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Lobbying for the Homeless and Hungry How to Make a Difference in Your Community!

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Presentation on theme: "Lobbying for the Homeless and Hungry How to Make a Difference in Your Community!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Lobbying for the Homeless and Hungry How to Make a Difference in Your Community!

2 Who is NCH? Founded in 1984, oldest national organization dedicated to ending homelessness We focus our work in housing justice, economic justice, health care justice, and civil rights. Our approaches range from grassroots organizing to policy advocacy. –Grass Roots Organizing –Policy Advocacy Include currently and formerly homeless individuals in all aspects of our work

3 Lobbying What is Lobbying? How Do You Make Your Voice Heard? How Can You Lobby Effectively?

4 What is Lobbying? Lobbying is influencing legislation and or administrative actions. –Direct Lobbying  referring to a specific piece of legislation –Grassroots Lobbying  an effort to engage the public in lobbying

5 How Do You Make Your Voice Heard? Letter Writing Visits Phone Call E-mail

6 How Can You Lobby Effectively? Find an issue that you really believe in Get to know your issue Get to know your legislator and the legislative process Make your position known early Be brief, be persistent and be polite

7 Issue areas relating to Homelessness Affordable Housing Livable Incomes Health Care Civil Rights Protection

8 Affordable Housing A lack of affordable housing and the limited scale of housing assistance programs are the primary causes of homelessness. The growing gap between the number of affordable housing units and the number of people needing them has created a housing crisis for poor people. Housing Security Recommendations: –Funding National Housing Trust Fund –Adding Section 8 Housing Vouchers –Increased HUD, USDA, VA Housing programs –Establishment in the Treasury of Emergency Rent relief Fund –Continue to reauthorize HUD McKinney-Vento (HEARTH) programs

9 Livable Incomes Homelessness and poverty are inextricably linked. Poor people are frequently unable to pay for housing, food, child care, health care, and education. Often it is housing, which absorbs a high proportion of income, that must be given up. Being poor can mean that one is an illness, an accident, or a paycheck away from homelessness. Economic Justice Provisions: –Increase SSI and SSDI –Living Wage Resolution –Temporary Worker Fairness and Protection Act –Require SSA to collect data and engage in outreach and expedite application process for homeless individuals

10 Healthcare For people struggling to pay the rent, a serious illness or disability can start a downward spiral into homelessness, beginning with a lost job, depletion of savings to pay for care, and eventual eviction. Healthcare Justice Provisions: –Universal Access to Health Care –Strengthening of mainstream addiction and mental health services programs

11 Civil Rights Protection People should not be criminalized or face injustice as a result of their housing status. People experiencing homelessness are disproportionately victims of hate crimes and violence, often resulting in death. Civil Rights Provisions: –Civil Rights Protections for People Experiencing Homelessness –Prohibit cities receiving CDBG and HOME funds from passing ordinances that have a disparate impact on homeless people or that punish homeless persons for carrying out life-sustaining practices in public spaces –A requirement that USPS shall provide no-fee PO boxes

12 What More Can You Do? Follow up any letters and calls to the Representative or his or her aide and ask whether a decision has been made to support the issue you contacted him/her about. Reiterate your or your organization's support! Write a Letter to the Editor for your local paper. Contact your local homeless coalition to find out how you can get involved (a list of local coalitions is available at

13 Activities You Can Plan National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day Organize an "Urban Plunge" Host Faces of Homelessness Speakers’ Bureau Register people to vote Organize a Lobby Day Sponsor a benefit concert

14 What You Can Do? SMILE!

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