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Posts Tagged ‘Civil Rights’

You Don’t Need a Home to Vote: Following up on the homeless vote in 2020

Written by admin on . Posted in Blog

Thank you to all people who have experienced homelessness who took the time to make their vote count in the 2020 elections! Thank you also to the advocates who worked to ensure that voting was accessible to those experiencing housing instability. As our community relies on government-funded programs and services to provide critical needs, it is critical that we all make our voices heard, not just in elections, but in keeping our elected officials accountable to those most in need after being elected!

If you have a few minutes, please share with us what your experience was like voting this year, or in assisting others to register and cast their vote:

Your vote matters

Written by admin on . Posted in Blog, News

We are now only a matter of days away from the November 3rd general election. While registration deadlines have passed in many states, there are still places where you can register in person, and possibly even cast a provisional ballot on election day. There is lots coming out in the news about polling locations, voter suppression tactics, and last minute candidate education efforts. We wanted to be sure that people with unstable housing, and their advocates, have the latest information to ensure that all residents of the country can exercise their right to vote!

We are thrilled to share these state-by-state voting Know-Your-Rights cards that include information directed specifically towards voters who may not have a permanent address. 

While registration deadlines have passed in most states, you still have time to register, in person, in CO, DC, HI, ID, ME, MD, MI, MN, MT, NH, NM, NC, ND, UT, VT, WA, WI, WY; many of which allow same day registration on election day or during early voting periods. Click here to find the latest ID and address guidelines for registering to vote and casting a ballot in your state. You can also find more about mail-in ballot options here

There are reports from communities across the country that voters are being given misinformation in order to suppress or discount their votes. Our Know-Your-Rights cards list state and local election websites. If you are ever in doubt, or have questions about voting, your local government-run elections board or office can always help you out. We also encourage you to contact 1-866-OUR-VOTE, especially if you feel you are being wrongly turned away from voting at the polls. This a well respected and accessible hotline, staffed by lawyers who can directly assist you with casting your ballot. 

Read more about how communities are ensuring those with unstable housing are voting this year below, and Get Out the UnHoused Vote!

Articles:
How Do You Vote In Kansas City When You Don’t Have An Address?
Voting is a challenge for the homeless. Advocates are trying to make it easier.
Community leaders help people experiencing homelessness vote
Voting Is a Right. But for People Experiencing Homelessness, It’s Especially Difficult.

A step forward, a step backward

Written by admin on . Posted in Blog

The National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) celebrates the Supreme Court decision earlier this week that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian, and transgender employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.  Young people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or gender nonconforming, are 120% times more likely to experience homelessness than their cisgender and straight peers. This disparity is caused by mistreatment by family as well as institutions, and discrimination not just in employment, but also in access to housing, health care and education. 

“[This] ruling by the Supreme Court is a monumental victory for LGBTQ people across the United States. Discrimination in employment is a critical barrier to safe and secure housing for LGBTQ youth and adults,” says Gregory Lewis, CEO and Executive Director of True Colors United. “Discrimination against someone based on sexual orientation or gender identity is sex discrimination. This ruling makes clear that efforts underway at the Department of Housing and Urban Development to undercut protections for transgender people experiencing homelessness should not be allowed to continue under the law.”

NCH has long supported inclusive access for LGBTQ people to shelter and other emergency services. In 2003, along with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, we authored a guide for how shelters can make their agencies safe for people who identify as transgender. A ground-breaking survey of transgender Americans in 2015 found strong economic disparities for transgender people. Nearly one in three, (29%) of respondents were living in poverty versus 14% of the general population, and 30% reported having experienced homelessness at some point in their lifetime. As recently as 2016, HUD itself published guidance for shelters requiring that transgender residents are accepted to single-sex shelters based on their gender identity, without regard for what may appear on someone’s state identification. 

But after insensitive and discriminatory comments about transgender people made by Secretary Ben Carson, HUD has shown intention to roll back the 2016 guidance for shelters. A proposed rule will likely be published in the coming weeks that would allow single-sex shelters to judge gender by biology, and not by someone’s self identity.  

According to the Transgender Law Center, “This situation is particularly dangerous for transgender women who are inappropriately placed in men’s shelters where they often subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment and abuse, including sexual assault. While some transgender people will run the high risk of facing harassment and violence in a shelter that doesn’t match their gender identity just so that they can be housed for the night, others in this situation will simply forgo shelter and sleep on street.”

NCH firmly rejects any attempt to deny safe access to shelter or other resources for transgender and gender nonconforming people, especially transgender people of color, who disproportionately experience housing instability, discrimination and violence.

For more visit:
Info on Black Trans Advocacy Organizations
Lambda Legal
True Colors Fund

 

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