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Posts Tagged ‘Poverty’

Let’s not return to business as usual

Written by admin on . Posted in Blog

The National Coalition for the Homeless applauds all the communities that are rushing to provide desperately needed housing for people who are unhoused, and especially vulnerable to contracting and succumbing to COVID-19. 

However, we are, quite frankly, disturbed that so many are still relying on congregate settings: big tents and open floor warehousing of people, in what is clearly a dire public health emergency for the entire country. In the hopes of relieving the strain on other overcrowded shelters, the San Diego government decided to open the convention center to the homeless population. They are expecting to house over 1,500 people during this crisis. San Francisco ignored early warnings from advocates and requests to place vulnerable folks in empty hotel rooms, and now residents and staff of shelters are falling ill. This is unacceptable. We are clearly failing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in both sheltered, and unsheltered, populations, and in direct opposition to clear guidelines given by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). 

Researchers who have long studied homelessness have projected that homeless individuals infected by COVID-19 would be twice as likely to be hospitalized, two to four times as likely to require critical care, and two to three times as likely to die than the general population. (Read the full report)

This crisis continues to highlight the structural inequities that have plagued us for decades, causing mass homelessness since the defunding of Federal affordable housing programs starting in the 1970’s. 

We call on Congress to respond swiftly with the following: 

  • 11.5 billion for ESG (15 bil based on this study, minus the $4bil in the CARES Act) 
  • 4 billion for fair elections (based on this information
  • Emergency rental assistance for all tenants, including rural renters
  • Extend moratoria on evictions to all renters, extend sunset date to 3 months after stay-at-home orders are lifted, and do not require all back rent paid when moratorium lifts 
  • Extend health care for uninsured/underinsured 
  • Extend funding for hotel/motel space for people who do not have a permanent home
  • Facilitate transfer of unused/vacant housing to families who are unhoused 
  • Increase food assistance through the SNAP program

Further, we call on HUD either to automatically renew all FY 19 funded COC projects, or greatly simplify the renewal process. Our service providers are using all their capacity to ensure their unhoused community members are safe, we don’t need a lengthy application process during this public health crisis!

But again, let’s be clear, homelessness has been a public health emergency for over 4 decades!!

We stand in solidarity with our neighbors who are calling to #CancelTheRent. They know so well that the over 22 million Americans who have filed for unemployment, plus the up to 140 million Americans who were already on the edge before the coronavirus appeared, are in danger of becoming homeless. 

We stand in solidarity with all those who have been left out of the Federal relief responses thus far, our poorest and most vulnerable neighbors. As Rev. Dr. William Barber puts it, “The virus is teaching us that from now on, living wages, guaranteed health care for all,unemployment and labor rights are not far left issues, but issues of right vs wrong, life vs death.”

We must work to correct the long-standing and systemic causes of housing, income, health and further racial inequities. When the emergency of Coronavirus infection has passed, we do not want to return to normal. We should all hope to see a new normal emerging where we and all of our neighbors have safe, affordable and accessible housing; adequate wages to cover our living expenses, adequate and affordable health care, and where our civil and human rights are equally defended and protected.

Standing in Solidarity with the Homeless and the Poor People’s Campaign

Written by admin on . Posted in Blog

Dear Friends,

Megan and Annie at May 14 Poor People's Campaign Rally by @Fightfor15

Megan and Annie at May 14 Poor People’s Campaign Rally by @Fightfor15

Today, Monday June 11, 2018, NCH Director Megan Hustings and Public Education Coordinator Steve Thomas will participate in nonviolent direct action with the Poor People’s Campaign. We plan to risk arrest in solidarity with the thousands of our homeless neighbors who are arrested and fined every day for carrying out life-sustaining activities in public spaces.

We can no longer accept the false narratives that allow for systemic racism to cause such deep inequality and economic injustice in our communities. Co-chairs Rev. Dr. William J. Barber and the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, of the Poor People’s Campaign tell us that to change the narrative, we must change the narrator. NCH has, since its inception, stood to raise the voices of, and take our direction from, the community of people who experience homelessness – those who are most affected by economic injustice.

We envision a world where everyone has a safe, decent, accessible and affordable home. NCH affirms that we can and must end and prevent homelessness. We believe in the dignity of all people; and in housing, healthy food, quality health care, education and livable incomes as basic human rights. We believe that it is morally, ethically, and legally wrong to discriminate against and criminalize people struggling to meet their basic needs. We affirm that public policy makers and elected officials at all levels must be held accountable to end the systemic and structural causes of homelessness, and that structural racism and discrimination are root causes of homelessness and violates human dignity.

This is the 5th week of 40 Days of nonviolent resistance through the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival, focusing on the theme that Everybody’s Got the Right To Live: Education, Living Wages, Jobs, Income, Housing. We call on you, our supporters and partners, to stand with us in challenging the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and the nation’s distorted morality.

Over the past two years, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has reached out to communities in more than 30 states across this nation. We have met with tens of thousands of people, witnessing the strength of their moral courage in trying times. We have gathered testimonies from hundreds of poor people and we have chronicled their demands for a better society. The following moral agenda is drawn from this deep engagement and commitment to these struggles of the poor and dispossessed. It is also grounded in an empirical assessment of how we have come to this point today. The Souls of Poor Folk: Auditing America report reveals how the evils of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, and the war economy and militarism are persistent, pervasive, and perpetuated by a distorted moral narrative that must be challenged.

We must stop the attention violence that refuses to see these injustices and acknowledge the human and economic costs of inequality. We believe that when decent people see the faces and facts that the Souls of Poor Folk Audit presents, they will be moved deeply in their conscience to change things. When confronted with the undeniable truth of unconscionable cruelty to our fellow human beings, we must join the ranks of those who are determined not to rest until justice and equality are a reality for all.”

Please visit https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org to read the full The Souls of Poor Folk report: Auditing America 50 Years After the Poor People’s Campaign Challenged Racism, Poverty, the War Economy/Militarism and Our National Morality, as well as the campaign’s principles, and demands.

Spring into Action

Written by admin on . Posted in Advocacy, Awareness, Community Organizing, Criminalization

We have seen so many movements and actions since the 2016 elections – which means our communities want social and economic justice! We recently recorded a video of solidarity with the March for Our Lives and #NeverAgain campaign for gun reform. We are also partnering with the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival on public actions working to fight the root causes of homelessness.

Here is what you can do this Spring:

Our Homes, Our Voices

We hope that you will join us in taking part in the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Our Homes Our Voices week of action, May 1-8, 2018. Learn more about the event, and how to get involved here.

Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

We also hope you will join us in joining the new Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. This is a ground up movement being led by faith leaders and people who are struggling with an economic and social system that only benefits the most wealthy among us. The campaign has just launched its list of demands, which outline
how the evils of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, and the war economy and militarism are persistent, pervasive, and perpetuated by a distorted moral narrative that must be challenged.
 The campaign states,
We must stop attention violence and see the human and economic costs of inequality. We believe that when decent people see the faces and facts that the Souls of Poor Folk Audit presents, they will be moved deeply in their conscience to change things. When confronted with the undeniable truth of unconscionable cruelty to our fellow human beings, we must join the ranks of those who are determined not to rest until justice and equality are a reality for all.
Mother’s Day, May 13th, will kick off 40 days of nonviolent action, and we encourage you and your network to join the campaign and take part in changing “not just the narrative, but who is narrating” our national political agenda.

Public Education

Finally, we know one of our biggest hurdles to housing all of our neighbors is public perception and prejudice against both people of color and poor people. To this end, we have created shareable documents that we encourage you to print and distribute: PUBLIC NOTICE for class action lawsuit - DHOL 2018
  1. A list of demands for the American Dispossessed: Created by Denver Homeless Out Loud in support of the Right to Rest and presented as a public notice, it is meant to be posted outdoors in places where our neighbors are forced to live in encampments or on public land. Click here to download

  2. State of Homelessness 2018: A brief (3 pages) overview of why we are seeing increased visible homelessness in our communities, covering everything from housing to HUD funding to criminalization. Click here to download

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