The National Coalition for the Homeless offers four educational programs that enable groups and individuals to learn firsthand from someone who has experienced homelessness. From sharing personal narratives to explaining effective advocacy practices, these individuals are the true experts on homelessness and they always deliver memorable lessons. NCH is also responsible for two national large-scale events that take place each year and manages 60 AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers in the field.
Ending homelessness must begin with the understanding that people who are or have been homeless are our neighbors and members of our community. Public perceptions and attitudes toward persons experiencing homelessness or in danger of becoming homeless need to change in order for positive, long-term solutions to be realized. The National Coalition for the Homeless’ “Faces of Homelessness” Speakers’ Bureau works to challenge and change perceptions through educating the public about homelessness and what can be done to end it.
Each year, one week before Thanksgiving, National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness co-sponsor Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week. During this week, a number of schools, communities, and cities take part in a nationwide effort to bring greater awareness to the problems of hunger and homelessness.
Since 1990, on or near the first day of winter and the longest night of the year, the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH), National Consumer Advisory Board (NCAB), and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council (NHCHC) has co-sponsored National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day to bring attention to the tragedy of homelessness and to remember our homeless friends who have paid the ultimate price for our nation’s failure to end homelessness.
In general, it is very difficult for housed Americans to comprehend the realities of daily life for several million homeless Americans who constitute the poorest of the poor. How do we overcome the separation that divides housed from homeless? Our answer to breaking down some of the barriers between housed and homeless Americans is the Homeless Challenge where the streets become your teacher.