It is unfortunate that in America there are approximately 3.5 million people without a home, forced to live in shelters and on the streets. Of the millions that are homeless, 1.7 million are children (PBS, 2009). Though there are many agencies and organizations available to provide what assistance they can, it is not always enough. Advocacy groups in particular, strive to help people meet their basic human needs, such as food and shelter. For these people, advocacy can change their lives. These advocacy programs would not be possible without the support of federal funding from state and local organizations. These programs include the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants, Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, joint U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Veterans Affairs (VA) Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH), to name only a few (Alliance to End Homelessness, 2011). The National Alliance to End Homelessness encourages a policy of advocacy in Congress and local government. They believe that members of Congress will be more likely to promote change if they are given to opportunity to understand how many people in their district are suffering and what can be done to stop it. The Alliance explains how advocacy can make a difference, just by calling and writing to policy makers or building relationships with them by meeting with them or inviting them to attend a program explaining the problems homeless people face every day. The Alliance works with Congress directly through meetings and organized campaigns with advocates throughout the country. They encourage ordinary people to advocate at home, by writing or faxing letters to their Senators and Representatives asking them to increase funding for programs that provide assistance and aid to the homeless; or by working with the media to help raise awareness of just how serious the issue of homelessness in America is today (Alliance to End Homelessness, 2011). The National Coalition for the Homeless...
References: Alliance to End Homelessness. (2011). National Alliance to End Homelessness. National Alliance to End Homelessness. Retrieved December 20, 2011, from http://www.endhomelessness.org/
National Coalition for the Homeless. (2011). National Coalition for the Homeless. Retrieved December 20, 2011, from http://nationalhomeless.org/
PBS. (2009). Facts and Figures: The Homeless . NOW on PBS.PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved December 20, 2011, from http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/526/homeless-facts.htm (dictionary.com, 2011).
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