1) Strategically Strengthening the Field: Activist groups exist in cities across the country, many of which have strong leadership from homeless or formerly homeless individuals. Those living in poverty must be heard in this economic debate. To strengthen this field of organizations, the National Coalition for the Homeless will survey the country to identify the effective advocacy projects working on homelessness with people experiencing homelessness and link these groups together.
NCH's founders shared the perspective that homelessness is the tragic consequence of an unconscionable lack of societal will to ensure all its members access to the basic resources necessary for survival. Since its inception, then, NCH has viewed homelessness as the ultimate societal injustice for which the redress must involve the restoration of basic equality between its members. For these individuals, the social safety net has been so thoroughly shredded that there is no "bottom" anymore -
Ending homelessness will depend on reducing poverty in America. Other factors contribute to the crisis: the lack of affordable housing, domestic violence, barriers to mental health services and substance abuse treatment, and a broken health care system to name a few. Yet such challenges pose the greatest hardships for poor people who lack the resources to manage these extra burdens. We need a new campaign on homelessness and poverty in America. The timing is right, given widespread discontent.
In the 1980s, homelessness once energized a vibrant social movement that confronted rising inequality during the Reagan era. In the intervening years, this grassroots energy dissipated into the implementation of the McKinney Act homeless programs that were won through that activism. Now we are on the cusp of another debate about income inequality in America. The timing is right and philanthropy should help advocates to seize this moment. Empowering the homelessness sector as a force for progress