Tuesday, February 10, 2009

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans Conference

From the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans website:
"NCHV will host its 13th Annual Conference May 20-22. Headquarters for the conference will be the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, 2799 Jefferson Davis Highway, in Arlington, VA, just outside of Washington, D.C.

The NCHV Annual Conference is an opportunity for service providers to access knowledge, training and experience to increase the effectiveness of their organizations in assisting homeless veterans.
View the Conference Brochure here.

Capitol Hill visits: Time is set aside on Thursday, May 21 from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for you to arrange visits with your representatives in Congress to discuss issues and legislation affecting homeless veterans. For information on how to set up meetings with your representatives, click here".

More information: http://www.nchv.org/annualconference.cfm

Now, the cost of this conference might be a little spendy to some of us (but I supposes that's the trade-off of meeting where you might actually connect with federal public official); it might be just the thing for networking and learning. The group certainly seems to have its heart in the right place and a good group to check out. Its "Meeting With Your Congressional Representatives" pages has good advice that transcends this particular event.

1 comment:

Ruben Botello said...

Dear President Obama:

I have been dealing with homelessness since my honorable discharge from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1969. I found myself homeless shortly after returning from Vietnam. I was also in and out of homelessness with my two sons in the Eighties, and homeless again on my own in the Nineties.

I started the American Homeless Society in 1987 while my sons and I were homeless in California. I have worked very hard alongside other advocates, and have been in several hunger strikes, marches and demonstrations for homeless rights since the Eighties but have seen little progress to date.

My longest hunger strike was 58 days against President Reagan’s “trickle down” economic policies that created more instead of less homelessness in our country. You have spoken about fixing our nation’s economy from the “bottom up” instead, and that makes more sense.

From the bottom up should mean you are starting at the very bottom of our ailing economy, however. You should start by ending homelessness instead of neglecting the neediest among us like past administrations have done.

Philip Mangano of the Interagency Council on Homelessness has been promoting 10-year plans to end homelessness in major cities across the country on behalf of the Bush Administration these past few years. We would hope and pray you make a similar commitment, i.e., to abolish homelessness throughout our nation in ten years, not just in individual cities because there are far more homeless outside these cities than their urban homeless plans will ever reach.

Why not end homelessness in the entire United States in 10 years, Mr. President? You said, "YES WE CAN!" so why can't we when it comes to ending homelessness? Slavery was abolished in America over a century ago; why not abolish homelessness today?

Homelessness is just as bad as slavery in several ways and worse in others. Men, women and children from all the races, colors, cultures, nationalities, ethnicities, religions and creeds in our diverse society find themselves homeless everyday.

Along with hunger, malnutrition, sickness, disease and premature death, America's homeless are forced to endure harassment, discrimination, persecution and violence in our nation today much like the slaves President Lincoln’s armies fought to free in the Nineteenth Century had to.

America’s homeless face nature's harshest conditions without warm homes or shelter for protection. They lack good food and nutrition, good hygiene, medicine and healthcare, and the good education, training and experience needed to qualify for the dwindling supply of jobs in today’s worsening economy.

Many of America’s homeless are even employed but underemployed and therefore unable to afford existing rentals, while thousands of others are altogether unemployable and have no income whatsoever. How can our great nation permit so many of these poor souls to continue to suffer and die needlessly on our streets and in the wilds?

I joined the Marines to fight for our country so that all Americans could have a better life, not just the rich and well-to-do who are receiving all the bailouts today. There is no justification or excuse for anyone in our nation to be denied housing and other life-sustaining needs, Mr. President.

Please, if you are serious about fixing our nation’s economy from the bottom-up, begin at the real bottom by making a firm commitment to end involuntary homelessness throughout our country in 10 years without further ado.


Ruben Botello, Founder