folks are there, to inspire and to “afflict the comfortable” – Dr. Sandra Hayslette, Washington and Lee University, January 22, 2007

Your stories touched all of us and inspired us to go out in the field and work hard for change – 10th Class Emerson National Hunger Fellows

Without a doubt, the Faces of Homelessness Panel has raised the consciousness of an entire generation of Georgetown students – Cristina Aquino, Georgetown Special Programs Coordinator, January 21, 2000

Only when all people begin to see those experiencing homelessness as real people with real stories will we be able to make a change in our world.  That is why I believe that the NCH Speakers Bureau is an invaluable asset to the work NCH does – Rebecca Hewit, Elon University

The speakers were very compelling and they stole our heats too – Nancy Hennessey, Hood College, April 15, 2002

Thank you once again for taking the time to talk with us.  I will not forget you throughout my entire life – Jennifer Huang, Wayland Middle School, June 13, 2001

I learned more with you in three hours than I have learned anywhere – David Lombardo, Wayland Middle School, May 14, 1999

I had no idea that the National Coalition for the Homeless would be one of the most moving places we would visit – Doug Anderson, Wayland Middle School, May 15, 1999

I think it is very important that the speakers bureau continues to travel the country.  This brings awareness to those that may not have had the chance.  It breaks down barriers, and both the speakers were amazing – Amy Buckley, April 13, 2007

The talk my group had with you was one of the most exciting, interesting and real experience I’ve had all year…Another thing that made my visit with you seem to unique is how you brought out the best qualities of my friends and classmates.  You brought out feelings from them I don’t get to see too often.  I won’t forget our talk – Robbie Sasso, Wayland Middle School

Learning about homelessness isn’t too hard.  You can find it in a book or in a dictionary.  You can even experience homelessness by helping in a shelter.  However, with these things, there is only so much you can learn.  Books can’t tell you how it feels to be homeless.  They can’t tell you about what it is like to search for food.  Books also can’t prove that homeless people are just people.  Although helping out at a shelter is good, there is usually a wall between the servers and those being served.  Listening to each of you was a totally different experience from anything I have ever had before.  That is why meeting you was such an important part of my trip to Washington, D.C. – Vimal Vora, Washington Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values

After seeing a panel, the passion to fight and end the plague of homelessness in this country inspired me to gain an internship for Break Away last summer and ultimately to work as a faculty advisor for the NYLC.  I am currently pursuing a career in advocacy for urban renewal.  Through your organization, I was able to learn and appreciate the stories I thought I didn’t want to hear – Kelly McSween

The visit by the speakers bureau never fails to have a strong impact on the students.  By introducing the students to individual homeless people, the panel humanizes the situations of homelessness and wipes the slate clean so that students can begin to form their own opinions about homelessness and poverty.  I believe the impact that the panel has is deep and long lasting – Corey Washington, University of Maryland, 2000

The information, thoughts, and feelings gained from the seminar experience made a powerful impact on the participants.  They have been affirmed and grown in their skills as leaders for justice – Shenandoah M. Gale, United Methodist Seminar Program, April 2, 2000

In the long term, the lasting impact of direct conversation with homeless speakers is a reduction in fear of “the other” and an increased desire to work alongside persons who are homeless…Seeds begin to take roots and grow as a result – Reverend Neal Christie, United Methodist Seminars, January 7, 2000


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National Coalition for the Homeless
2201 P Street NW
Washington, DC 20037-1033

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