National Coalition for the Homeless
The National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) is a national network of people who are currently or formerly experienced homelessness, activists, advocates, and community-based and faith-based service providers committed to preventing and ending homelessness while ensuring the immediate needs of those experiencing homelessness are met and their civil rights protected. People who are currently experiencing homelessness or have formerly experienced homelessness are actively involved in all of their work. Their programs are centered around public education, policy advocacy, and grassroots organizing.
The Steinbruck Center works with NCH to offer the following programming opportunities to our groups:
Faces of Homelessness Speakers’ Bureau
The Faces of Homelessness Speakers’ Bureau is a program of the NCH that works to educate the public about homelessness and what can be done to end it. This approach establishes a significant platform for those whom homelessness affects directly to talk personally and share about their experiences. Most Americans rarely interact with people who are or who have been homeless, and therefore homelessness is perceived as an abstract social problem. The Speakers’ Bureau is both an accurate and dynamic tool to teach and challenge tomorrow’s leaders, as well as empower those who have experienced homelessness first-hand.
A guide from NCH will join your group to help you distribute food, water, and personal care items to people experiencing homelessness on the streets of DC. An outreach run is not a solution to homelessness. We hope that participants begin to see people experiencing homelessness as real people with stories, histories, and families and that in return, people experiencing homelessness learn that many mainstream adults and teenagers have commitments and concerns that go beyond their own families and lives.
Groups spend 48 hours on the streets with NCH guides accompanying them. This is an experiential learning opportunity that may not have a direct impact on people experiencing homelessness but will have a lasting impact on the way participants move through the world. We believe participants will be better able to address solutions at the local level when they have an experiential and emotional knowledge of some parts of a homeless person’s situation. We also want to bring more attention to the dire situation of both people experiencing homelessness and of social services providers — who lack adequate resources to address the problem.