Re: NCH (National Coalition for the Homeless)

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Sat, 27 Dec 1997 17:46:58 -0800 (PST)


In the past, National Coalition for the Homeless has paid too little
attention to homeless people's views and our civil rights.  But they are
making a sincere effort to improve on those two fronts.

So why publicly bash NCH for it's past mistakes?  It's much better to
encourage NCH to "do right" now and in the future.  Let's work to keep NCH
accountable to homeless people, not destroy it's reputation.

No person or group is perfect.  Some choose to attack--or
support--regardless of merit.  Some choose to test what works and cooperate
where possible.

My question is:  who will collaborate to bring homeless people's insights
to the policy makers and program developers--and, in the long haul, bring
us together as their equals in power, not just as supplicants?

Our mere presence where decisions are taken does not assure us clout.  We
need to be much more than window dressing in someone else's showcase.

We homeless people need to be movers and shakers.  We need to design and
test innovative ways to meet our needs and aims, review results fairly, and
spread the aproaches that prove effective.  That as much harder work than
just complaining, even when complaints are valid.  Who's "in" for that
work?

Cooperation: if sides must be drawn, that's the side I choose.  With
patience and caution, we homeless people can seek and find each other--and
reliable allies.

Seeking peaceful means to homeless peoples' aims.--Tom