|Homeless to share experiences
"Up to 600,000 men, women and children go homeless every night in the U.S." United State Department of Human Services
RELEASED: Nov. 14, 2002
DANVILLE, KYCentre College will host a special event titled "Faces of Homelessness" on Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. in Young Hall room 101.
This important educational event is part of the Faces of Homelessness Speakers Bureau program of the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) based in Washington, D.C. The speakers bureau is comprised of people who are or have been homeless, and works to educate the public about homelessness and what can be done to end it. This unique program establishes a significant platform for the homeless to talk about their experiences. The speakers bureau creates opportunities for members to advocate for themselves and others, as well as build the necessary bridges with the rest of society to eventually end homelessness.
The evening will feature a multi-media slide show about homelessness in America. Meredith Stewart from the NCH will present facts about homelessness. After the presentation, two panelists who have faced homelessness in Washington and Louisville will give first-hand accounts of their experiences. They will offer ways for people to get involved, from volunteering at shelters to influencing legislation. Finally, the panelists will takes questions from the audience.
One of the panelists, David Harris, is originally from Washington, D.C., and grew up in the suburbs in Maryland.
As an adult, Harris worked entry-level jobs that provided no health insurance or sick leave. After suffering from a stroke and congestive heart failure, he became too sick to work and lost his job. With no savings and few resources, family and friends tried to assist him. For a while his parents took him in and offered help, but pride made him leave, and he then became homeless.
Harris comments, "I'm still not used to being a homeless person. I get looked at like dirtand it hurts. I may have done the same thing before I was homelessprobably so. Now, I see homeless people in a totally different light. I'm one of them. Now, I know them as human beings with distinct personalities. Some of them are even my friends."
The mission of the National Coalition for the Homeless is to end homelessness. Toward this end, the NCH engages in public education, policy advocacy, and grassroots organizing. The organization works in the following areas: housing justice, economic justice, health care justice and civil rights.
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