The Coalition for the Homeless – Family & Children’s Place is a partnering agency – is taking its message to the streets on Thursday, Feb. 18.
Starting at 4:30 p.m., drive time, when people begin to head to their safe, warm and comfortable homes, volunteers and coalition representatives will stand outside and hold up signs at locations around the city to increase awareness of and to encourage people to take a stand against homelessness, and to show their commitment via Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
“We hope hundreds of people all over the city will want to be part of this fun community awareness event,” said Natalie Harris, executive director of the Coalition for the Homeless said in a release, adding, “… each of us has the power to help bring awareness to the ongoing fight against homelessness in our community.”
There are several ways to get involved, to make a statement in the 2016 #TakeAStandLou campaign. Go to www.louhomeless.org and sign up as a volunteer to hold a sign for on Feb. 18, near your workplace, home, or neighborhood, or go to the Coalition’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/LouHomeless) to join and share the #TakeAStandLou event.
Don’t be misled by the hyperbole that homeless people and families are “lazy,” “addicts,” “vagrants,” or that “they choose to be homeless.”
These assumptions are generally wrong, and you have the opportunity to help erase the myths and misperceptions. There is no single cause of homelessness, no single situation or event. Myriad causes catapult people – families – onto the streets: the lack of affordable housing, decreasing government supports, the challenge of raising a child alone, domestic violence, a medical crisis that drains finances, loss of a job, fractured social supports. All contribute to and create homelessness.
And it’s a major problem. Today, families comprise one third of the total homeless population in the United States. On any given day, more than 200,000 children face school and life without a home. These aren’t statistics. These are men and women, boys and girls who deserve your attention and your help.
So spend some time on the streets Feb. 18, knowing you have a home to go to, and give voice to the voiceless – the homeless who just need a hand up to help make their way. Or write a message, such as “I will donate $5 a month to help give Louisville’s homeless a better alternative than a night on the street,” or “I will volunteer at a local shelter,” or “I will support the Affordable Housing Trust Fund,” and post it to your social media accounts. Use the #TakeAStandLou hashtag so the issue becomes a trending topic.
The homeless don’t choose to be homeless; that’s a choice none would ever make. Reject the myths and misperceptions. Take and make a very public statement that it’s time to end homelessness in Louisville.