We Elect Congress to Be Our Voice – the Rich, the Poor – Everyone

Message to Congress Affordable Homes Offer Families Opportunity to Transform Lives

During the July 26, 2017 Congressional Reception, Monarch Housing Associates Intern Isabel Santos interviewed many of the 450 people from NJ who attended about their message to Congress.

Attendees are the Congressional Reception were excited and grateful to share their stories whether they were stories of working to help those impacted by homeless or their own personal stories of the impact of homelessness on their lives.

The stories remind all of us about why the Congressional Reception was such an important event and advocacy opportunity

Haniyyah Wiliams spoke about how housing has allowed her to enrich her life. Housing gave her the opportunity to provide for her family and go to school.

“Helping people and getting more resources for people who are homeless,” becomes essential to assist people to overcome road blocks says Haniyyah.

Kelley Moss Brown, a caseworker at Heart of Hannah Women’s Center in Patterson located in the 9th congressional district, speaks about how affordable homes impact families and allow them to stabilize their lives. To better help families lives there needs to be an expansion of affordable housing “to benefit from the resources to enrich families’ lives,” says Kelley.

Dan McGuire, the CEO of Homeless Solutions, spoke about how affordable home allows people the opportunity to be self-sufficient. “No housing cuts- it’s important to leverage the resources we need to provide affordable housing,” says Dan.

Nohemy Zabala speaks about being homeless as a teenager and how it can happen to anyone. “We elect our Congress to be our voice; rich and poor, the voice of everyone,” says Nohemy.

Patricia speaks about how she struggled with homelessness. Having access to affordable housing has allowed her to change her life for the best. “Everyone is human. Everyone deserves a place to live, without a home we’re nothing,” says Patricia.

Rafael Quinones spoke about how an affordable home allows him to have a better quality of life. Advanced Housing, located in the 9th congressional district, has given Rafael the opportunity for happiness. He believes that everyone should have housing and happiness to “not to feel lost.

Shelly Bennett spoke about how attaining affordable housing allowed her to pursue a degree in social work. She can become active in the community and enrich her life. “No to housing cuts, it helps people to move up in life,” says Shelly.

Tracy Brown spoke about how although she is working part-time, it is difficult to afford her own home. “There needs to be more property for affordable housing, there isn’t enough,” says Tracy.

William Butler who has for years been an advocate for affordable homes. Having a home has allowed him to lead a life of independence. Bill is working but says, “I don’t know how many years I can work anymore, and many face the same issue where one paycheck they lose their homes.”

If you have a story to share about how homelessness and affordable housing has impacted your life, please reach out to Kate Kelly at Monarch Housing. We would love to help you share the story with your elected officials in Washington.

You can follow the coverage of the Congressional Reception in the news on Twitter and Facebook at #NJHillDay, #NoHousingCuts and #OurHomesOurVoices as well as on our website.

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