Posted on February 9, 2016 by Pat Hartman
The National Coalition for the Homeless is sending out a call to action:
Join us in asking each candidate what they will do to create affordable and accessible housing for all!
Whoever winds up running for President need to be urgently reminded that nothing is more important than ending the national disgrace of American homelessness. On the NCH’s “2016 Presidential Campaign” page, just hit the “How to contact the candidates” tab to access what looks like a pretty up-to-date list, except that Martin O’Malley has dropped out (which may be updated by the time our page is published).
Bernie Sanders seems to be pretty well informed about all the issues that contribute to homelessness, and he is particularly tuned-in to the urgency of housing homeless veterans. Still, if you are “feeling the Bern,” it can’t hurt to encourage him to actually talk about solving the issue of homelessness for all people while on the campaign trail.
This helpful page supplies snail-mail addresses. Remember, in our electronic age, when someone takes the time to write an actual letter on paper, fold it into an envelope and stick on a stamp, that action is pretty impressive. Sending a physical piece of mail means getting a lot of bang for the half-a-buck.
Also, a lot of these prominent individuals have Twitter accounts and Facebook pages and heaven only knows what else. Speak to them through the social media of your choice. Send them a link to this video, which was produced by House the Homeless at Austin’s beautiful Homeless Memorial.
Send them a series of Tweets, Facebook messages, etc., containing that link and one of the messages read by these children. For your copy-and-paste convenience, here they all are:
- “Income inequality… Homelessness: worst possible outcome”
- “School can be hard… Sleeping on a park bench is harder.”
- “Help them! Don’t arrest them!”
- “Homes, not handcuffs”
- “Mommies and daddies need a living wage.”
- “Kids need a roof over their heads, not a bridge!”
- “What’s wrong and what’s right? Kids say: housing is a human right!”
- “My friend’s doggie needs a home — and so does she.”
Also, on that page you have the opportunity to refresh your knowledge of the root causes of homelessness, which will make your communications with public figures more effective.
If you want to say something more substantial than “End homelessness!” — find talking points on the NCH “Issues” page.
The issues fall under several main categories. Pick the one you know or care most about, or read up on the one you’d like to learn more about. Then tell all the potential candidates what you think. Or pick one candidate, and send separate messages regarding all of these issues. What are they?
- Employment and Income
- Family Homelessness
- Elder Homelessness
- Youth Homelessness
- Veteran Homelessness
- Criminalization of Homelessness
- LGBT Homelessness
- Trauma Informed Care
Also on the “Issues” page are links for anyone who wants to donate, organize, advocate, volunteer, or request a speaker.
Our goal is to use the 2016 presidential election process to make the issue of homelessness a political priority so that the next President will put our nation on track to fixing the affordable housing crisis and ending homelessness in America.
Let’s do this!