[Hpn] NATIONAL DAY OF HOUSING ACTION

chance martin streetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org
Tue, 02 Oct 2001 12:01:04 -0700


THE BASICS OF THE NATIONAL DAY OF HOUSING ACTION
Contact: Right To A Roof!/Coalition On Homelessness
(415) 346-3740x313 / housingworkgroup@yahoo.com
or Tenderloin Housing Clinic (415) 771-9850


November 14th, 2001 is a National Day of Housing
Action to support the National Affordable Housing
Trust Fund. We are inviting groups across the country
to design local actions. Feel free to contact us for
more information.

Contents:

1-Basics of Day
2-Fact Sheet NAHTF

Register:
Register your action with the National Day Of Housing
Action Coordinators. This can be done by e-mailing a
request for a form to us. We'll mail back some
questions which we'll use in our press materials.

Link-Up:
 Part of the power of the day will be the presence of
groups representing homeless/housing, students, faith
communities, organized labor and communities of color.
 We have lists of potential collaborators through-out
most of the U.S.. Remember, these people haven’t
officially endorsed the day of action: it’s up to your
group to approach them about collaborating

Messaging:
Your group or coalition should pick a non-violent
action which is appropriate to your communities. Each
city will have the autonomy to choose an action as
long as it helps publicize the following points:

¸ Federal Representatives should become co-sponsors of
the House or Senate Bills of the National Affordable
Housing Trust Fund.

¸ The United States needs an Affordable Housing Trust
Fund to permanently fund the construction and
preservation of housing.

¸ Such a Trust Fund would be a major economic
stimulus, creating living wage jobs, in these hard
economic times.

¸ The only solution to homelessness is housing that
people can afford.

Pick A Target:
The simplest and easiest action in one which directly
pressures your federal official to co-sponsor the
National Affordable Housing Trust Fund.  This can be
done through office "visits", sit ins, guerilla
theater, press conferences, prayer vigils, banner
hangings etc. It’s up to your group to determine what
level of protest is necessary. You may also work on
linking up your local housing/homelessness issues with
the campaign.  Some ideas are:
 
¸ Non-violent takeovers of vacant government owned
housing,
¸ Sleep-Ins, Tent Cities, Mock Shanty Towns,
¸ Actions around the loss of public housing units or
Section 8 expirations,
¸ Landlord Pickets,
¸ Accountability Sessions on Federal Officials,
¸ Public Education Events/Cultural Activism. Maybe
people in your city aren't willing to support a
protest. Get together conscious performers from your
communities and have a well-publicized benefit for the
campaign.

Use your judgement. The Day Of Action will not work if
we don’t trust local people to design actions which
mobilize effectively for the Trust.

A Note On Non-Violence
This Day Of Action is non-violent. We do not we do not
consider actions such as squatting or sit-ins to be
violent. In this case physical violence against humans
would likely alienate the people who we are trying to
mobilize.

Security
The full N15 Action pack will have some great tips on
how to keep your actions safe and secure for all
participants. Generally speaking, direct face-to-face
communication is the best security measure of all.

Media
Your media spokespeople should be selected early on;
and a media strategy should also be set early.  We are
operating on the idea of unlikely alliances such as
that of homeless people and college students. Those
most affected by the issue of homelessness should be
given a chance to represent their struggles directly.
It doesn't mean that more privileged folks can't speak
up in solidarity-just make sure to keep it real. We're
not here to advocate for homeless people, but to work
alongside them.

The full N15 Action pack will have a manual on setting
a media strategy that works.

In Closing
All through out the United States, many people have
been doing excellent work on housing/homelessness,
gentrification and economic justice issues. Some use
direct action, other electoral or policy work.
Hopefully, we can build respect and alliances between
these different camps.  A progressive public policy
lobbyist might feel apprehensive about working with
squatters. Some activists object to the idea of coming
anywhere near the electoral process. We’re asking
people to roll up their sleeves and see what we can
get done together. 

-- 
The Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco (COH) was organized in 1987 to
garner the active participation of poor people on both the design and
critique of public policy and non-profit services that result in permanent
solutions to poverty. It is a unique organization in that the driving force
is low-income and homeless people, working in every aspect of the
organization, from the volunteers to the staff and leadership body.

Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco
468 Turk Street, San Francisco, CA  94102
415/346.3740-voice € 415/7755639-fax
coh@sf-homeless-coalition.org
http://www.sf-homeless-coalition.org