January, 2021 SUBSCRIBE Dear Friends— Here in the Nation’s Capital, I feel both fear and hope as we enter the new year. The siege on the Capitol brought into sharp relief the racism and hate that drive so many of the challenges we face—as a country and in our work at the Law Center. The failure of police response, especially compared to the overwhelming law enforcement presence at racial justice protests, made crystal clear the bigotry built into debates over “public safety.” And the [...]
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December, 2020 SUBSCRIBE Dear Friends— This has been a tough year—and especially hard for our unhoused neighbors. People experiencing homelessness are particularly at risk of infection and death from COVID-19; they are also disproportionately members of minoritized communities, often targeted by police and private violence. But despite the challenges, with your support, we redoubled our efforts, pivoted our focus, and achieved tangible victories that helped empower communities and save lives. We beat back a draconian plan from the Trump Administration to criminalize people simply for being homeless—building on [...]
November, 2020 SUBSCRIBE Dear Friends— This month’s election ushers in important new opportunities for progress in our fight to end homelessness in America. We won’t know the full extent until the two Senate run-offs early next year are decided. And we know making good on the opportunities will take continued vigorous advocacy—but they are there and we are ready. The Biden campaign’s housing plan starts with affirming what we have long called for: “Housing should be a right, not a privilege.” It specifically [...]
October, 2020 SUBSCRIBE Dear Friends— Next month’s elections are critically important, and we have two goals for them: First, to make sure the needs and rights of homeless people are front and center, and second, to ensure that people experiencing homelessness can participate. This election is a pivotal for many reasons. Over the past few years, our advocacy for the human right to housing has been gaining momentum: Last year four presidential candidates explicitly called for it, and one of the current candidates has included [...]
September, 2020 SUBSCRIBE Dear Friends— As the school year starts—virtually—in many communities, the challenges for homeless children and youth are even greater than usual. As with access to housing, health care, criminal justice, and so many other systems, the pandemic has magnified existing inequalities and inequities in education. Under federal law, homeless children and youth are guaranteed equal access to education—and the supports they need to make that possible. In “normal” times, such supports include transportation, school meals, access to books and uniforms. [...]
August, 2020 SUBSCRIBE Dear Friends— You may have already seen two pieces of momentous and exciting news about the Law Center. First, the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty is becoming the National Homelessness Law Center, effective immediately. And, after 31 years at the helm, I will be stepping down as Executive Director at the end of this year. The name change is easy. We are simplifying and streamlining our name, but our mission remains the same: to use the power of the law [...]
July, 2020 SUBSCRIBE Dear Friends— Each month as rent comes due, more and more Americans can’t pay it: the pandemic coupled with the resulting economic crisis means choosing between paying rent and putting food on the table. A recent estimate projects a 40-45% increase in homelessness this summer alone. My fear is that the impact will be much worse. Before the pandemic, there was already a decades old affordable housing crisis in this country. Some 10 million Americans were doubled or tripled up with friends or relatives—due [...]
June, 2020 SUBSCRIBE Dear Friends— I hope you are finding strength during this challenging time. Earlier this month, I released a public statement on behalf of the Law Center condemning the recent brutal killings George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery—and of so many others before them. As we said then, as an organization committed to using the power of the law to end homelessness in America, the Law Center has a special responsibility to also call out and fight the structural racism that led to their killings. This [...]