Homelessness can rob a person of their sense of independence and self-worth. But as the men and women we work with regain their health, self-sufficiency, and housing we empower them to become their own advocate.
A newly formed coalition—United to End Homelessness—launched their campaign on the steps of City Hall last month, and our clients were there to make their voice heard. Joseph White, Recreation Specialist at Ft. Washington Men’s Shelter, reports on the day:
By: Joseph White
April 9th was a very good day; I and several clients went down to City Hall and joined with the United to End Homelessness campaign to speak about the importance of housing. The steps of City Hall were filled with various organizations that all came together for the same cause.
The Homeless United demonstration held on the steps of City Hall was an inspirational and uplifting event. It was an event that stood for Hope and Fairness, an event that brought different organizations from all over the city together. In a united fashion, over two hundred strong, we stood. We stood and we were heard. THE STEPS OF CITY HALL WILL NEVER BE THE SAME.
Several clients attended; here are their experiences in their own words:
My experience at the demonstration was very fulfilling for myself and the benefit for others that are homeless. I feel like I’m a part of a revolution for the neglected.
It was one of the most uplifting experiences I had in my life. I met very important people who gave me hope. The system works if you work the system. I’m looking forward to housing, and I’m also looking forward to participating in any other future events that support my cause.
I felt like I was a part of something big.
It was hot but I was happy to be here.
It was an honor to be here, I felt like I helped my cause. I gained a sense of what it is like to be in a situation representing the public in a matter of importance to many people.
It was a great day for the men. I always love when the clients feel like they’re a part of the solution and the world.
A special thank you to Ft. Washington Director Etta Graham for setting up and organizing the field trip for us.
United to End Homelessness
United to End Homelessness is a new coalition of advocates, homeless and formerly homeless individuals, service providers, faith leaders, and experts on the issue of homelessness in New York City.