On April 25, 2012, Huffington Post blogger, Christine Schanes, very effectively makes the case for “thinking globally, acting locally” around ending homelessness. She writes that we “have the power and ability to solve other complex global issues, including homelessness.”
Schanes offers the National Alliance to End Homelessness’ (The Alliance) two annual conferences as excellent examples of thinking more globally around truly ending a problem plaguing our society that can feel overwhelming. For example, at its February 2012 National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness, The Alliance and its partners the following best practices:
Implementing rapid re-housing (and maintaining those programs as HPRP [Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing] funding expires);
Coordinating with larger ‘mainstream’ anti-poverty programs to multiply impacts, especially by providing help with employment;
Getting the most out of the HEARTH Act, and
Housing families and youth with the most severe challenges, including chronic homelessness.
She quotes The Alliance’s Steve Berg about why he sees these national events as so critical, “Helping end homelessness, he concludes, ‘is a movement and conferences are important to keep the movement going.”
At the same time, we must also continue to act locally and Scanes provides the now national Project Homelessness Connect model and San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program as excellent examples of how this can be done. Project Homelessness Connect (PHC) originated in San Francisco and now is successfully implemented in cities across the country every year, including in almost all of the communities right here in New Jersey.
What more can we do in NJ to “think globally and act locally?” Can we send more of our advocates, service providers, and policy makers to The Alliance’s annual conferences? Can we build on the success of the PHC model and pilot the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program in a few of our local communities?
Click here to read the full Huffington Post article.